Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–309.13. Advisory Neighborhood Commissions — Funds; audit of accounts; employees; financial reports; publications.

(a) Each Commission shall receive an annual allocation pursuant to § 1-207.38 to be distributed quarterly during the fiscal year, except that if the District’s appropriations act for the fiscal year has not become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year, each Commission shall receive its first quarterly allocation for the fiscal year if and when a continuing resolution is adopted by the Congress of the United States.

(b)(1) Each Commission shall by resolution designate a commercial bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or any combination thereof, which is insured by the government of the United States pursuant to 12 U.S.C. § 1811 et seq. and which is located within the District of Columbia, as a depository of all funds received by the Commission.

(2) Each Commission shall request a District of Columbia Tax Identification Number and include the phrase “District of Columbia Government” in each account name within 90 days after June 27, 2000.

(3) Each Commission shall establish no more than one checking or negotiable order of withdrawal account. The Commission may deposit into any savings account created pursuant to this section funds not immediately needed for the operation of the Commission.

(b-1)(1) Each Commission may obtain one debit card associated with the Commission's checking account.

(2) Each Commission that obtains a debit card shall do so according to a procedure determined by the OANC that limits monthly debit card expenditures relative to the Commission's quarterly allotment.

(c) The treasurer of each Commission shall file with the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor (“Auditor”), within 30 days of assuming the office of treasurer or within 30 days of any change in the requested information, on a form provided by the Auditor, a statement that includes the treasurer’s name, home and business address and telephone number, the location of the books and records of the Commission and the name and location of any depository of the Commission’s funds, including account numbers. The treasurer and Chairperson shall file with the Auditor and maintain in force during their occupancy of their respective offices, a cash or surety bond in an amount and on a form satisfactory to the Auditor. Participation by a Commission in the Advisory Neighborhood Commission Security Fund established by § 1-309.14 shall satisfy the requirement of a cash or surety bond. The bylaws adopted by each Commission shall include a provision for filling in a timely manner a vacancy in the office of treasurer from among the remaining Commissioners. No expenditure shall be made by a Commission during a vacancy in the office of treasurer or at any time when a current and accurate statement and bond or its equivalent are not on file with the Auditor.

(c-1) The treasurer of each Commission shall maintain an up-to-date treasurer's report that shall be available for any Commissioner or member of the public to review at each regular public Commission meeting.

(d)(1) The Auditor shall audit the financial accounts of selected Commissions and maintain a database of financial information of each Commission for historical and expenditure trend analysis. The Auditor shall produce and submit to the Council a consolidated annual report of the financial activity of all the Commissions.

(2) The Auditor may audit the financial accounts of a Commission, at the discretion of the Auditor, upon the request by a member of the Council or a Commissioner of the Commission for which an audit is requested. The findings and recommendations of any audit shall be forwarded to the affected Commission, the Council, the Mayor, the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, the Office of the Inspector General, the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, and any other law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over alleged improper conduct.

(3) In a case in which an Auditor’s report details a violation of this part, the affected Commission shall, within 90 days, provide in writing to the Auditor, its response to each of the alleged infractions. If the audited Commission fails to respond within 90 days, its next scheduled quarterly allotments shall be forfeited until the response has been filed.

(e) Each Commission shall, by resolution, designate the location at which the Commission’s books and records shall be maintained which shall, if the Commission has a regular office, be the Commission office. The Auditor shall have access to the books and records of each Commission pursuant to § 1-204.55(c), and may issue subpoenas to banking and financial institutions requiring the production of financial documents and statements pursuant to an audit conducted under this part. Such financial documents shall include, but not be limited to, bank statements, canceled checks, and signature cards. The Auditor may apply to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for an order enforcing the subpoena. Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the Superior Court as civil contempt.

(f)(1) Any expenditure of funds by a Commission shall be recorded by the treasurer in the Commission’s books of accounts. No expenditure of any amount shall be made without the specific authorization of the Commission, except for reimbursements approved by the Commission treasurer under subsection (l-1) of this section. The depository in which the Commission maintains a checking account shall be immediately notified of any change in Commission officers.

(2)(A) An expenditure made by check shall:

(i) Be signed by at least 2 officers of the Commission, one of whom shall be the treasurer or Chairperson;

(ii) Be pre-numbered;

(iii) Be issued in consecutive order; and

(iv) Bear the name of the Commission and “District of Columbia Government” on its face.

(B) Before signature, the check shall contain:

(i) The date of payment;

(ii) The name of the payee;

(iii) The amount of the payment; and

(iv) A note describing the purpose of the payment.

(C) No check may be made payable to cash.

(2A)(A) An expenditure made by debit card shall be:

(i) Made in the name of the Commission;

(ii) Authorized by at least 2 officers of the Commission, one of whom shall be the Treasurer or Chairperson; and

[(iii)] Conducted according to a procedure determined by the OANC.

(B) The Treasurer shall retain written documentation of authorizations, which shall bear the signatures of the 2 officers who authorized the expenditure pursuant to subparagraph (A)(ii) of this paragraph.

(3) A Commission may provide reimbursement for an authorized purchase made with a personal credit card, debit card, or cashier’s check that is documented with a receipt, a copy of which shall be submitted to the Commission.

(g) Disbursements of Commission funds exceeding $50 for personal service expenditures shall be specifically approved by the Commission at a public meeting prior to the disbursement. The approval shall be recorded in the minutes of the Commission meeting. Any personal services payment shall name the person who is to receive the payments, the rate of compensation, and the maximum hours of service, if less than full-time compensation. If an expenditure is made without the required authorization of the Commission, the expenditure shall be deemed to be a personal expense of the Commissioner who authorized the payment, unless the Commission subsequently approves the expenditure within 90 days. If the Commission fails to approve the expense within 90 days, the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, upon notification by the OANC, shall institute any actions necessary to recover Commission funds.

(h) Each Commission may establish a petty cash fund not to exceed $200 at any one time in accordance with procedures established for imprest funds by the D.C. Controller. The fund shall be reimbursed by the treasurer upon presentation of appropriate supporting documents. The treasurer may disburse to another Commissioner or employee of the Commission an amount not in excess of $200 for authorized Commission expenditures through a Commission-established petty cash fund. A record of disbursements from the petty cash fund shall be kept by the treasurer in a manner consistent with other accounts of the Commission.

(i) A Commission shall maintain its accounts on a fiscal year basis beginning October 1 and ending the following September 30.

(j)(1) The treasurer of a Commission shall prepare a quarterly financial report on a form provided by the OANC. The financial report shall be presented to the Commission for its consideration at a Commission meeting within 45 days after the end of the quarter. A copy of the approved financial report, signed by the Chairperson, the secretary, and the treasurer, shall be filed, along with a record of the vote adopting the report, with the OANC within 15 days of approval. Each quarterly report shall include copies of canceled checks, bank statements, grant request letters and grant disbursements, invoices and receipts, executed contracts, details about all contributions received during the time period covered by the quarterly report, the minutes of all meetings indicating the Commission’s approval of disbursements during the time period covered by the quarterly report, and certification of the Commission’s approval of the quarterly report signed by the Commission’s Secretary. The Commission shall make available for on-site review to the OANC, upon the OANC’s request, originals of documents required to be submitted with quarterly financial reports pursuant to this section. A financial report shall be available for public inspection during the normal office hours of the Commission.

(2) No quarterly allotment shall be forwarded to a Commission until all reports of financial activity for the quarters preceding the immediate previous quarter are approved by the OANC. If a Commission fails to file 3 consecutive quarterly reports that meet the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection, it shall relinquish its checkbook and access to its debit card to the OANC, whose permission will be needed for any expenditure made by check or debit card until the Commission files the required financial reports. Upon receiving and approving all outstanding quarterly financial reports from the Commission, the OANC shall immediately return the checkbook and access to the debit card to the Commission. The Mayor, upon the request of the OANC, may issue official instructions to any pertinent banking institution to freeze accounts held by a Commission that has not complied with this paragraph.

(3)(A)(i) If a Commission has failed to timely file 2 or more quarterly reports approved by the OANC, the Commission shall forfeit the allotments associated with the most recent untimely quarterly report and shall forfeit additional allotments until the Commission files the required reports.

(ii) If a Commission had not received a quarterly allotment by the last day of the fiscal year because it failed to file a quarterly allotment approved by the OANC, the Commission shall forfeit the unclaimed allotment or allotments.

(iii) All funds forfeited pursuant to this paragraph shall be deposited in the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions Technical Support and Assistance Fund established in § 1-309.13a.

(B) Sub-subparagraph (i) of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall not apply to the failure to file quarterly reports covering periods prior to the 2020 fiscal year.

(k) Reserved.

(l)(1) A Commission shall expend funds received through the annual allocation received pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, or other donated funds, for public purposes within the Commission area or for the functioning of the Commission office, including staff salaries, Commissioner training, property liability insurance, legal expenses for Commission representation by an attorney licensed in the District before an agency, board, or commission of the District government, and nominal refreshments at Commission meetings. Nominal refreshments shall be limited to $100 worth of food and nonalcoholic beverages per regular public Commission meeting, and any refreshments purchased shall be available to the public. Expenditures may be in the form of grants by the Commission for public purposes within the Commission area pursuant to subsection (m) of this section. A public purpose shall be a purpose that benefits the community as a whole and is not done for the primary purpose of benefitting a private entity. A Commission may expend its funds for Commissioner training on subjects pertaining to their official duties when such training is not available from government sources. A Commission may expend its funds to purchase insurance or obtain indemnification against any loss in connection with the assets of the Commission or any liability in connection with the activities of the Commission, such insurance or indemnification to be purchased or obtained in such amounts and from such sources as the Commission deems to be appropriate. Funds may be used to pay the local transportation expenses of a Commissioner if the Commissioner is officially representing the Commission or a committee of the Commission at public hearings or meetings or is engaged in official Commission business. Where a Commissioner submits a complete and valid application for reimbursement for travel or childcare expenses under subsection (l-1) of this section, a Commission shall reimburse that Commissioner for all requested expenses for which the Commissioner qualifies under subsection (l-1) [of this section].

(2) No Commission may expend funds except as authorized under this part. Prohibited expenditures include those for any purpose that involves partisan political activity, legal expenses other than for Commission representation before an agency, board, or commission of the District government, or travel outside of the Washington metropolitan area.

(3) Commissions shall use staff payroll forms provided by the OANC.

(l-1)(1) A Commission shall expend funds to reimburse any Commissioner who submits a complete application for reimbursement from the Commission allotment for qualifying travel or childcare expenses incurred to carry out qualifying official duties of the Commissioner in accordance with this subsection; provided, that the maximum total reimbursement that any individual Commissioner may receive under this subsection in a single calendar year shall be $500.

(2) An application for reimbursement shall be completed using a form created by the OANC, which shall be available to individual Commissioners upon request, and which shall indicate any attachments required to demonstrate that the expense qualifies under this subsection. A Commission Treasurer shall not approve the release of Commission funds under this subsection except where the application for reimbursement meets all requirements under this subsection. To qualify for reimbursement under this subsection, a Commissioner shall submit an application within 30 days of incurring the relevant expense. Upon approving an application for reimbursement under this subsection, the Commission Treasurer shall electronically transmit the application to the OANC, which shall maintain electronic copies of all applications. The Commission Treasurer shall ensure that applications submitted under this subsection are included in quarterly financial reports of the Commission prepared pursuant to subsection (j) of this section.

(3) For the purposes of this subsection, the term:

(A) "Qualifying official duties" shall be limited to the following:

(i) Attending regular and special public meetings of the Commission on which the Commissioner sits;

(ii) Delivering official testimony on behalf of the Commission as a whole, or a committee of the Commission at an official proceeding of any agency, board, or commission within the District government that receives public testimony, or before the Council;

(iii) Attending meetings of a Commission committee on which the Commissioner sits;

(iv) Traveling to and from the offices of government entities in order to participate in meetings on behalf of the Commission; and

(v) Attending training provided under this part.

(B) "Qualifying travel or childcare expenses" shall be limited to the following, to the extent they are incurred to perform qualifying official duties under this subsection:

(i) Expenses for public transportation provided by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; and

(ii) Expenses charged to the Commissioner for childcare services that comply with all licensing requirements of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

(4) Notwithstanding this subsection, the OANC may approve Commission reimbursements to Commissioners for local transportation expenses, other than qualifying travel expenses, pursuant to subsection (l)(1) of this section.

(m)(1) A grant may not be awarded unless the grant is awarded pursuant to a vote of the Commission at a public meeting following the public presentation of the grant request. A Commission may approve grants only to organizations that are public in nature and benefit persons who reside or work within the Commission area. The services provided by the grantee organization must not be duplicative of any that are already performed by the District government.

(2) An applicant for a grant shall submit an application in writing to the Commission and to the OANC. The application shall be in the form of a template designed by the OANC, and shall contain:

(A) A description of the proposed project for which the grant is requested;

(B) A statement of expected public benefits;

(C) The total cost of the proposed project, including other sources of funding, if any; and

(D) An accounting by the grantees of the expected overhead costs the grantees will incur in carrying out the grant. No Commission shall provide a grant for which the grantee estimates that the overhead costs would exceed 15% of the entire grant amount.

(3) Within 60 days following the issuance of a grant, and every 90 days thereafter during the life of the grant, the grant recipient shall forward to the Commission and the OANC a statement as to the use of the funds consistent with the grant application, complete with receipts that support the expenditures. The OANC:

(A) May prohibit all Commissions from providing a grant to any past grant recipient that used grant funds contrary to the associated grant agreement; and

(B) Shall maintain a list, available to any Commissioner upon request, of prohibited grantees identified pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

(4) Grant disbursements shall be included in quarterly financial reports submitted to the OANC.

(n) The Mayor may, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, issue rules to implement the provisions of this section. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.

(o) A Commission may employ any person necessary to provide administrative support to the Commission. A Commission shall establish position descriptions for employees that shall, at a minimum, broadly identify the qualifications and duties of the employees. A Commission employee shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission. An employee of the Commission shall be considered an employee of the District of Columbia government for the purposes of subchapters XXI, XXII, and XXIII of Chapter 6 of Title 1. Except for out of pocket expenses approved by the Commission, Commissioners shall not be compensated for personal services rendered on behalf of the Commission.

(p) Any Commissioner within an individual Commission shall have equal access to the Commission office and its records in order to carry out Commission duties and responsibilities. Moreover, any person has a right to inspect, and at his or her discretion, to copy any public record of the Commission, except as otherwise expressly provided by § 2-534, in accordance with reasonable procedures that shall be issued by the Commission after notice and comment concerning the time and place of access.

(q) Upon the request of a Commission, evidenced by a properly adopted resolution signed or transmitted by the Chairperson and secretary, the Mayor shall provide that Commission with suitable office space in a District-owned or leased building. The Mayor shall acknowledge receipt of the resolution within 15 days and shall provide the Commission with a list of available office space within 45 days thereafter. The space shall be a minimum of 250 square feet and shall be the sole office of the Commission. The space shall be located within the Commission’s boundaries. If no such space is available, then the space shall be located within the ward boundaries of the Commission. If District-owned or leased office space cannot be provided, the Mayor shall assist the Commission in locating appropriate office space in the ward in which the Commission is located, and may seek to reprogram funds up to $600 per month to cover the rental of office space for the respective Commission. Furnishings, equipment, telephone service, and supplies for the office space shall be provided from the Commission’s funds. There shall be a written lease between the Mayor or District agency and the Commission, which shall specify what operating costs, such as utilities, janitorial services, and security, shall be paid by the Commission.

(r) Any document created by requirement of this part, and any equipment purchased by, or on behalf of, a Commission, is the property of the District, and not the property of any Commissioner or other individual.

(s) Commissioners shall attend at least one training session per year conducted by the OANC pursuant to § 1-309.15(c)(5).

(t) For the purposes of this section, the term "debit card" means a card issued by a bank allowing the cardholder to draw funds from a specific account, established at that bank, that does not allow for any funds to be borrowed from the issuing bank.