- The Washington Times - Friday, October 25, 2013

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray has renewed a citywide freeze on hiring, pay raises and some travel to keep the city’s spending in line.

An executive order, published Friday, states the freeze is meant to “address potential spending pressures and to maintain a balanced budget in fiscal year 2014.”

Mr. Gray has ordered similar spending freezes every year since he took office in 2011. Former Mayor Adrian Fenty also ordered a hiring freeze in 2010.

“It’s always been part of the fiscal stability program to monitor how each agency spends,” said the mayor’s spokesman, Pedro Ribeiro.

This order bars new hiring, promotions, pay raises, bonuses, pay for travel outside a 50-mile radius from the District, and expenditures for conferences or training seminars. However, waivers can be requested for exemptions from the freeze and in the past have been frequently granted, Mr. Ribeiro said.

“If you want to do something, you have to justify it,” he said. “They have to ask permission before they do it. This way it gives us an opportunity on the front end.”

The District ended fiscal 2012 with a $417 million budget surplus and is predicted to have a surplus of approximately $600 million over the course of the next five years.

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