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District Closes Fy 1998 With Massive $445 Million Surplus; Auditors Bless Financial Statements As 'Clean'

Monday, February 8, 1999

WASHINGTON, DC - Joined by Mayor Anthony A. Williams and the Council of the District of Columbia, Interim Chief Financial Officer Earl C. Cabbell today released the city's Fiscal Year 1998 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The financial statements-which received an unqualified or 'clean' opinion from the auditors-indicate the District ended Fiscal Year 1998 with an operating surplus of $445 million.

"The FY 1998 surplus more than eliminates the District's accumulated deficit and leaves more than $100 million to invest in our future," said Mayor Anthony A. Williams. "In addition, the city has received its second consecutive unqualified opinion on its financial statements, demonstrating that sound financial management has been restored to a city that was insolvent four short years ago."

When he was appointed Interim CFO in June of 1998, Mr. Cabbell said that his number one priority would be to ensure that the District received an unqualified opinion from the auditors to prove last year's clean opinion "wasn't a fluke." The District was saddled with qualifications in the FY 1996 and FY 1995 reports.

"I would like to thank the hundreds of financial staff for their dedication and commitment to making the unqualified opinion a reality," said Mr. Cabbell. "I would especially like to thank Interim Deputy CFO for Financial Operations and Systems Anthony F. Pompa and his staff for their tireless work over the last year. As Mr. Pompa's predecessor in that office, I know too well the exhaustive effort required to secure a clean opinion. We will continue to develop sustainable financial management policies and procedures to ensure that one day, obtaining a clean opinion is something that we can again take for granted."

The independent audit was conducted by Mitchell & Titus, LLP, in association with Bert Smith & Co. and Williams, Adley & Company, LLP.