Management and Budget

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM M-F

703-324-2391
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway Suite 561
Fairfax, VA 22035-0074

Christina Jackson,
Director

FY 2014 Budget Process Questions and Answers

The information below is provided in response to questions by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors during the FY 2014 budget development process.  Questions are researched by staff and packages of responses are posted regularly so check back for additional information.

 

Responses to BOS Questions – Package 1 (2/26/2013)

Number

County-Related Questions

Number

School-Related Questions

0

FY 2014 Reductions Not Taken

 

 

1

Provide a multi-year history of the local funds contributed by Fairfax County in support of the Community Services Board and compare to the local funds contributed in other Virginia localities.

 

 

2

Provide a summary of the Fairfax County Unified System (FOCUS) project funding and identify which phases are complete and which are remaining.

 

 

3

Provide additional information on what is driving the cost escalation in replacing large apparatus in the Fire and Rescue Department.  Please include the average lifespan of different apparatus types.

 

 

4

What is the plan for utilizing the Wolf Trap Fire Station site until it is opened?  Please provide the specific timeframe for opening the facility and how it will be funded.

 

 

5

Review reserves and verify that the annual contributions are necessary and are funded at the proper levels.

 

 

6

Please provide a link to the community feedback received in preparation of the FY 2014 Advertised Budget Plan.

 

 

7

Provide a summary of all tax and fee increases include in the FY 2014 Advertised Budget Plan.  Breakout the residential equalization changes more discretely.

 

 

8

Identify the tax increases included in the transportation bill passed by the General Assembly. Identify the impact of these increased taxes on the “average” resident and business.

 

 

 

Responses to BOS Questions – Package 2 (3/18/2013)

 

Number

County-Related Questions

Number

School-Related Questions

9

What is the long term impact on the tax base of rezoning that have changed zoning from commercial to residential?

14

Provide comparative data on full compensation for FCPS employees.

10

Provide a detailed explanation of the plan to replace the shirts used by the Fire and Rescue Department including the timing, ongoing costs and projected savings associated with the plan.

 

 

11

Provide the list of County Funded Programs for School-Related Services and note if any of the programs the County offers in support of Schools have been reduced in the FY 2014 Advertised Budget Plan.

 

 

12

Provide summary information on bond sale flexibility for both County and FCPS.

 

 

13

Provide comparative information for other AAA jurisdictions relative to the County’s debt ratios.

 

 

 

Responses to BOS Questions – Package 3 (4/10/2013)

 

Number

County-Related Questions

Number

School-Related Questions

17

Provide a breakdown of school-based positions, including how many are in-class teachers, how many are counselors etc. How are these figures used to determine reported class size metrics?

15

In the FCPS budget, provide a summary of the one-time balances used in development of the FY 2013 and FY 2014 budgets.  Also provide a summary of the amount unspent at year end that was carried forward for use in FY 2013 and FY 2014 budget development.  Identify spending by quarter with emphasis on comparing the fourth quarter spending level to that seen in the first three quarters for the last five years.

18

Provide a breakdown of school-based positions, including how many are in-class teachers, how many are counselors etc. How are these figures used to determine reported class size metrics?

16

Provide a breakdown of school-based positions, including how many are in-class teachers, how many are counselors etc. How are these figures used to determine reported class size metrics?

19

Provide a breakdown of school-based positions, including how many are in-class teachers, how many are counselors etc. How are these figures used to determine reported class size metrics?

37b

Please provide a list of all publications produced by the County, FCPS, FCPA, and RHA that are mailed to more than 5,000 recipients.  Please include the total costs of these publications, the number of recipients, and the frequency of the mailing.

20

For the periods 2000-2008 and 2008-2014, how much of the annual County spending increases were Schools versus County and for the County increases how much were compensation-related (raises, rising costs for medical insurance, retirement, etc.) as opposed to other costs (additional employees, higher utility costs, etc.)?  In addition, for the same periods, how much of the increases were for Public Safety, Health and Welfare, and Schools?

38

Please provide a five-year analysis of all FCPS end of year balances that were transferred back to the Board of Supervisors.

21

Are there ways to reduce the billing charge set by the Water Authority?  With technology etc. are there more efficient ways this could be handled?

39

What is the spend-down rate on FCPS bonds over the last five years?  Are bond proceeds being spent yearly? 

22

Please provide follow up information to the proposed $2 million expenditure proposed in FY 2012 to upgrade social media security for county IT infrastructure.

 

 

23

Please provide a 3 year analysis of adopted versus actual personnel costs per agency.

 

 

24

Provide a comparison of the last three years adopted and revised budgets by funding categories: personnel, operating, capital and recovered costs.

 

 

25

Provide additional detail on the Human Services Council request for employment services funding that support the housing blueprint.

 

 

26

If Virginia participates in an expansion of Medicaid funding what would the impact be on the County’s budget?

 

 

27

Were any of the positions which were converted to non-uniformed in the last 5 years converted back to uniformed?

 

 

28

Please provide a list of all positions that have been vacant for more than 3 months, which are not managed vacancies.  Please include the position function, the salary, the agency, and the length of time for which the position has been vacant.

 

 

29

Please provide the current inventory of seized vehicles that are able to be disposed.

 

 

30

Please provide an itemized list of all costs associated with all mail room functions to include processing of incoming and outgoing metered mail and inter-departmental mail, as well as delivering any mail within the same building or other buildings that may require a vehicle.

 

 

31

When is the last time we performed an audit to determine the eligibility of beneficiaries on out health insurance plans?

 

 

32

What is the estimated first full year cost of the "Cadillac Tax" based on current health care plans?

 

 

33

What is the annual surplus from the Wedgewood property?

 

 

34

What is the source of the $5 million available for the housing blue print?

 

 

35

Why were the Computer Learning Center (CLC) sites at Annandale Terrace Elementary, Hybla Valley Elementary, and Mount Vernon Woods Elementary selected for closure over the other nine sites.  What is the anticipated impact on the students who currently attend these sites?

 

 

36

Please provide a list of all positions whose functions are primarily associated with external communications, internal communications, emergency communications, public information management, public affairs, external relations, internal relations, web content management, social media management, any communication policy development, and serving in any capacity as a point of contact for any media.  The data should include salaries, title, agency, and scope of responsibility.

 

 

37a

Please provide a list of all publications produced by the County, FCPS, FCPA, and RHA that are mailed to more than 5,000 recipients.  Please include the total costs of these publications, the number of recipients, and the frequency of the mailing.

 

 

40

Please provide a summary of the positions which were vacated by employees assigned to the FOCUS implementation project.  Please indicate which of the vacated positions were filled with a person, or persons, other than the one who vacated the position because of their transfer to FOCUS, and the date filled.

 

 

41

Please provide a list of personnel which were removed from their standard duty assignment, and transferred to the FOCUS implementation project.  The data should include: 1) the employee's title when assigned to FOCUS; 2) the agency from which the employee was transferred; 3) the employee's salary when transferred to FOCUS; 4) the period of time the employee was assigned to FOCUS; 5) the employee's salary when transferred from FOCUS; 6) the agency to which the employee was transferred immediately following their assignment with FOCUS; 7) the employee's title immediately following their assignment to FOCUS; 8) the employee's salary immediately following their assignment to FOCUS.

 

 

42

Provide an initial high-level summary of the potential fiscal impacts of the Report of the Bi-Partisan Election Improvement Commission

 

 

43

Please list the annual revenue for each of the affordable housing programs in the County for 2011 and 2012.  Please identify each housing program, its revenue, its operating cost, and its current debt.

 

 

 

Responses to BOS Questions – Package 4 (4/11/2013)

 

Number

County-Related Questions

Number

School-Related Questions

44

Provide information over the last three years on the size and cost of the Health Department budget.  Please identify state funding provided to support the Health Department.

 

 

45

Please provide a count of all merit personnel that have been laid off in the last 7 years.  Include the salary and agency.

 

 

46

When grant funding expires, what happens to the associated grant positions?

 

 

47

Please provide a list of professional membership fees currently paid by the County.

 

 

48

During the FY 2009 Third Quarter Review, the County Executive identified over $12 million to be transferred to the General Fund from various capital projects.  Many of those projects were completed, deferred, or deemed no longer necessary. Has the County Executive conducted a similar review of capital projects for the FY 2014 budget cycle and what were the results? Could the County Executive conduct a review of capital projects to identify specific projects that are completed, deferred, or no longer necessary, with the goal of transferring those financial resources back to the General Fund?

 

 

49

With regards to the establishment of a Connector bus replacement reserve, can the increase of $5.7 million to the County Transit Fund (Fund 40000) be deferred or reduced and can this funding be used by the General Fund?

 

 

50

Fund 60020, Document Services, receives a General Fund transfer of approximately $2.4 million annually.  Can balance be utilized so that the FY 2014 General Fund transfer to the Document Services Fund can be reduced by $1.0 million?

 

 

51

Fund 60010, Department of Vehicle Services, has returned $9,750,000 to the General Fund since FY 2009.  In FY 2014, can Fund 60010 transfer $2 million back to the General Fund?

 

 

52

With regards to IT projects with no expenditures to date, what are the planned timelines and total project costs for the Tax Modernization Project and could the $800,000 included in the FY 2014 Advertised Budget for this project be deferred?  In addition, what are the planned timelines and total project costs for the Police In-Car Video project? Can a portion of the funding allocated for this project be returned to the General Fund?

 

 

53

Please recirculate information previously provided on housing choice vouchers.

 

 

54

Please provide additional information on the proposed courtroom-related reductions in the Office of the Sheriff.

 

 

 

Responses to BOS Questions – Package 5 (4/16/2013)

 

Number

County-Related Questions

Number

School-Related Questions

55

How many staff are in the Office of Public Private Partnerships and what is its FY 2014 budget?  What are the duties and responsibilities of the Office?

57

*    When considering their CIP requirements, what consideration has FCPS given to integrating transportation requirements in this analysis?  What options are FCPS considering to reduce the costs of school renovations?

56

What would the cost be of decreasing the police retirement contribution by 1 percent over the next three fiscal years and what would be the cost of increasing the multiplier?

58

The response to FCPS Budget Question #25, states, in part, the "Automatic Carryover" reserve "has been especially helpful during the economic downturn."  However, the balance of that reserve has increased from $5.9 million in FY 2008 to $26.4 million in FY 2012.

o Specifically, what projects or expenses is the reserve held for?

o Specifically, if not allocated in the FCPS budget, who decides when and how this reserve will be spent?

o In a recent budget Q and A, FCPS estimated that the one-time capital facilities cost required to expand the Family and Early Childhood Education program to fully utilize the state match and eliminate the waiting list is $5,670,000 under the first scenario that would construct new space.

o Rather than growing this reserve, could a portion be utilized to fund the one-time capital costs associated with expansion of the early education initiative?

 

 

59

Employee VRS Contribution:

o How much money would be saved in FY 2014 if an additional 1 percent rather than 3 percent of the VRS contribution is shifted to employees?

o What are the costs and benefits of completing the shift in FY 2014?

o What are the costs and benefits of making the shift incrementally over the next three years?

 

 

60

For FY 2012, the total of reserves and carryover amounts for the FCPS School Operating Budget exceeded $260 million.

o Could any portion of the FCPS reserves and other carryover funds be included in its FY 2014 proposed budget for the beginning balance of the School Operating Fund?

§ If so, please describe and identify the amount that can be added to the Beginning Balance.

§ If not, please explain in detail why none of the reserves and carryover amounts are unavailable to include in the Beginning Balance.

 

 

61

Please provide a report on the priority schools initiative, including how the FY 2014 budget impacts this program and what criteria were used when the program was established.

 

 

62

*       The Annual Report of Expenditures that FCPS submits to the State each year shows that 67.61% of FCPS' expenditures in FY 2012 were for "Instruction."  During the budget process, FCPS typically maintains that about 93% of its costs are "school based."

o Specifically, what "school based" costs are not included in the "instruction" costs reported to the sate?

o Are any "Instruction" costs reported to the state not considered "school based"?

§ If so, describe those expenditures.

 

 

63

A comparison of the School Operating Fund Expenditures - Budget to Actual shows that FCPS may over-budget for expenditures by an average of over 6%, or more than $140 million each in FY 2011 and FY 2012.  The most significant over-budgeting appears to be for Facilities Management (20.19% in FY 2011 and 13.09% in FY 2012) and "Administration and Support" (17.51% in FY 2012).

o Could any reduction in the FCPS budgeted expenditures be made in the FY 2014 budget?

§ If so, please describe and identify the amount of the reductions.

§ If not, please explain in detail why no reductions in the budgeted expenditures can be made.

 

 

64

*    Provide a chart showing FCPS proffer contributions, including what has been received, in what location, and where it was spent.

 

 

65

*    Please provide updated information regarding FCPS students preparation for college level courses, including the Pathways to Baccalaureate Program.

 

Responses to BOS Questions – Package 6 (4/17/2013)

 

Number

County-Related Questions

Number

School-Related Questions

66

What is the history of the difference in retirement contributions between the police and the other public safety agencies and what are the reasons for the different rates that the County’s public safety agencies pay into their retirement systems?

68

What are the costs and benefits of maintaining, reducing or eliminating the following:

o Administrative Intern Program ($1 million)

o “Locally funded” portion of the video production group ($3.8 million)

o eCART.

o Extended teacher contracts ($3.5 million)

o Consulting and other expenses for professional training, facilitators, and speakers (over $10 million).

67

Provide additional information on non-monetary related CCAR issues raised by the Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA) testimony. 

69

The Annual Report of Expenditures also shows that between FY 2009 and FY 2012, FCPS expended between $130 million and $144 million per year for “Technology” (approximately $800 per year per student.)

o Specifically describe the expenditures that are included as “Technology” expenditures, describe the benefits derived from those expenditures, and describe what FCPS is doing to control Technology costs.

 

 

70

For years 2011 through 2014, what is the assumed attrition rate used by FCPS?  For each of the fiscal years, what is the total savings realized under the assumed attrition rate (estimated and actual)?  How are these savings reflected in the FCPS budget documents?  For years 2011 and 2012, what was the actual attrition rate and savings?

 

 

71

For FY 2014 through 2011, provide counts of ESOL students, division-wide, by grade and by ESOL level (1, 2, 3, and 4).  Also include data for each of the years on the length of time students are in the ESOL program.

 

 

72

What is the cost to access the state partial compensation match if you didn’t do the one percent VRS shift, but provided a pay increase to VRS employees midyear.

 

 

73

Provide a comparison between the late 1990’s and today as it pertains to trailer usage.  Please include the number of trailers, where they are located, what are the number of students attending class in the trailers, and why a significant number of trailers are still required.

 

 

74

Please provide a 10 year analysis of total costs and personnel counts for the following FCPS departments: Professional Learning and Accountability, Special Services, Instructional Services, IT, HR, Finance, Facilities and Transportation, Communications and Community Outreach, Division Counsel, and all direct reports to the Superintendent.  Note: Include all personnel that may be "school-based" but are reporting to and/or paid through one of these departments.

 

 

75

Please provide a list of estimated versus actual costs associated with each FCPS capital project completed in the last 4 years

 

 

Fairfax Virtual Assistant