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Comptroller Questions County Executive on Lack of Transparency

Year-end projections not included in the last two Budget Monitoring Reports produced by the administration, which are required to be completed according to the Erie County Code

(Buffalo) – The Office of Erie County Comptroller is calling on the Erie County Executive to immediately release year-end budget projections that were supposed to be included in the administration’s Budget Monitoring Reports (BMR) for June and July of 2013.  Including year-end budget projections in all BMR’s after the month of May is a requirement in the Erie County Code. 

The Erie County Executive has now ignored this requirement to report year-end budget forecasts two years in a row.  One was not included in the BMR’s for June 2013, July 2013, June 2012, and July 2012.  Not following this important requirement under the Erie County Code denies the Erie County Legislature important financial information that is needed in the months following the creation and passage of the budget.

“This lack of transparency is troubling.  The administration should embrace a policy of openness, not secrecy.  People have a right to know how the County Executive is managing their money.  These year-end projections are critically important for the Legislature, especially now that budget season is upon us.  We ask the County Executive to comply with the Erie County Code.  He needs to immediately file year-end projections as required,” said Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw.

All Departments within Erie County government were asked to report their year-end budget projections to the administration in early August.  The information for the County Executive to file the year-end projections has been given to the Office of Budget and Management.

“The administration has the information. For some reason the County Executive refuses to follow the Erie County Code and release it publicly.  Erie County government should operate in an open, honest, and transparent manner.  Secrecy in fiscal matters should be avoided at all costs, not embraced by the administration,” added Comptroller Mychajliw.

A letter formally requesting the administration to immediately release a year-end projection was sent to the Erie County Legislature, Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority, Director of Budget and Management Robert Keating, and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

Click here to view the Letter