Webmasters of sites and blogs Nationally: From Walter Burien
Per getting CAFRs to display on your site, Google is your friend!
It is important to use quotes in your search string. If you pick out a state, say California and use the search string of:
"State of California" "Annual Financial Report"
I suggest and STRONGLY recommend that the links to those CAFRs are not used but in the alternative that the CAFRs are downloaded and a download directory on your site is created to access those CAFRs. A Federal and State directory with sub directories for City; County; School District; Enterprise operations; Community College; State University; and pension / retirement fund CAFRs.
I have a similar directory with example CAFRs listed, but due to personal exhaustion never expanded it to a massive listing.
Now I did come up with an idea to create a massive "automated" download directory but never moved forward with it being I did not know a good software writer who I trusted.
The idea was to create a software program that used the Google "advance search" feature to find only .pdf files (98% of the CAFRs are .pdf files) The software program would automatically insert the search strings for key words such as: City Ohio "Annual Financial Report", strip the downloads found, Change the file name to the corresponding CAFR title with year shown, and automatically insert the now downloaded CAFRs in the corresponding directory for /Ohio/Cities/ and so on for every local government nationally.
The software program would "automatically" roll through the searches and downloads and fill the directory and sub-directories with "thousands" of CAFR downloads now titled accordingly for easy access by one and all.
Every CAFR within the .pdf file starts with a title, EXAMPLE: The City of Dayton Ohio 2001 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
The software program can automatically look; see; grab, the titles at the beginning of the .pdf file to rename the file and put in the appropriate directory or sub directory upon seeing the word or word string of City; Ohio; 2001, inserting the non-tagged word of Dayton.
The same factors written in for other key word(s) such as School District; Port; Community College; Retirement; Pension; Authority; State University, Convention Center; etc. are now placed in the corresponding directory the software program creates by category.
If a software program was written to automatically do this, thousands of CAFRs would be sorted; file title renamed; directory assigned; and be listed in your easy access directories in a few days.
It is important to download over giving a government link being:
2. They use to list the past ten-years but to to keep people from getting the old that had the old accounting of a showing of gross and other modified information, they now have cut back to five-years with the showing of the new accounting of "net".
3. At any time they can change the link to their CAFRs and the clicker will get a 404 error of Page Not Found.
4. Each year they pull the last CAFR listed so again a 404 error.
An important note per a software program designed to automatically pull CAFRs, there is a site which has to be the largest data bank in the world called Archive.org which has a "way back" search engine. It archives all websites by snap shots of all pages (and download files) by month and year. Per Government sites check the name of the site for back years being that government changes their site/page names over time. Government sites that had CAFR downloads listed say in 1999, would have the last ten-years of CAFRs there also. So the archive .pdf files if archived could then be stripped.
I note when I did this in the past and downloaded the .pdf file, when I tried to open it, it appeared to be corrupted and would not open. I then found out that when archive.org saved the snap shot of the file, the beginning source code of the file got modified that kept the file from opening. I then had a friend that knew .pdf source code and he looked and made a simple modification to the first line string in the source code and bang, the file opened right up as it should. So if you get a .pdf file CAFR from the 90's or 80's from archive.org and it will not open, the fix is simple once learned so do not delete it.
Using the Archive.org "way back" search feature would not be as easy as using Google, but if figured out on how to do so, would yield a mother-load of pre-2000 CAFRs to add to your maintained directory. The Webmaster from that site may be able to give the guidelines for a general key word search from a snap shot of the entire database for any year of two keywords: comprehensive and .pdf(file) which would pull up all .pdf files with comprehensive in the title. That would grab a bunch where your normal software program could go through the catch, rename the file, and list accordingly. If a software program is created to do this I will make it available on the CAFR1.com site for all to use.
If the software program could key word search for .pdf file CAFRs by year, the 1990's and maybe even the 1980's CAFRs could be stripped off also.
The government accounting boys that modified the game of disclosure after 1999 would crap in their pants, but the people would now have access to CAFRs pre-modification from "gross" to "net" AND have a record in the 10-year back statistical sections of those CAFRs of the "take" from those years to show what government "intentionally" did from greed and opportunity unrestrained in wealth transfer per increasing their scope and size (1000% to 3000% increase) from the 80's & 90's come present now in 2012.
One other telling disclosure in the statistical sections of those pre-2000 State CAFRs was it showed the top ten employers in the State. In most cases five or six of those top employers were government (State, County, or City). One state CAFR showed eight. When I brought this to the attention of the public back in 1999, the government accounting gang changed the listing from top employers to: top ten "private" employers from 2000 forward. The showing of government was a little too telling so they stripped themselves out of the showing.
Sent FYI and for your use from,
Walter Burien - CAFR1.com
P. O. Box 2112
Saint Johns, AZ 85936