CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a group of City Council members last week advanced plans for the new City Council Office of Financial Analysis.

The group announced agreement on details of the new office which will provide the council with independent analysis. Funds to establish the office were included in Emanuel's proposed 2014 budget proposal.

"This office will benefit the entire City Council in finding innovative and fiscally sound solutions to the issues that Chicago faces," said council member Pat Dowell.

"At a time when the City faces significant deficits, the proposed Office of Financial Analysis adds another layer of review and taxpayer protection without creating a further financial burden on the city budget," said council members Ameya Pawar.

"As a former congressman who relied heavily on the Congressional Budget Office, I know that that the analysis provided by this office will be essential as City Council considers the financial challenges and opportunities we face as a city," Emanuel said.

The new office would be tasked with providing the council with analysis of the city budget, proposed public-private partnerships, city audits, rating agency actions, and major policy proposals that come before the council. The office will employ 6 staffers with an annual budget of about $500,000 annually.

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