History of OCFO

Leading up to the City of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy, the City’s financial operations were broken, misaligned, and deficient. The City operated a decentralized financial management organization, with central finance and budget organizations that had limited authority over day-to-day departmental finances. The City struggled to produce timely and accurate financial information, was unable to manage its cash, operated antiquated financial technology, had a number of grants management issues including millions of dollars in questioned costs, and relied heavily on outside consultants.   

In December 2014, the City exited from bankruptcy with a restructured balance sheet and the groundwork for a restructured financial management organization. The State of Michigan passed Public Act 182 of 2014, which established a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for cities over 600,000 with the responsibility to supervise all financial and budget activities and coordinate the activities relating to budgets, financial plans, financial management, financial reporting, financial analysis, and compliance with the budget and financial plan. Additionally, the former Emergency Manager (EM) issued EM Order No. 41, requiring the CFO to create a centralized financial management operation called the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO), consolidate finance related functions, and oversee, control and direct all existing finance personnel within all City departments, divisions and agencies.

The City now operates a centralized financial management organization (the OCFO) that is led by the CFO and the CFO’s Office. It includes the following divisions:

  • CFO's Office
  • Office of the Assessor
  • Office of Budget
  • Office of the Controller
  • Office of Contracting and Procurement
  • Office of Departmental Financial Services
  • Office of Development and Grants
  • Office of Financial Planning and Analysis
  • Office of the Treasury