By law, the annual audit (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or CAFR) must be released by February 1 each year. The council holds a public oversight hearing to hear from the CFO about the audit, major and sometimes minor findings.
The hearing is open to the public but only government officials may testify. Members of the public may submit written statements to the COW; more information is in the hearing notice.
This hearing kicks off budget season. First this hearing, then individual agency oversight hearings focusing on FY 2016 budget and performance and FY 2017 performance to date, and finally hearings on the proposed FY 2018 budget. Everything after the February 2 hearing, save for the hearing on Mayor Bowser's proposed budget in mid- to late-March, will be open to the public to testify.