District of Columbia:
Oversight in the Post-Control Board Period
GAO-01-845T, Jun 8, 2001
Although the District of Columbia, the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority, and Congress have achieved an enormous accomplishment in restoring the District to financial viability, many of the challenges the District faced in the past continue. The District and Congress need current, reliable information about the District's financial condition and developing trends in order to promptly respond to any pressures or warning signs that could indicate that future difficulties lie ahead. Toward that end, the District must ensure that its new financial management system is effectively implemented and provides decision makers with reliable and timely data. In addition, since 1995, Congress has put in place a number of reporting requirements to help provide the financial, planning, and performance information that it needs to conduct effective oversight and make decisions. Congress may wish to consider additional mechanisms to ensure that it and the District have the information needed to help the District maintain its financial viability and address its current and emerging challenges. Such mechanisms must be considered and implemented within a context that seeks to balance two sets of values: the overriding importance of Home Rule and respect for the District's democratic institutions and Congress' oversight and decision making responsibilities for the nation's capital.