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Annual Report Shows District’s Continued Positive Growth Under Bowser Administration

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey DeWitt released the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and announced that Washington, DC’s finances are in excellent shape with all indicators showing positive growth.

“Since coming into office, one of my Administration’s top priorities has been the implementation of sound fiscal policies,” said Mayor Bowser. “This report confirms that as we implement programs to expand opportunity and build safer, stronger neighborhoods in all eight wards, DC’s finances not only remain in good order, but continue to improve.”

This is the 20th consecutive year that Washington DC’s CAFR has received a Clean/Unqualified opinion from independent auditors, and the second consecutive year with no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies.

“All financial indicators show that the city’s financial position is the best in its history. We now have $1.165 billion in liquidity, which covers 56 days of the city’s operations, very near the optimal level for a city of our size and complexity. This allowed us, for the first time, to fund all cash flow needs without short term borrowing,” said DeWitt. “The outstanding results of the audit are a tribute to the commitment and hard work of the Mayor and Council, the OCFO staff and all District employees to sound fiscal policies and day-to-day operations.”

“DC residents should be comforted that the District has very healthy finances and strong financial management of programs and services that we all rely on. DC’s solid financial position is a testament to the work of DC’s elected officials and our Chief Financial Officer. This means the District is better suited than many cities to address major challenges, like affordable housing, and to prepare for federal budget cuts that seem likely to come,” said Executive Director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute Ed Lazere.

Among the CAFR findings are:

  • The city’s pensions continue to be fully funded and present no risk to the city’s fiscal health.
  • The District has set aside $387 million in emergency and contingency cash reserves and $778 million in fiscal stabilization and cash flow reserves for a total of $1.165 billion. This amount is sufficient to fund 56 days of government operations.
  • All of the District’s bond ratings remained strong.
  • Strong growth in all areas of the District’s revenues sources resulted in an increase of 5.6 percent from 2015 to 2016.
  • The unemployment rate fell from 7.2 percent in September 2015 to 6.1 percent in September 2016.
  • The audit indicated no Material Weaknesses or Significant Deficiencies (No Yellow Book).

“As mayor, I set out to strengthen DC's economy and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse from our government,” said former Mayor Anthony Williams. “Mayor Bowser has now taken that baton, running at full speed to get our fiscal house in order and deliver unprecedented results for the District and its residents.”

“Washington, DC has come a long way in the past twenty years - a clean audit with no material weaknesses or deficiencies for a second year is a testament to the continued commitment of effective and responsible governing by Mayor Bowser and her Administration. The city’s fiscal strength is a great indicator for its ability to govern itself,” said President and CEO of Venture Philanthropy Partners Carol Thompson Cole.

The CAFR is prepared by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO). The OCFO ensures that the CAFR is released each year on time and with a clean opinion from the city's independent auditors. A clean opinion indicates that the District's finances are in order, that its financial statements fairly present the city's financial position, and that the results of the city's fiscal year operations are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

The CAFR will be available on the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s website cfo.dc.gov.