Jack Evans Report: CFO’s Strategic Plan
On Oct. 20, I chaired a Finance and Revenue Committee hearing to review the Strategic Plan for the Office of the CFO. The plan, released this summer, is new CFO Jeffrey DeWitt’s vision for how to continue the strong fiscal discipline of the OCFO, while finding ways for the office to better serve the taxpayers of the District of Columbia.
The plan includes seven key strategic objectives: 1) Improve Customer Service; 2) Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement; 3) Improve Transparency and Quality of Information; 4) Effectively Manage Risk and Prevent Fraud; 5) Implement Quality Financial Systems; 6) Develop, Attract and Retain High Quality Employees; 7) Manage a Fair and Equitable System to Fully Collect District Revenues.
I have written before about the need to focus on customer service within our city agencies. At his confirmation hearing last year, I asked DeWitt who his ultimate “customer” is as CFO. I was pleased that he answered that it is, first and foremost, the citizens of the District of Columbia. That this plan puts improving customer service as the first strategic objective is an important distinction.
The plan also details 24 strategic initiatives, tactical plans to achieve the overarching objectives. They outline technological improvements, community outreach programs to create a culture of regular feedback, and enhanced ethics training, transparency and fraud protection. These efforts, combined with the Council’s actions this summer to lower various taxes rates, will continue to ensure that District residents are getting a high return on their tax dollars.
I often talk about the envious state of the District’s finances and the work we’ve done to get to this position since the Control Board. The District has now passed 18 consecutive balanced budgets, our municipal employee pension plan is fully funded, and, as I reported in the last issue, our bond rating continues to improve. These outcomes are only possible because we’ve been responsible in our financial management and proactive in keeping the District economically competitive.
This is an initial plan, but one that lays out big goals for the OCFO and the District over the next several years and into the future. I encourage all District residents to review the Strategic Plan on the CFO’s website, www.cfo.dc.gov. The Finance and Revenue Committee will hold future oversight hearings to assess the progress of this plan and I look forward to providing you future updates on its effectiveness.