D.C. Auditor Otis H. Troupe recommended yesterday that his office review all city contracts of more than $100,000 and suggested that the D.C. Council conduct quarterly reviews of the city budget to monitor how funds are spent.
Troupe, nominated by D.C. Council Chairman David A. Clarke, a Democrat, to a second six-year term as auditor, made the suggestions during a public hearing on his reappointment. Council members gave him mostly favorable reviews and are expected to confirm his appointment this year.
During the hearing, Troupe referred indirectly to the numerous federal investigations of the District government, saying his reappointment would be seen as a "form of stability . . . at a time when other areas of government are in some degree of transition."
Troupe, whose office does not routinely review all city contracts now, has published several critical audits of District agencies, including the city's lottery board, Bates Street housing development, the University of the District of Columbia and minority contracting.
Troupe has been "an island of honesty . . . in a sea of corruption," said Frank P. Bolden, a longtime civic activist who was among a half dozen witnesses who supported Troupe's renomination.
D.C. Council member John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2) praised Troupe's work but criticized him for contributing to local political campaigns and for publicly lobbying for increases in the auditor's budget. He said if Troupe was unhappy with resources provided by the council, "the avenue of resignation exists."
"I don't want you to do anything of a political nature," Wilson said, referring to Troupe's previous lobbying efforts.
Troupe said he will no longer contribute to local political campaigns -- a pledge he has made recently -- but he stopped short of disavowing any plans to lobby the council for improvements in his office. The auditor's office has an annual budget of $711,000 and 18 staff positions.
Clarke, who renominated Troupe after a three-member panel reviewed the functions of the auditor's office and Troupe's record, was critical of past efforts by Troupe to go to the Congress for improvements in his budget.
Troupe suggested more frequent hearings on how the city's $3.3 billion budget is managed, saying it would make officials more accountable.
Unlike other appointments to city government, the auditor is nominated by the council chairman and confirmed by council members without review by the mayor.
Council members pledging support for Troupe today included Wilhelmina J. Rolark (D-Ward 8), who also said she was speaking for H.R. Crawford (D-Ward 7); and Nadine P. Winter (D-Ward 6), Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4), Harry L. Thomas (D-Ward 5), Carol Schwartz (R-At Large) and Hilda H. Mason (Statehood-At Large).