In my last report, I wrote about the new year and several of my ongoing priorities: education, public safety and affordable housing. One thing my goals for these areas have in common is that they will be substantially affected by the budget decisions the mayor and the council make over the next few months. As chairman of the finance and revenue committee, I often find this time of year to be my busiest.
Before the budget is released, however, we undertake the performance oversight process. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been sending questions to the agencies under my purview to collect data on agency structure and recent spending. After I review what has worked and what has not, I will be in a better position to make recommendations on adjustments to the agency budgets for next year.
The largest agency falling within the oversight framework of my committee is the office of the chief financial officer. This agency includes a number of component departments, such as tax and revenue, finance and treasury and revenue analysis. Our new CFO, Jeff DeWitt, recently began serving in a full-time capacity. I am looking forward to hearing his vision for the agency and sharing my ideas and experience with him as the CFO’s budget is formulated.
Last year I was also pleased to welcome the Commission on the Arts & Humanities and Destination DC to the group of organizations for which my committee has oversight responsibility. These agencies, along with Events DC (formerly known as the Washington Convention and Sports Authority), contribute substantially to the economic development and cultural life of our city.
After the conclusion of the oversight process (and, coincidentally, right after the mayoral primary), the mayor will release a draft budget proposal for the 2015 fiscal year. At that time we will have another round of hearings with the agencies that fall under the committee’s oversight responsibility. After we make changes to the budget that we consider appropriate, a final version will be passed in June.
Please feel free to get in touch with my office – and with the offices of my colleagues – to share your experiences with the executive agencies over the past year, both positive and negative. This is the right time to recognize good work and to bring accountability to areas that need improvement.