Broome County Legislature Chairman Daniel J. Reynolds introduced a Local Law, which would amend the Broome County Charter and Code to require greater financial reporting and transparency for the public.
“The Legislature is charged with oversight of County finances and the best way to ensure that taxpayers’ money is being spent wisely is to have accurate and up-to-date information Unfortunately, the Administration hasn’t always been as open and transparent with County finances as we would have hoped,” said Chairman Daniel J. Reynolds. “This proposal will provide the Legislature with a lot of helpful information, while also making it more readily available and accessible to the public."
The Local Law proposed by the Legislature requires that the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) report quarterly to the County Legislature on revenues and expenditures, fund balance, trust account activity, outstanding capital projects and changes to county personnel as well as asset inventory, including vehicles and equipment.
“Having this information on a recurring basis and not having to wait until budget season or the end of the fiscal year will make a world of difference in keeping Legislators informed as we make decisions,” said Majority Leader and Finance Committee Chair Stephen J. Flagg. “We’ve been working on obtaining this information since last summer and we’re pleased to see that the New York State Comptroller agreed and said in his recent audit report of County finances ‘that more financial information would provide more opportunity for oversight’.”
There is also a provision within the Local Law that requires that the County Legislature publish these reports on the County website after they’ve been received by the Director of OMB, so they may be accessible to anyone who is interested in viewing them.
“County taxpayers should be able to easily find and obtain information about how their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent,” said Chairman Reynolds. “Having this information on our website will allow for greater transparency in county government and everyone should be in support of shedding more light on how county government operates.”
The Local Law will be considered tomorrow by the County Administration and Finance Committees and if voted out of committee, it will be considered by the full Legislature at its regular March Legislative Session, which will be held Thursday, March 15th.