Norton Announces Reintroduction of Bill Giving D.C. Authority to Raise CFO Pay

Feb 18, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that she will reintroduce next week her bill giving the District of Columbia the authority to raise the pay of its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The District’s current CFO, Jeffrey DeWitt, announced his resignation yesterday. In 2013, Norton got a bill enacted into law that gave the District more authority to set the CFO’s pay, but a Republican-led House rejected giving D.C. full and complete authority over this matter.

“D.C. must have the ability to set the pay of all our local public officials, including the CFO, who are paid exclusively from locally raised funds,” Norton said. “My bill explicitly authorizing D.C. to set the pay of its CFO in accord with market rates is vital to recruiting and retaining top talent for this uniquely important position.”

Norton’s bill would give D.C. the authority to raise the CFO’s pay as it sees fit.  Norton’s 2013 law amended the Home Rule Act to change the CFO’s pay from a fixed rate of pay that was tied to a federal pay schedule to a maximum allowable pay, or ceiling, tied to a federal pay schedule.

Norton introduced the 2013 bill after a D.C. CFO search committee indicated that the fixed rate of pay was not high enough to attract the best talent for this complex and demanding job.

The responsibilities of the D.C. CFO, a position created by Congress, are unique in the United States. The CFO is extraordinarily powerful and independent. The District cannot obligate or expend funds without the CFO’s approval, and the CFO can be terminated only for cause. The District needs the authority to pay the rate demanded by the market and necessary to retain and attract the best CFO talent, especially since the District needs to compete with the private sector for highly qualified CFOs.