Release: Comptroller Henry’s Transition Team Releases their Report
Tuesday Jan 19th, 2021
204 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Geoff Shannon, Public Relations Officer
Baltimore, MD - Today, the co-chairs of Comptroller Bill Henry’s Transition Team, Senator Mary Washington and Brad Rogers, released their transition report. The 24 page report lists a set of recommendations for the Office of the Comptroller.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to assist my friend, Bill Henry, in making a plan for his new office,” explained Senator Mary Washington (MD-43). “Radical transformation is a process, and this report is just the start.”
The Transition Team began their work back in September 2020. Over 50 meetings were held, and nearly four dozen expert witnesses were engaged.
“During the course of our research, we discovered the under-utilized power of the Comptroller’s Office,” said Brad Rogers, Executive Director of the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership. “There is so much potential within this office to build the accountable government Baltimore needs.”
The transition committee consisted of leaders from the private, nonprofit, and public sectors and was organized into six workgroups - three conceptual and one for each of the three departments under the Comptroller:
- Ethics & Transparency
- Modernization & Restructuring
- Procurement & Economic Opportunity
- Communication Services
- Real Estate
The report makes over 60 recommendations on how Comptroller Henry should run the office. Some highlights include:
- Digitize and modernize the Board of Estimates process. Implement online bidding & move to digital purchasing requests from city agencies.
- Dismantle bureaucratic barriers that disadvantage local, minority and women’s business enterprises and design a new way forward. Review all board of estimates items with an anti-racist lens.
- Prioritize Baltimore residents in all efforts to increase communication, transparency and accessibility of information. Hire an Accountability Ombudsman and Media Relations manager to increase communication between the office and the public.
- Increase focus on impactful performance audits. Reallocate resources from duplicative financial audits to focus on risk analysis.
- Lead an interagency collaborative effort to assess the city’s real estate assets. Work with agencies to establish real estate needs proactively.
- Evaluate Department of Communication Services operations. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the Municipal Post Office and the Municipal Telephone Exchange.
Following best practices from Controllers/Comptrollers across the country such as Philadelphia and LA, the report also recommends:
- Conducting a competitive process for external audit of the entire Comptroller’s Office
- Creating an open expenditure dashboard to track payments, like Checkbook LA or Checkbook NYC
- Increasing policy analysis of perspective city deals such as TIFs or property acquisition
“I’m thankful to the members of my Transition Team that produced such a thoughtful and concise plan. These recommendations reaffirm what I heard from countless residents while campaigning for office - government needs to regain the faith of the people it serves,” Comptroller Henry shared. “Armed with this plan, we're ready to make some significant and much-needed changes.”
The full transition plan is accessible on the Comptroller’s website. It will be updated as recommendations are implemented. Read more here: https://comptroller.baltimorecity.gov/transition-plan