In 1995, President Clinton signed the law creating a presidentially appointed District of Columbia Financial Control Board. The Control Board (officially the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority) was a five-member body established by the United States Congress to oversee the finances of the District. Created through the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995, approved April 17, 1995 (Public Law 104-8, 109 Stat. 142), the Control Board had the power to override decisions by Mayor and the Council of the District of Columbia.
The same legislation that created the Control Board also created the position of Chief Financial Officer, which had direct control over day-to-day financial operations of each District agency, and independence from the Mayor's office. In this regard, the CFO is nominated by the Mayor and approved by the DC Council, after which the nomination is transmitted to the U.S. Congress for a thirty-day review period.
In 2006, Congress passed into law the 2005 District of Columbia Omnibus Authorization Act (Omnibus Act), approved October 16, 2005 (Public Law 109-356, 120 Stat. 2019). The Omnibus Act transferred additional functions and personnel to the OCFO, such as the District of Columbia Lottery. The Omnibus Act also reasserted the independence and authority of the OCFO after the Control Board had become a dormant administrative agency on September 30, 2001, following four consecutive years of balanced budgets and clean audits.
Dr. Fitzroy Lee was appointed by the Mayor to serve as Interim Chief Financial Officer effective March 10, 2021 and is responsible for the city’s finances, including its approximately $10 billion in annual operating and capital funds. He replaces Jeffrey S. DeWitt, who served from January 2, 2014 to March 9, 2021.
The CFO manages the District’s financial operations, which includes some 1,700-plus staff members in tax and revenue administration; the treasury, comptroller and budget offices; economic/fiscal analysis and revenue estimation functions; agency financial operations; and the DC Lottery. He works closely with congressional committees that oversee District affairs, as well as U.S. Office of Management and Budget staff. He also interacts regularly with the Wall Street financial community, including rating agencies, regarding the District’s financial matters.