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Yesterday, the Post's Metro section brought you this story about the ongoing tension between Mayor Fenty and Council Chairman Vincent Gray over the mayor's budget. Gray and other council members have complained that the mayor has misled them over his spending request and failed to answer their questions, as a way to move quickly without proper checks and balances. The "kicker" to the story was that Fenty aides finally sent over the written explanations about the budget that Gray had demanded, but that the aides had used a computer program to translate the numbers from their Excel budget tables into short, simple sentences.

This might sound a bit far-fetched, but D.C. Wire got its hands on the coding formula, which we present herewith. Any computer whizzes out there have any thoughts on this?

=IF(input!C3=0,"",CONCATENATE("An Intra-Agency transfer of
",PROPER(input!C$1)," in ",PROPER(input!$B3)," resulted in a",
IF(input!C3>0,"n increase of "," decrease of "),
DOLLAR(ABS(input!C3),0)," in ",LOWER(input!C$2),"."))

By David A Nakamura  |  May 5, 2008; 12:08 PM ET
Categories:  Budget , David Nakamura  
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