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  City Hall Library Notes, December 2012

SPOTLIGHT ON: New York City Comptroller

By Christine Bruzzese

Municipal Employee Compensation in New York City

   The Comptroller of New York City is elected every four years by the voters.  The job of this official includes serving as the Chief Financial Officer of the city, monitoring the city’s financial condition, managing the city’s assets and much more. Although the agency was established in 1802, the position of Comptroller became an elected one in 1884.  Edward V. Loss was the first elected Comptroller. This article focuses on some publications of the Comptroller’s office that can be found in the City Hall Library.

   Comprehensive Annual Financial Report of the Comptroller is the annual report of New York City’s finances.  It provides the yearly financial statements and statistics along with the independent auditor’s opinion.  The City Hall Library collection includes reports back to 1830, although the format is different from the one utilized today.

   The Bureau of Audit is responsible for auditing various operations and functions of city agencies including arrangements with outside contracts.  This Bureau also provides Quality Assurance and support to the Comptroller’s Office to ensure that audits and other reports comply with accepted governmental accounting standards.  Many Audit Reports are available in the City Hall Library collection. Among the topics covered are reports on union welfare funds, Department of Parks contracts for concessions, and operations of the county Public Administrators.


Joseph D. McGoldrick, Comptroller 1934

Mario Procaccino, Comptroller, 1966-69

Joseph D. McGoldrick, Comptroller 1934

Mario Procaccino, Comptroller, 1966-69

   The Comptroller’s Office also issues reports on fiscal policy and management.  One example is Municipal Employee Compensation in New York City, written by NYC Chief Economist Frank Braconi.  The report explores various issues concerning pay for municipal workers compared to those in the private sector, costs of fringe benefits and pensions, implications for future budgeting and hiring.

   Other publications that might be of interest are the Comptroller’s Comments on the Budget and Financial Plan; Claims Report containing data on legal claims filed against New York City; and the annual State of the City’s Economy and Finances.  Consult vertical files for articles and other clippings on the Comptroller, budget and related topics.  Biographical files contain materials on former City Comptrollers such as Harrison J. Goldin, Elizabeth Holtzman and Joseph D. McGoldrick.

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