On June 10, 2016, the ACCG – Group Self-Insurance
Workers’ Compensation Fund (GSIWCF) Board of Trustees declared a one-time
special return in the amount of $5 million to those members that currently
participate in the Fund and who have participated since 2014. ACCG began delivering payment, in the form of
checks ranging from slightly more than $100 to over $200,000, to eligible
counties and authorities on August 1, 2016.
The amount of each participant’s return is based on the amount of
premium paid in 2014.
the opportunity to recognize our loyal program participants and reward
longevity in our programs," said ACCG Executive Director Ross King. "Over 166 counties and authorities trust ACCG
to provide for their workers’ compensation insurance needs through our well-established
and respected program that specializes in the needs of Georgia county
Although this is the first
time that a cash return has been declared, ACCG-GSIWCF has returned dividends
27 times, totaling almost $60 million, since the program began in 1982. A dividend in the form of a premium credit has
been returned every year since 1996.
action underscores the benefit of participating in a county-owned
program," said ACCG President and Elbert County Chairman Tommy Lyon. "We have the flexibility to share a
portion of these gains with the membership whereas a commercial carrier would
likely have kept the profit or distributed it to its shareholders."
According to David Uhlman,
Director of Property & Casualty Insurance Programs, "The $5 million return
is unique because it is being given to the membership in cash. Although we encourage counties and authorities
to use the proceeds to make Georgia counties safer places to work, there are no
strings attached and each county or authority can determine how they can best
use the return."
When asked why cash was
available for the special one-time return, Uhlman explained that the Fund
collects enough premiums each year to pay the anticipated claims that will
ultimately be filed. Although some
benefits are paid soon after the premiums are collected, some injuries are
long-term and benefits may not be needed for 8-10 years or more. The cash that is not needed immediately is
invested and results in investment income to ACCG-GSWICF. The number of firms that invest money on
behalf of ACCG-GSIWCF was recently reduced from three to two. The money manager who was eliminated sold
assets so that the funds could be transferred to the remaining money
managers. The result was an influx of
realized gains. After listening to
advice from consultants, investment advisors, actuaries, and ACCG staff, the
Board of Trustees agreed that $5 million could be returned to the membership
without affecting the stability of the program, and the return was declared.
The Workers’ Compensation
Board of Trustees, chaired by McDuffie County Commissioner Fred Favors,
includes White County Chairman Travis Turner (vice chairman), Emanuel County
Chairman Desse Davis, Lumpkin County Chairman Chris Dockery, Henry County
Commissioner Bruce Holmes, Newton County Commissioner Nancy Schulz and Morgan
County Vice-Chairman Ellen Warren.
"We are very excited to have the
opportunity to allot this special one-time return to the membership," said
GSIWCF Board of Trustees Chairman and McDuffie County Commissioner Frederick
Favors. "This is an excellent example of
one of the many benefits of participating in county-owned insurance programs
that are administered by ACCG."
University of Tennessee Student, Anslee Sloan Daniel, Interns with the Douglas County Communications and Community Relations Department
Anslee Sloan Daniel, a Communications and Broadcast Journalism major at the University of Tennessee, interned with the Douglas County Department of Communications and Community Relations as part of the Georgia County Internship Program (GCIP) during the summer of 2015.
While Daniel was no stranger to county government having volunteered for Douglas County during high school, she decided to apply for the internship because she wanted to further develop her video production skills. Daniel’s core project involved creating a commercial to promote Douglas County’s September Saturdays Festival. She produced, filmed and edited the commercial and upon completion it aired on DCTV23, the county’s government access channel, and other local cable channels. To view the commercial created by Daniel, click on the following link: https://vimeo.com/136927951
When asked about the most significant success of her internship, Daniel replied that being able to successfully adapt to the filming processes of the Douglas County Communication team was particularly gratifying. Her favorite part of the internship was participating in various events managed by the department, in particular, being asked to attend and film the naming ceremony of the Captain Herb Emory Flyover Ramp in Fulton County.
While the skills Daniels needed to learn to complete the project were difficult to master, she found the process to be rewarding. In order to film the commercial, she has to learn how to use programs such as Adobe Photoshop and After Effects Software. In addition to software skills, Daniels gained experience on both sides of the camera. She believes the skills she cultivated in her internship will allow her to meet her future career goals as she not only will be able to be a script writer, journalist and on camera talent, but also a camera operator and production assistant. Daniel credits the Department of Communications and Community Affairs for providing the opportunity to build these foundational skills.
For more information on the GCIP, please visit the ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation website at http://www.civicaffairs.org
Georgia Archives is in the process of updating the local government retention schedule and plans on presenting it to the State Records Committee for adoption in October. This schedule provides a list of common type records maintained by local governments and a recommended retention schedule for those records. Record retention practices are very important to the management of open records request and record storage.
Since 1984, counties have been required to adopt a record retention schedule as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-18-99 (d) and (e). In 2015, ACCG conducted a survey on county record management practices. Of the 93 survey respondents, only 56 counties indicated that they had adopted a record retention schedule as required by state law. Until a county adopts their own record retention schedule, they are required to follow the local government retention schedule that is provided by Georgia Archives. While some counties may have adopted their own schedule, others may have adopted the local government retention schedule as their schedule. As such, the release of the new schedule will have an impact on most counties.
ACCG is currently in the process of reviewing the proposed schedule and has asked certain county records experts to assist in the review as well. If your county wants to review the proposed schedule, please contact Natalie Fitzgerald at email@example.com and a copy will be provided. All comments need to be submitted to ACCG no later than August 22, 2016 so they can be included in our report.
Georgia Archives will be providing training on the new schedule once it has been adopted by the State Records Committee. ACCG will release the training schedule and the local government retention schedule once available to ensure that counties are aware of the requirements.
Join your fire service personnel on Friday, August 12th at an Exhibit Show held during the 2016 Georgia Fire Service Conference in Augusta - Richmond County. Come see the latest in fire service products for FREE.
If you are unable to attend the entire 2016 Georgia Fire Service Conference but want to attend the Exhibit Hall, fill out and bring the Exhibit Hall Pass found here
The Jekyll Island Convention Center in Glynn County, Ga. will set the stage for this year's Georgia Environmental Conference.
You’re invited to attend the Georgia Environmental Conference taking place August 24 - 26 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. This conference is the state’s largest, most comprehensive and diverse educational opportunity and will be attended by over 700 individuals who have a strong interest in environmental activities in Georgia and the Southeast region.
For more information and to register for the conference click here
In June, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released long awaited final rules for the commercial use of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The new Small UAS Rule (14 CFR Part 107)
will be effective August 29th and is applicable to UAS that weigh less than 55 lbs. at takeoff.
As provided by the new ruling, government entities may choose to operate under the new commercial use rules and will now have the two following options for legal operation of UAS.
1.Continue operating under or obtain a new blanket public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA). This option was previously the only method for legal UAS operation for a government entity.
2.Operate under the new commercial use small UAS rule including aircraft and pilot requirements.
A summary of the new rule is included on the FAA Website
. The rule contains much of the language included in the draft rules initially released in February 2015 or authorized by existing COAs.
If a government entity is already authorized to operate under a COA, additional immediate required action is on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, an entity may choose to begin operating under the new rule because it may allow a broader scope of operation than some COAs (such as those limited to training operations or limited airspace). In other cases, an entity may already have broader authorization under a COA and choose to make no immediate changes.
An option to apply for a Certificate of Waiver (CoW) under small UAS rule (14 CFR part 107) will also be available which will allow for operation that deviates from the basic rules if approved by the FAA. Flying at night, flying from a moving vehicle or aircraft, and flying over crowds are a few of the types of operations that can be authorized under a waiver. These waivers may eliminate many of the scenarios in which an emergency COA was needed in the past. The FAA approval process for the waivers takes up to 90 days.
Legal Update and Insurance Coverage for Drones
As part of the final small UAS ruling, the FAA determined that certain legal aspects concerning small UAS use is best addressed at the state or local level, including privacy issues, and thus didn’t include any provisions that would preempt any laws. The FAA also does not have the authority to impose any mandatory liability insurance requirements for the operation of UAS as part of their regulations, so the decision to maintain insurance coverage remains at the discretion of the UAS owner.
Standard property and liability insurance policies typically exclude aircraft, which includes drones. However, the ACCG’s Property and Liability Program (ACCG-IRMA), offers liability coverage for the operation of drones via endorsement for an additional contribution if the operation is in compliance with FAA rules and guidelines.
In order to be eligible for the Unmanned Aircraft Endorsement, a separate, brief application detailing the usage, specifications, and operators of each unmanned aircraft is required along with a copy of your FAA Certificate of Authorization (if applicable). Liability coverage will be available for any FAA-approved unmanned aircraft weighing 55 lbs. or less up to your current limit of liability with some further restrictions based on size for liability limits greater than $3,000,000. Physical damage coverage for the unmanned aircraft itself is available by individually scheduling it on the equipment schedule on file with ACCG-IRMA. If you should have any questions about this adding this coverage, please call Matt Autry or Glenda Williams at 1-800-295-8179.
Bad debt choices can affect the fiscal health of a jurisdiction for generations. Don’t leave it to chance, or rely on the advice of a municipal financial "consultant."
Get the knowledge you need for yourself, and be the key to sound debt decisions at your city or county government. The Center for State and Local Finance (CSLF) has designed a debt management course
for you that focuses on the strategies and best practices in the issuance, uses, and management of debt.
The course takes place Sept. 21-23 at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School, which is ranked 5th in public finance and budgeting by U.S. News and World Report. The lead instructor is Bart Hildreth
, a nationally recognized expert in state and local finance and municipal securities.
Hildreth is a professor and former dean at the Andrew Young School; the editor-in-chief of the only refereed journal devoted to municipal securities, the Municipal Finance Journal; and executive director of the National Tax Association. He previously served on Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, as well.