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Comptroller Mychajliw Receives Another National Award

Award Winning PAFR Team

Mychajliw becomes first Comptroller in county history to be honored nationally for his good government initiative that breaks down the complex finances  in an “easy to understand” report

(Buffalo, NY) – Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw became the first Comptroller in county history to win a national award from the Government Finance Officers Association (G.F.O.A.) for producing a public report that breaks down the county finances in an easy to read format.  The G.F.O.A. honored Comptroller Mychajliw with their national “Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting (P.A.F.R.).” 

Comptroller Mychajliw and Office of Erie County Comptroller staff broke down complex county finances and produced an easy to understand analysis for the fiscal year that ended 2013.

The purpose of creating a county wide P.A.F.R. was to give taxpayers a better understanding of how their money is spent, what the major cost drivers in county government are and how large is the debt politicians are piling on the county credit card.  

“It is an honor to be the first Erie County Comptroller in history to receive this national award.  Politicians don’t own county revenue.  Hard-working taxpayers do.  As part of my good government initiatives I wanted to produce an easy to understand version of the financial statements.  That way people know exactly how the politicians spend their money,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.

The P.A.F.R. is an eight-page report that breaks down the county’s overall $1.5 billion finances.  It is available online at the Office of Erie County Comptroller’s page on the county website:  Taxpayers can see how politicians use their tax dollars and how much debt they are ringing up.

“I want to thank staff in the Office of Erie County Comptroller for respecting taxpayers and working hard on their behalf.  We strive to protect taxpayer dollars at all times.  Many people in our Accounting Division, under the leadership of Deputy Comptroller Gregory G. Gach, contributed to our successes. I thank them all for their dedication to serving the public that pays our bills,” added Comptroller Mychajliw.

In addition to the creation of the P.A.F.R. Comptroller Mychajliw launched another good government initiative called “The Taxpayer’s Checkbook.”  County expenses are publicly posted weekly and the amount of debt in county government is posted quarterly on the Office of Erie County Comptroller’s website.  Expenses related to the November 2014 Storm will also be publicly posted.

At the beginning of 2013 Comptroller Mychajliw and members of his senior staff met with “good government” attorney Paul Wolf, Esq to solicit ideas on how to run government in a more open, honest and transparent manner. 

Mr. Wolf, founder of “The Center for Reinventing Government,” has almost two decades of experience working in various levels of local government, including nine years with Erie County.  It was Mr. Wolf’s initial suggestion to create an easy to read budget report so taxpayers can better understand county finances.

“Mr. Wolf has a strong record of encouraging public servants to conduct the people’s business in a way that respects the public’s role in the decision making process. We listened to his ideas and implemented his suggestion to produce a P.A.F.R.  I thank Mr. Wolf for his valued input and I’m proud to have turned his good government idea into reality,” added Comptroller Mychajliw.

In December 2013 Comptroller Mychajliw was also honored nationally in by the G.F.O.A. for excellence in financial reporting.  The Office of Erie County Comptroller was awarded its “Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (C.A.F.R.).”  Their “Certificate of Achievement” is the highest form of recognition for government accounting and financial management. 

Click here for the full press release.