Duties Of The Comptroller

Comptroller Scott M. Stringer is New York City’s Chief Financial Officer. An independently elected official, he safeguards the City’s fiscal health, roots out waste, fraud and abuse in local government, and ensures that municipal agencies serve the needs of all New Yorkers.

The Comptroller’s responsibilities include:

  • Conducting performance and financial audits of all City agencies;
  • Serving as a fiduciary to the City’s five public pension funds totaling nearly $160 billion in assets;
  • Providing comprehensive oversight of the City’s budget and fiscal condition;
  • Reviewing City contracts for integrity, accountability and fiscal compliance;
  • Resolving claims both on behalf of and against the City;
  • Ensuring transparency and accountability in setting prevailing wage and vigorously enforcing prevailing wage and living wage laws; and
  • Promoting policies that enhance City government’s commitment to efficiency, integrity and performance for all New Yorkers.

The Comptroller leads a staff of about 800 employees—including accountants, attorneys, economists, engineers, IT professionals, budget, financial and investment analysts, claim specialists and researchers, and administrative support staff. His office works collaboratively to boost communities across New York City, through its many critical functions:

Auditing for Performance and Efficiency

As the City’s Chief Auditor, the Comptroller is required to audit every City agency at least once every four years. The Comptroller’s audits examine the operations of all City agencies and evaluate initiatives to preserve and develop affordable housing, deliver quality public education, ensure access to public benefits, provide preventative homeless services and protect the rights of individuals and communities.

Ensuring Integrity and Preventing Abuses in City Contracting

The Comptroller’s Office reviews all City contracts and is committed to upholding the highest standards of accountability, transparency and strict fiscal compliance. Each contract is closely examined to make sure the City has enough money to pay its bills and that corruption has not tainted the award process or the vendor.

Responsible Asset Management to Protect Retirement Security

The Comptroller is the investment advisor to and custodian of assets of the City’s five public pension funds, which provide retirement security for more than 700,000 current and former City employees. He is also a trustee to four of the five City Pension Funds. The City’s pension assets are invested to generate strong and consistent returns, while managing risk and volatility in their investment portfolios. The Comptroller’s Office also reviews the City’s payment of fees to outside investment managers to ensure the pension funds’ long-term sustainability. In order to improve the long-term financial performance of public corporations in which the City’s Pension Funds invest, the Comptroller’s Office also addresses corporate governance policies and practices.

Resolution of Claims against the City and Managing Risks

The Comptroller may settle claims against or on behalf of the City before a lawsuit is filed in court, and he has final settlement authority at any stage of litigation, where there is a monetary component to the settlement terms. In connection with this authority and his role as the City’s chief fiscal watchdog, his office closely analyzes claims data to identify areas of recurring problems and propose reforms to City government policies and practices that create liability.

Promoting Fiscal Health and a Sound City Budget

As the City’s Chief Financial Officer, the Comptroller scrutinizes the Mayor’s budget, examining the soundness of its fiscal and economic assumptions and advising on potential developments affecting the City’s fiscal outlook. The Comptroller’s Office also sets a uniform system of accounting and reporting for all City agencies, based on generally accepted accounting principles, and prepares the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

Managing Issuance of City Bonds

Along with the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, the Comptroller issues and sells all bonds to support the City’s capital needs. The Comptroller’s Office therefore rigorously monitors the City’s credit rating and debt levels, and identifies sound refinancing methods to reduce costs to taxpayers.

Determining Prevailing Wage and Enforcing Labor Rights

The Comptroller is mandated under State law to set and enforce prevailing wage and benefit rates for workers, laborers and mechanics employed on New York City public works projects and building service employees on City contracts and certain properties that receive tax exemptions. The Comptroller’s Office engages in extensive outreach and educational work to inform the community of prevailing wage and living wage requirements.