CHAIRMAN PHIL MENDELSON ANNOUNCES A PUBLIC HEARING
Bill 21-441, District Government Certificate of Good Standing Filing Requirement Amendment Act of 2015
Bill 21-581, Council Independent Authority Clarification Amendment Act of 2016
Council Chairman Phil Mendelson announces a public hearing before the Committee of the Whole on Bill 21-441, the “District Government Certificate of Good Standing Filing Requirement Amendment Act of 2015” and Bill 21-581, the “Council Independent Authority Clarification Amendment Act of 2016.” The hearing will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 21, 2016 in Hearing Room 123 of the John A. Wilson Building. This notice has been revised to add Bill 21-581.
The stated purpose of Bill 21-441 is to allow the District’s Department of Human Resources (DCHR) to collect certificates of good standing from attorneys, administrative law judges (ALJs), and hearing officers. Various District attorneys, hearing officers, and ALJs must file a certificate verifying that they are in good standing with the DC Bar if their employment requires that they be barred in the District. Currently, the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability collects the certificates, but DCHR has enforcement and regulatory authority. Thus, an unbalanced bifurcated system exists, creating confusion and duplicity. To rectify this issue, Bill 21-441 returns collection authority to DCHR. Additionally, Bill 21-441 provides for an online verification process to make the process easier for all involved.
The stated purpose of Bill 21-581 is to clarify that the Council of the District of Columbia is not an independent agency but rather a separate branch of the government. Currently, the Council is considered an independent agency in the Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978 (CMPA). Bill 21-581 does not remove the Council from any obligations or requirements under the CMPA. It simply indicates that the where the term independent agency has been used to refer to the Council, the language is changed to “independent agencies and/or the Council of the District of Columbia.”
Those who wish to testify are asked to telephone the Committee of the Whole, at (202) 724-8196, or email Christina Setlow, Deputy Committee Director at firstname.lastname@example.org, and provide their name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any) by close of business Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Persons wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to submit 15 copies of written testimony. If submitted by the close of business on April 19, 2016 the testimony will be distributed to Councilmembers before the hearing. Witnesses should limit their testimony to five minutes; less time will be allowed if there are a large number of witnesses. Copies of Bills 21-441 and 21-581 can be obtained on http://lims.dccouncil.us, or through the Legislative Services Division (Room 10) of the Secretary of the Council’s office.
If you are unable to testify at the hearing, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. Written statements should be submitted to the Committee of the Whole, Council of the District of Columbia, Suite 410 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004. The record will close at 5:00 p.m. on May 5, 2016.