The Bureau of Accountancy is responsible for all aspects of the City’s financial accounting and reporting. It prepares the Comptroller’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), which contains the City’s Charter-mandated audited financial statements and its layperson-friendly companion, the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR). The Bureau is primarily responsible for the design and management of the City’s centralized accounting, internal control and budgeting system,and the Financial Management System (FMS). The Bureau is also responsible for ensuring accuracy in City agency accounting, reconciliation of more than 100 City bank accounts, investment accounting for the City’s five main pension plans and eleven variable supplement funds (VSFs), servicing the City’s general obligation debt, and approving vendor information in FMS. The Bureau of Accountancy also has primary responsibility for issuing and updating Comptroller’s Directives and Memoranda, which dictate a wide range of accounting and internal control procedures for all City agencies and related entities.
The Bureau of Administration supports the work of the other bureaus throughout the office of the Comptroller. It manages the office’s capital and operating budgets, as well as its human resource functions, along with procurement and payment, facilities management, support services and information systems.
The Bureau of Asset Management is responsible for oversight of the investment portfolio of the New York City Retirement Systems, which is comprised of five pension systems. This portfolio is managed primarily by external investment managers, and is largely invested in publicly traded securities, with growing allocations to private equity, real estate, infrastructure, hedge funds and opportunistic fixed income investments.
The Bureau of Audit conducts audits and other analyses of City agencies to meet its mission of promoting efficient City government, improving the quality of government services, and maintaining the integrity of City operations. The Comptroller’s Office is required by the City Charter to perform an audit of some aspect of every City agency at least once every four years. It also has a mandate to perform financial audits of City transactions, revenues and expenditures to determine whether agencies are meeting their goals, and whether funds are being used effectively and efficiently.
The Research and Investigations Unit (R&I) of the Audit Bureau is composed of a team of lawyers and research and data analysts that supports the work of the Audit Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller. R&I conducts research, undertakes investigations, and prepares detailed reports of issues concerning the City’s operations, programs, and fiscal health. Where necessary, R&I makes referrals of its findings to other government agencies.
The Budget Bureau monitors New York City’s fiscal and cash position. The Bureau evaluates the City’s revenue collections, expenditures, capital program, debt capacity and the condition of the local economy. Based on a thorough review of the Mayor’s annual budget and financial plan documents, the Bureau focuses on the soundness of the City’s fiscal and economic assumptions, expense and capital budget priorities and potential developments affecting the City’s fiscal outlook. In addition, the Bureau monitors the daily cash balances in the City’s central treasury, forecasts daily cash balances for the current fiscal year, issues a Cash Letter showing these projections, and prepares a Quarterly Cash Report providing an overview of the City’s cash position and highlighting major changes during the quarter.
The Bureau of Contract Administration registers all City contracts and agreements for goods, services and construction executed pursuant to the Charter, including all franchise, revocable consent, or concession agreements that are paid out of the City Treasury or paid out of money under the control of the City. Before a City contract or agreement can be legally implemented, the Charter requires that it be registered by the Comptroller’s Office. The Comptroller has 30 calendar days from the date a contract is submitted to register or object to the registration of the contract. The process is designed to ensure that sufficient funds exist to make payments for that contract, that all appropriate certifications and documentation have been obtained and collected, that the contractor is not debarred or involved in corrupt activity, and that there was no instances of corruption in the letting of the contract.
The Bureau of Economic Development utilizes the authority and responsibilities of the Comptroller’s Office to create new and sustainable opportunities for economic growth and development that benefits all New Yorkers. Its mission includes overseeing City agencies and related entities that are responsible for economic development, actively managing and making investment recommendations for Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs), and conducting rigorous research to develop future economic development and affordable housing policy.
The Bureau of Engineering provides engineering assistance to the Comptroller’s Office and serves as the Comptroller’s technical consultant on engineering matters. It negotiates and recommends the disposition of contract disputes and claims between contractors and the City, and provides liability and damage reports to the Bureau of Law and Adjustment for use in property damage tort claims.
The General Counsel’s Office serves as the advisor to the Comptroller on all legal matters that impact the mission and operations of the Comptroller’s Office. The General Counsel also provides legal advice and support on investment issues and other pension-related matters, pursuant to the Comptroller’s Charter-mandated duties as fiduciary to the City’s five public pension funds. It oversees the Comptroller’s Bureau of Labor Law in its enforcement of prevailing and living wage requirements, as well as the Bureau of Law and Adjustment’s responsibilities to settle and adjust all claims in favor of or against the City, including personal injury and property damage claims.
Information Systems & Technology
The Bureau of Information Systems and Technology develops and implements technology solutions to support the services that the Comptroller’s Office provides to the people and businesses of New York City. It maintains over 120 software applications to support the Comptroller’s Charter-mandated responsibilities and is responsible for the Office’s computer operations, website development and administration, business continuity planning, security administration, webcasting and video services, communications and network administration, and systems development.
The Bureau of Labor Law sets and enforces prevailing wage and benefit rates for workers employed on public works projects and building service contracts for New York City government agencies. The Bureau’s four divisions annually determine prevailing wage and benefit rates, investigate alleged violations of prevailing wage and living wage laws, calculate underpayments, interest and civil penalties, and bring enforcement proceedings at the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). The Bureau also engages in extensive outreach and and develops educational materials on prevailing wage and living wage compliance.
Law and Adjustment
Under the City Charter, the Comptroller has sole authority to settle claims against or on behalf of the City before a lawsuit is filed. The Bureau of Law and Adjustment is responsible for overseeing the Comptroller’s resolution and settlement of claims filed against or on behalf of the City. The Bureau also investigates and roots out false claims, referring fraudulent cases to the appropriate District Attorney for prosecution.
The Bureau of Public Affairs serves as the Comptroller’s principal liaison to the public, mayoral agencies, and federal, state and local authorities. The Bureau manages the Comptroller’s Community Action Center, which provides assistance to New Yorkers with complaints about inadequate services ranging from potholes and sanitation pick-ups to water charge disputes and pension payments issues. The Bureau also organizes the Comptroller’s frequent meetings with civic and community leaders, clergy members, and community boards in all five boroughs, and hosts financial education workshops, town hall meetings, and cultural events.
New York City finances the majority of its extensive infrastructure needs and other long-lived public purpose capital projects with tax-exempt and taxable bonds. The Bureau of Public Finance manages all aspects of City borrowing for the Comptroller, including the sale of bonds, monitoring of the City’s $110+ billion portfolio of outstanding debt to assist investors, managing risks and identifying money-saving opportunities, and setting debt policy for the Comptroller. Under the City Charter and various state laws, the Comptroller shares responsibility with the Mayor for issuance of all bonds and notes backed by the City’s General Obligation, as well as debt of the NYC Transitional Finance Authority and NYC Municipal Water Finance Authority. The Comptroller also reviews and approves debt issued by TSASC, Inc., the NYC Housing Development Corporation, Trust for Cultural Resources, NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation and the Battery Park City Authority, and participates in the issuance of Hudson Yards Infrastructure Corporation bonds, among others.
The Bureau of Public Policy analyzes data and trends related to a broad array of issues confronting the people of New York City. Based on the Bureau’s qualitative and quantitative analysis and research, the Comptroller develops innovative public policy ideas and initiatives. The Bureau generates original, data-driven reports on topics ranging from education and infrastructure to economic development, housing, healthcare, the environment, transportation, public safety and key civil rights and social justice issues including immigration and LGBT equality.
The Press Office disseminates information and reports produced by the Comptroller’s Office, responds to requests from journalists, manages the Office’s social media presence, and prepares written communications such as brochures, newsletters, and press releases.