Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter V. Fund Accounting.


§ 47–371. Findings.

The Council of the District of Columbia finds that:

(1) The diversity of governmental functions, activities, and programs requires that they be accounted for in several different funds and that the funds represent separate accounting entities;

(2) The number of funds should be kept to the minimum necessary for sound financial administration;

(3) The financial information and reporting needs can vary depending on the specific requirements of agency management, the Mayor, the Council, grantors, and the public;

(4) Change is increasingly a major factor in governmental accounting and reporting and the District must be capable of responding to these changes;

(5) Control and accountability over District resources is a primary function of all public officials and employees; and that the Mayor under § 1-204.48(a)(2) has the authority and responsibility for monitoring systems of accounting;

(6) The financial accounting of the District and the systems supporting this accounting must provide for timely, accurate, and full and complete financial disclosure;

(7) The fund structure and the financial systems and related accounting policies, practices, and procedures must provide information to demonstrate compliance with applicable laws and administrative regulations and enable the District to report its financial activities in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;

(8) Section 47-119(a) requires that for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 1979, that financial statements should be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;

(9) As an outgrowth of the study and activities of the Temporary Commission on Financial Oversight of the District of Columbia, a proposed fund structure for the District has been recommended that will provide a modern financial systems base for sound financial management of the District, and preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;

(10) The said system requires certain changes in the current fund structure of the District of Columbia; and

(11) The Council intends to adopt said fund structure and policies in order to respond to change and meet the information needs of the various users of financial information to assist the Mayor to design, implement and operate the financial systems and policies, procedures, practices and controls necessary for the sound financial management and administration of the District in a manner consistent with generally accepted accounting principles.


(June 14, 1980, D.C. Law 3-70, § 2, 27 DCR 1776; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-371.


§ 47–372. Definitions.

For purposes of this subchapter:

(1) The term “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

(2) The term “Council” means the Council of the District of Columbia.

(3) The term “fund” means a fiscal and accounting entity with a self-balancing set of accounts recording cash and other financial resources, together with all related liabilities and residual equities or balances, and changes therein, which are segregated for the purpose of carrying on specific activities or attaining certain objectives in accordance with special regulations, restrictions, or limitations.

(4) The term “fund type” means grouping or classification of funds of similar character or purpose.

(5) The term “fund category” means groupings or classifications of fund types of similar character or purpose.

(6) The term “account group” means a grouping of accounts as provided in § 47-373(3).

(7) The term “fixed asset” means capitalized, tangible, long-lived assets which are of significant value. General fixed assets are District fixed assets not recorded in a specific fund.

(8) The term “generally accepted accounting principles” (GAAP) means uniform minimum standards of or guidelines to financial accounting and reporting which are promulgated by recognized authoritative accounting organizations or entities, such as, but not limited to, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and predecessor organizations, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the National Council on Government Accounting (NCGA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Comptroller General of the United States.


(June 14, 1980, D.C. Law 3-70, § 3, 27 DCR 1776; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-372.


§ 47–373. Organization of fund structure.

Effective October 1, 1979, for purposes of accounting and financial reporting the District of Columbia shall utilize a fund structure organized into the following fund categories, fund types, and account groups:

(1) Fund categories. — All funds of the District of Columbia shall be classified and maintained by the Mayor into 1 of the following 3 categories:

(A) Governmental funds. — These funds shall be composed of accounts for the acquisition, use, and balance of the District’s expendable financial resources and the related current liabilities except those funds accounted for in proprietary funds. The governmental fund category shall include the following fund types:

(i) General;

(ii) Capital projects; and

(iii) Debt service;

(B) Proprietary funds. — These funds shall be composed of activities which are intended to be monitored in a manner similar to those found in the private sector. The assets, liabilities, equities, revenues, expenses, and transfers shall be separately accounted for in such fund and be maintained separately from the General Fund of the District of Columbia in accordance with the legal requirements applicable to such fund or in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles applicable to such funds. The following fund types shall be considered proprietary funds:

(i) Enterprise funds;

(ii) Municipal University Fund;

(iii) Internal services funds;

(iv) Hospital Fund;

(v) Material fund;

(vi) Antitrust fund; and

(vii) Tenant Assistance Program;

(C) Fiduciary funds. — These funds shall consist of assets held by the District of Columbia in a trustee capacity or as an agent for individuals, private organizations, other governmental units or for similar types of purposes. This category shall include the following fund types:

(i) Trust funds; and

(ii) Agency funds.

(2) Fund types. — The Mayor shall maintain 9 fund types within the fund categories established in paragraph (1) of this section as follows:

(A) General Fund to account for all financial resources except those required to be accounted for in another fund;

(B) Capital projects funds to account for financial resources used for the acquisition or construction of major capital facilities other than those financed by proprietary or fiduciary funds;

(C) Debt service funds to account for the accumulation of resources for, and the payment of, interest and principal on general long-term debt;

(D) Enterprise funds to account for operations that are financed and operated in a manner similar to private business enterprises; or where it has been determined that periodic determination of revenues earned, expenses incurred, and/or net income is appropriate for capital maintenance public policy, management control, accountability, or other purposes;

(E) Internal service funds to account for the financing of goods or services provided by the fund to other departments, agencies or funds of the District, or to other governmental units, on a cost-reimbursement or fee for services basis;

(F) Municipal University Fund to account for the functions and activities of the University of the District of Columbia and its constituent funds;

(G) Hospital Fund to account for the function and activities of the D.C. General Hospital;

(H) Trust funds to account for assets held by the District in a trustee capacity or as an agent for individuals, private organizations, other government units, and/or other funds of a similar nature;

(I) Agency funds to account for assets held by the District in a custodial capacity as an agent for individuals, private organizations, other government units, and/or funds of a similar nature; and

(J) Antitrust fund to account for the investigation, preparation, institution, and maintenance of antitrust actions by the District of Columbia government.

(3) Account groups. — The Mayor shall maintain 2 account groups, the general fixed asset group of accounts and the general long-term debt group of accounts, to establish account control and accountability for the District’s general fixed assets not accounted for in a specific fund and the unmatured principal of its general obligation long-term debt and any other non-current liabilities of the District not accounted for in a specific fund:

(A) The general fixed asset group of accounts shall be used to record the District’s capitalized general fixed assets which are not recorded in proprietary or fiduciary funds. Fixed assets related to specific proprietary funds or fiduciary funds will be accounted for through those funds; and

(B) The general long-term debt group of accounts shall be used to record the unmatured principal of general obligations long-term debt and any other non-current general long-term liabilities which are not recorded in another proprietary or fiduciary fund. Non-current liabilities of proprietary funds and fiduciary funds will be accounted for through those funds.


(June 14, 1980, D.C. Law 3-70, § 4, 27 DCR 1776; Aug. 22, 1980, D.C. Law 3-82, § 4, 27 DCR 2647; Mar. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 3-169, § 3(b), 27 DCR 5368; Oct. 2, 1987, D.C. Law 7-30, § 6, 34 DCR 5304; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-373.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1210.02, § 6-202, § 7-733, § 7-733.02, § 8-2131.07, § 29-102.13, § 37-103, § 42-1214, § 44-234, § 44-420.01, § 47-372, and § 47-2851.13.

Cross References

Driver education program, trust fund, see § 50-1405.01.

Eastern market enterprise fund, see § 37-103.

License law, establishment of basic business license fund, see § 47-2851.13.

Recorder of deeds, automation and infrastructure improvement fund, see § 42-1214.

Sale of public lands, expenses and proceeds of sale, board of education real property improvement and maintenance fund, see §

Editor's Notes

Restriction on moneys borrowed for capital projects: Section 120 of Pub. L. 101-168, the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1990, provided that the Mayor shall not expend any moneys borrowed for capital projects for the operating expenses of the District of Columbia government.


§ 47–374. Accepted accounting principles to be followed.

(a) Beginning October 1, 1979, the District will account for and report on, unless specifically noted in financial reports, its financial transactions in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

(b) The systems, procedures, and controls established by the Mayor shall permit the District to demonstrate and report on compliance with legal requirements and contractual agreements as well as generally accepted accounting principles.


(June 14, 1980, D.C. Law 3-70, § 5, 27 DCR 1776; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-374.


§ 47–375. Duties of Mayor.

(a) The Mayor shall be responsible for the future classification of any funds and accounts within the appropriate fund types and fund categories as set forth in this subchapter.

(b) Classification by the Mayor shall be consistent with generally accepted accounting principles.

(c) The Mayor shall furnish the Council notice of his or her classification at the time of the submission of the annual budget for the District of Columbia government as provided in § 1-204.42(a).

(d) The Mayor, pursuant to §§ 1-204.47, 1-204.48, and 1-204.49, shall be responsible for developing and implementing appropriate accounting policies and procedures to carry out the purposes of this subchapter, including all steps necessary to establish the systems and internal procedures and controls necessary to assure proper application of the policies and procedures and appropriate proceedings for monitoring such system.

(e) The financial statement submitted by the Mayor to the Council pursuant to § 1-204.48(a)(4) shall identify any changes in accounting principles and policies followed by the District, the reasons therefore, and the practical effect of the changes.

(f) To the maximum extent possible, common terminology and classifications will be used in the budgeting, accounting and reporting process.

(g) The Mayor is authorized to establish for accounting and financial reporting purposes a Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

(h) The enumeration contained in this section shall not be construed so as to limit the Mayor’s authority with respect to classification and establishment of appropriate accounting procedures for other funds or accounts not specifically referenced.

(i) Nothing contained in the Revenue Funds Availability Act of 1975 shall prevent the Mayor from accounting for revenues and expenditures in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.


(June 14, 1980, D.C. Law 3-70, §§ 6, 7(h)-(j), 27 DCR 1776; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-375.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 31-2408.01, § 34-2202.07, and § 34-2407.02.

Cross References

Insurance, uninsured motorist fund, see § 31-2408.01.

Water and sewer enterprise fund, establishment, see § 34-2202.07.

Water supply, sale of property in satisfaction of unpaid service charges, water and sewer enterprise fund, see § 34-2407.02.

References in Text

The Revenue Funds Availability Act of 1975, referred to in subsection (i) of this section, is D.C. Law 1-42.


§ 47–376. Construction of subchapter.

(a) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed as impinging upon or otherwise superseding the authority otherwise vested by law in independent agencies or instrumentalities of the District of Columbia.

(b) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to prohibit the Mayor from establishing accounts within funds, to the same extent that he or she was authorized prior to the passage of this subchapter.

(c) The Mayor shall promptly advise the Council on any changes in the financial management system required pursuant to § 2 of an Act to provide for an independent audit of the financial condition of the government of the District of Columbia.


(June 14, 1980, D.C. Law 3-70, § 8, 27 DCR 1776; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-376.

References in Text

The Act referred to in subsection (c) of this section is 90 Stat. 1205, Pub. L. 94-399, approved September 4, 1976, which established the Temporary Commission on Financial Oversight of the District of Columbia.


§ 47–377. Financial obligations of District.

The Mayor is authorized to establish such systems as may be required for the accounting and certification of financial obligations of the District of Columbia government and may, through delegations and designations of District government officials and agencies (identified by name in the District of Columbia Register prior to such delegation or designation), provide for the decentralized audit and approval before payment of bills, invoices, payrolls, and other evidence of claims, demands, or charges against the District of Columbia government.


(June 14, 1980, D.C. Law 3-70, § 9, 27 DCR 1776; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-377.