The General Assembly is scheduled to consider legislation (A-2) to establish an Office of State Comptroller on Monday. This bill will impact every local government. Please act now. A-2 is scheduled for a vote Monday, but is not available yet. We anticipate that it will look much like its predecessor, A-3, which is available online.
We strongly suggest opposition to the over-reaching legislation, and recommend contacting your Assembly representatives by Monday to ask their opposition to the State Comptroller bill.
Here is a summary of what the Comptroller will be able to do:
- Audit any municipal or county government, local or county authority, fire district, county college, state executive branch agency, independent authority, and higher education institutions
- Mandatory audit (every two years) of any of these entities that spends more than $100 million a year;
- Performance reviews of any of these entities (yes any municipality)!
- Governor, Senate President, and Assembly Speaker can direct Comptroller to conduct financial audits of any government agency;
- Mandatory reporting of all contracts over $2 million and less than $10 million;
- Mandatory reporting when any procurement in excess of $10 million starts and the Comptroller has the authority to direct the procurement process if it chooses to do so;
- Recommend remedial actions if agencies fail to cooperate or fulfill audit recommendations, which can include loss of State aid;
- Audit and monitor the process of soliciting proposals for, and the process of awarding contracts of all government agencies;
- Coordinate the internal and external audit functions of all government agencies.
Independent audits are already required for all municipalities each year. This will create an additional expensive layer of bureaucracy. NJ local governments, however, already operate under the strictest regulations in the Country. If the State believes that enforcement is an issue, it should bolster the resources of the existing regulatory authority of the Department of Community Affairs and the Department of Education.
Because of the competing versions, we strongly suggest contacting your Assembly representatives and ask them to oppose the “State Comptroller bill.”