D.C. City Council member Douglas Moore (D-at large) called yesterday for an audit of the City Council's $2 million annual budget by the General Accounting Office.
Moore said at a press conference that he did not have evidence or "the slightest idea" whether the Council's funds have been misused or mismanaged.
But in a letter to Rep. William H. Natcher (D-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the District of Columbia, Moore asked Natcher to request that the GAO examine "the policies, practices and procedures" the Council uses to account for its annual expenditures.
Although at least one member of the Council suggested yesterday that Moore's motives for requesting the audit may be "political," Moore said he wanted the audit because of several questions left unanswered during a previous audit of the Council's books in 1975.
These questions, Moore said, involved management of Council grants, staff records and contracts for computer services paid for during 1975 and 1976.
Several Council members said they were puzzled yesterday why Moore, who was relieved of his Council budget committee chairmanship last year in a Council reorganization, raised the need for an audit in a letter to Natcher.
Natcher, who Council members described as having "life and death authority on line items in the (city) budget," has been called "the antithesis of total home rule for the District," by several Council members. These Council members said they were puzzled why Moore would be "desperate enough" to take his plea for an audit to Natcher.
Moore has already publicly announced he would support Mayor Walter E. Washington should the mayor run for re-election. Moore said he would oppose City Council Chairman Sterling Tucker or Councilman Marion Barry for the mayor's seat should they decide to run.
"Doug Moore must be affected by the heat," said Barry. "I don't know why he's doing this." Council member David A. Clarke, (D-one) said he considered Moore's claim "very immature politics that certainly ought to be handled inhouse."
"The only way to get answers is to ask for an audit," Moore said. "I've been trying for more than a year to get information (about the budget) from Bob Williams (Council secretary) and have not gotten anything."
"I want the (budget) books to be clean and clear of clouds over it," Moore said. "There should be no backing away from any of the questions and Tucker, who has stewardship over the council's budget, has got to be held accountable to the people."