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Tennessee Budget Analysts Honored Nationally

Tuesday, August 10, 2021 | 02:25pm
Candice Stacy, Matthew McElroy

NASHVILLE – Two of Tennessee’s state budget analysts are named in annual awards announced by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). Candice Stacy, information technology analyst and Matt McElroy, tax analyst, were selected for two of NASBO’s prestigious awards.

“When the pandemic hit Tennessee, we were at a crucial stage of the budget cycle and we had to quickly adjust all our estimates, expectations and spending plans to reflect a changing economic landscape,” Budget Director David Thurman said. “Every budget employee was engaged in the tedious work of revising detailed spending plans, but Candice and Matt showed exceptional skills that made huge differences in successfully navigating an unprecedented event.”

Candice received NASBO’s George A. Bell award which recognizes state budget personnel for outstanding contributions and service to public budgeting and management in state government. She was nominated for constructing a program that transformed a demanding process that could only be done in person to one that allowed division employees to contribute to a new budget document from their homes, where they were safer from pandemic exposure.  

“Without Candice’s work, there is no way we could have developed such a large document in a short time without returning to work during the worst of the pandemic,” Thurman said. “We now have a process allowing us to accurately and virtually develop the state’s spending plans, giving division employees the opportunity for more flexible work schedules.”

Matt received the J. H. Rester award for the southern region of the U.S., given for outstanding contribution and service to public budgeting and management in state government. He was nominated for his economic and tax analysis during the pandemic, providing the insight and guidance necessary to develop a thoughtful budget plan to balance as well as a plan for economic recovery.

“At the onset of the pandemic, economists expected activity to plummet, and their predictions ranged from gloomy to catastrophic,” Thurman said. “Matt gathered data, talked with trusted state and regional economists and participated in discussions with respected national organizations and think tanks. His analysis provided the assumptions necessary to develop a very workable framework for budget planning that proved invaluable to the governor and the state.”

For more than 75 years, NASBO has been the professional membership organization for state budget and finance officers, advancing state budget practices through research, policy analysis, education and knowledge sharing among its members.

The Division of Budget in the Dept. of Finance and Administration is responsible for the preparation, presentation and execution of the annual budget and the annual strategic plan for the state of Tennessee. Throughout the entire budgeting and planning cycles, the division serves as the primary financial planning support team for the governor and the commissioner of F&A.