Jack Evans Report: Keeping Agencies Accountable


I wrote last month about the community side of a council member’s role. Attending community meetings, working with civic associations and handling constituent services are all critical parts of the job I’m thankful you have elected me to do. The other side is legislative. This part includes both writing and reviewing potential and existing laws and providing oversight of government agencies – to make sure they are efficiently and effectively utilizing your tax dollars.

That oversight happens throughout the year, but during February and March the D.C. Council undertakes a robust performance oversight process of all agencies. Over the next few weeks, I will send questions to the agencies under my purview to collect data on agency structure and recent spending. On Feb. 25 and March 11, the Finance and Revenue Committee, which I chair, will hold hearings with members of the public and representatives from the agencies that the committee oversees to make recommendations on adjustments to next year’s agency budgets.

A schedule of all of the Performance Oversight Hearings can be found on the D.C. Council’s website: dccouncil.us.
After the conclusion of the oversight process, the mayor will release a draft budget proposal for the 2016 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.

The Performance Oversight Hearings are an excellent opportunity to share your experiences – both positive and negative – with D.C. government agencies over the past year. This is the right time to recognize good work and to bring accountability to areas that need improvement.

I also want to announce that I am co-chairing a joint public oversight roundtable on the Jan. 12 incident at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station and the response by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and D.C. agencies. The hearing will take place on Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. in Room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building.

As some of you may know, I joined the WMATA Board of Directors four days before this incident occurred. WMATA’s acting general manager announced 10 safety enhancements last week to improve the safety of the system. Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board will likely make safety recommendations as part of their final report to WMATA. I am fully committed to working to implement these safety improvements and to continue to make Metro safer, more reliable and better able to respond to the transit needs of our city and region.

Jack Evans is the Ward 2 Councilmember, representing Georgetown since 1991.


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