The American Institute of CPAs announced the trio of recipients of the 2006 Outstanding CPA in Government Awards.The awards recognize CPAs working at the federal, state and local levels of government who have made significant contributions to the increased efficiency and effectiveness of government organizations and to the growth and enhancement of the profession.

The awards were presented at the AICPA's 23rd Annual National Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update Conference in Washington. This is the first year that the AICPA has selected a winner at all three levels of government; in previous years, one award was granted each year on a rotating basis among the different levels of government.

The honorees included:

* Jeffery Steinhoff, managing director for financial management and assurance, the largest audit team in the U.S. Government Accountability Office, who received the federal award.

Steinhoff has been at the forefront of the enactment of almost every major financial management legislative initiative in the past 25 years, most notably the landmark Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990. During the past five years alone, he has led initiatives that have resulted in over $36 billion in financial benefits to American taxpayers.

* Craig Watanabe, the captive insurance administrator for Hawaii, who received the state award.

Watanabe has been instrumental in expanding Hawaii's captive insurance industry, spearheading passage of Hawaii's Captive Insurance Law of 1986. As a result of the law's enactment, Hawaii's captive insurance industry has flourished. Since Watanabe's appointment as the state's administrator, Hawaii's captive insurance industry has more than tripled in size.

* Carla Sledge, the chief financial officer of the Charter County of Wayne, Mich., who received the local award.

Wayne County is the home of Detroit and, in 2003, faced a $54 million dollar deficit as it struggled to recover from the national recession. In response to the problem, Sledge created a deficit plan to bring the county's budget into balance. Her efforts reduced the size of government by $50 million, without increasing property taxes or reducing services to Wayne County residents.

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