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CFO Gandhi to Create New Position: Chief Risk Officer

In the wake of the 122-page Wilmer Hale report released today that examines the Office of Tax and Revenue embezzlement scandal, D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi said he will adopt one of the key recommendations and create a new position on his staff for a "chief risk officer."

"I have directed that work begin immediately to create that position," Gandhi said in a statement.

So what does a risk officer do? This is how Wilmer Hale describes it in the report:

The OCFO should appoint a Chief Risk Officer with responsibility for assessing and mitigating strategic, reputational, operational, financial, information technology, and security risk. The officer should be accountable to the CFO and make regular reports to the Audit Committee and the IOC. He or she would be responsible for conducting regular risk assessments of the various OCFO agencies, providing input on the internal audit plans based on those assessments, and ensuring audit recommendations are implemented.
A Chief Risk Officer is needed because the OCFO's current risk assessment and control design functions are divided among the Controller, the Director of OIO, and the heads of the various OCFO divisions. As discussed in Section V.C.1.(e), the District's Office of Risk Management plays no role in monitoring risk for the OCFO. There is no single person in the OCFO whose sole responsibility is assessing risk across the organization and ensuring that the proper controls are in place. The Chief Risk Officer should be involved in assessing the risk of new or updated technology and ensuring that controls are adequate to prevent fraud and ensure that data are secure.

By David A Nakamura  |  December 15, 2008; 3:27 PM ET
Categories:  City Finances  
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It’s time we reconsidered the entire concept of an OCFO.

The organization was created during a time when, frankly, District government and District agencies needed policing—thank you Mayor Barry.

In the bad-old-days, setting up an OCFO watchdog to mind the store made good sense. However, things have changed. The city has been blessed by thoughtful Mayors and capable City Administrators, and while it’s still fashionable to poke fun at DC government, the fact is that District agencies have become more efficient, effective, and accountable.

The sad truth of the matter is that the OCFO hasn’t followed the trend.

Ghandi and crew are drunk with power--and fat paychecks--and the OTR scandal is just one symptom of the mess the city now has on its hands.

The quality of service that the OCFO provides to DC agencies and employees—administering payroll, cutting reimbursement checks—is simply atrocious. The organization looks and acts like an entity that is not obliged to answer to anyone. It is the very worst the DC government has to offer; plain and simple.

We need to wipe the slate clean and start all over again with an OCFO for the 21st century.

Posted by: IHeartDC | December 15, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Folks read this carefully. The District already HAS a Chief Risk Officer that is a cabinet level position reporting to the Mayor and is paid in excess of 100k/year.

The hitch is, she doesn't know anything about risk mitigation, innovative risk transfer strategies, dynamic portfolio management systems (bonds or stocks), loss data information management systems, or how to manage the operational risk exposures of the District (which includes property & fiscal theft). She doesn't even know what enterprise risk management is. This office is responsible for publishing a District Risk Map to the Mayor and the Council to draw a comprehensive picture of the Districts loss exposure and provide strategies on how to avoid them or mitigate the damages.

I invite you to read about the D.C. Office of Risk Management:|32979|

Read it, then ask yourself this, if we HAVE a Chief Risk Officer then why are we hiring another one? When someone refers to the District's Chief Risk Officer, who will they be speaking of? Which one? How can you have two chiefs of the same function?

Is this consistent with a government that is seeking to run more "efficiently"? Duplicating positions?

The citizens have every right to question the Mayor and the City Administrator on this.

The truth is, the current Chief Risk Officer is not competent in Risk Management. Instead of getting rid of this inefficient and ineffective agency head and acquiring one that would EARN their salary in a respectable manner, the Mayor is seeking to add more bloat to an already bloated District government leadership.

Pathetic. Just Pathetic.

It is your tax dollars, I guess if you don't care, nobody else should.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | December 16, 2008 6:23 AM | Report abuse

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