Office of Legislative Budget Review - Charter

 
C2-19. Office of Legislative Budget Review. [Added 9-12-1979 by L.L. No. 27-1979]

Note: Local Law No. 27-1979 also provided as follows:

Section 1. Legislative findings.

The Suffolk County legislature, by approving Resolution No. 362-1976, recognized the findings and recommendations of its special Budgetary and Expenditure Review Committee and established a legislative analytical unit, identified as the Budget Review Unit to investigate ways and means of improving the legislature's approach to policy determination, including governmental accountability to the legislature. Its primary purpose was to provide budget analysis, appraisal of proposed county operations and to review the effectiveness of existing county programs.

The Suffolk County Legislature, after two and one-half (2 1/2) years' experience with a professionally staffed legislative oversight unit, now desires to maintain, yet modify and improve, the existing unit so as to reach legislative intent, thereby formally improving accountability in Suffolk County government.

Section 2. Legislative declaration.

It is hereby determined that given separate branches of Suffolk County Government, it is in the interests of democracy and economy for the County legislature to have the capacity to conduct objective policy studies, budget and financial reviews, program and department performance evaluations and to prepare legislation independent of, as well as in cooperation with, the Executive Branch. Also, it is determined that the County Legislature requires a formally recognized office which is separate from and not dependent upon the approval and resources of the Executive and Executive Branch Departments. It is further determined that the best interest of the people of Suffolk county is served when the Suffolk County Legislature as a whole is assisted by a professional analytical staff. Furthermore, it is determined that the effectiveness of the existing Legislative Budget Review Unit, established by resolution, will be improved by enacting this local law, which will institutionalize the unit in the charter as an office as well as inform executive departments of their legal obligation to ensure unobstructed access of the legislative staff to department information and personnel.

The Suffolk County Legislature finds that the interests of legislative responsibility and authority will be better served by the enactment of the following provisions of local law.

Section 4. Resolution No. 362-1976, as amended, is hereby repealed, and the existing staff and budget of the Budget Review Unit is hereby continued in the Office of Legislative Budget Review.

A. Creation of Office of Legislative Budget Review. The County of Suffolk hereby creates an Office of Legislative Budget Review within the County Legislature.

B. Director of the Office of Legislative Budget Review. There is hereby created the position of Director of the Office of Legislative Budget Review, and the Director shall serve for a four-year term of service, appointed on January 1 of an even-numbered year and expiring on December 31 of the second consecutive odd-numbered year following the appointment. The initial appointment made pursuant to this section shall expire on December 31, 1983. The Director shall be solely responsible for the administration of the Office of Legislative Budget Review, hiring its staff and controlling its budget, subject to review of the Legislature. The County Legislature, by the enactment of a procedural resolution, shall appoint the Director to a four-year term. [Amended 10-27-81 by L.L. No. 38-1981]

NOTE: Local Law No. 38-1981 also provided as follows:

Section 1. Legislature findings.

The Suffolk County Legislature, by approving Local Law No. 27 of 1979, recognized the necessity for establishing a legislative analytical unit to investigate ways and means of improving the legislature's approach to policy determination. Its primary purpose is to provide budget analysis, appraise proposed county operations and review the effectiveness of county programs. The Office of Legislative Budget Review is nonpartisan in nature. Its director and employees are prohibited from participating in partisan political activities. To ensure the political independence of the office, it is highly desireable to extend the term of the Director of Budget Review to four years. This extended term will provide continuity of service of the Director of Budget Review and provide a high degree of insulation from political and partisan pressures. The appointment of the Director of Budget Review will as a consequence not be affected by possible biennial changes in the legislative composition.

Section 2. Legislative declaration.

It is determined that the effectiveness of the existing Budget Review Office will be enhanced by the extension of the term of the Director of Budget Review to four years. This action will serve to further guarantee and assure the insulation of the Budget Review Office from partisan political affairs.

C. Creation of a legislative committee for the Office of Legislative Budget Review. The County Legislature hereby elects to create a legislative committee within the County Legislature for the purpose of maintaining general supervision of and liaison with the Office of Legislative Budget Review. The Committee shall meet monthly, maintain minutes and disperse those minutes to all Legislators. The membership of the Legislative Budget Review Committee shall be as follows: the Presiding Officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, the Chairman of the Finance, Legislative/Personnel and Insurance Committee and one Legislator at Large, to be chosen by the Presiding Officer. [Amended 3-24-81 by L.L. No. 17-1981]

D. Scope of authority, duties, powers and responsibilities. The Director of the Office of Legislative Budget Review shall perform the following staff and oversight functions and be charged with the following responsibilities for the Suffolk County Legislature within the appropriations provided to the Office of Legislative Budget Review:

(1) To determine the extent to which legislative policies are being faithfully, efficiently and effectively implemented by administrative officials.

(2) To determine whether county programs are achieving their legal and desired objectives by a review of the performance and management efficiency of county departments and agencies. However, a review shall be coordinated with the County Comptroller when a review includes or requires accounting audits, which are essentially the duty and responsibility of the County Comptroller.

(3) To determine and analyze the soundness of departmental budget estimates and requests for appropriations, revenues, borrowings and such other fiscal modifications throughout the year.

(4) To determine and analyze annually the soundness of the proposed executive capital program and budget, community college budget and operating budgets, including borrowings and taxes.

(5) To determine whether the county has adequate plans, facilities, organizational arrangements and management control systems to adequately and effectively accomplish program and legislative policies.

(6) Such other duties and responsibilities as the Legislature may assign.

E. County departments and cooperation. County departments and agencies are required to provide timely access to the legislative staff to their personnel and records, assisting the legislative staff in collecting and analyzing factual objective data. Such access shall be construed to include direct access to the county's mainframe and departmental computer systems insofar as the information sought is not otherwise precluded by federal, state or local laws or by a collective bargaining agreement between the County of Suffolk and any of its employees. [Amended 12-23-86 by L.L. No. 38-1986EN ]

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