Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

Change Highlights and Context

  • DCASE is listed in the Recovery Plan Exhibit as the parent department for three of the city’s Chicago Recovery Plan pandemic relief programs, detailed below. DCASE’s Recovery Plan programs were budgeted using American Rescue Plan investment funds. The 2023 budget does not include ARP funding for DCASE, meaning it is unclear which DCASE Recovery Plan programs were fully funded for their entire lifespan in the 2022 budget, which will continue to be funded in 2023 (and with what funding), and which will not continue in 2023.
  • DCASE spending on outside contracting and third-party delegation is up considerably across multiple appropriations accounts:
    • A new $18 million Delegate Agencies appropriation. The budget does not break out delegate agency funding by contract, vendor, or purpose, so it’s unclear from the budget proposal what new outside grant funding or other delegation of services the new appropriation is intended for.
    • A $1.8 million increase in the Professional and Technical Services (outside contracting) appropriation, up 21.8% from 2022 to a total of $9.9 million in 2023
    • A $1 million increase in the Matching and Supplemental Grants appropriation, up 151.7% from 2022 to a total of $1.7 million in 2023
  • DCASE also saw a substantial increase in its Implementation of Cultural Plan appropriation, up 388.3% from $2,575,000 in 2022 to $12,575,000 in 2023.

Office of Inspector General

The Office of the Inspector General has jurisdiction to conduct investigations, audits and reviews of most aspects of City government. It is one of a small number of departments with a guaranteed budget floor, and receive funding equal to or greater than 0.14% of the total annual appropriations (excluding payments to sister agencies and any pension payments above the 2014 level).

Change Highlights and Context

  • OIG saw the second-largest reduction in its departmental budget of any city department, a $1.9 million (13.1%) reduction from $15 million in 2022 to $13 million in 2023, but remains well over its statutory minimum funding.
  • Budget cuts were primarily driven by the elimination of facility maintenance and software purchases from the departmental budget, as well as substantial reductions in the lease/purchase of equipment, IT maintenance, and Professional and Technical Services (outside contracting) appropriations accounts.
  • Budgeted headcount is up 10 full-time positions, primarily investigator and analyst roles.

Chicago Department of Aviation

The Department of Aviation oversees O’Hare and Midway operations. It is a self-funded department, relying on revenues into the O’Hare and Midway funds from operators, concessionaires, etc. for all its non-grant-funded appropriations.

Change Highlights and Context

  • The bulk of CDA’s $132.8 million budget increase came from a 15% uptick in Professional and Technical Services (outside contracting), up $90.1 million from $599.7 million in 2022 to $689.8 million in 2023, and from a 30% uptick in rental equipment and services, up $23.1 million from $77.1 million in 2022 to $100.3 million in 2023.
  • Full-time headcount increased by 69 positions, including 15 positions with the new Customer Account Representative title.
  • The new budget adds six positions at the Director or Commissioner level, part of a citywide increase in upper management positions. Across all departments, taking into account the various assistant/deputy/managing title variants, the 2023 budget adds 45 new Director or Commissioner positions.

Geoffrey Cubbage is a policy and budget analyst focusing on the Illinois General Assembly and Chicago's City Council. Prior to joining the Better Government Association in 2022, Geoffrey served as Director...