Research Reports / Publications
Since 2003, the Division has been using the information OSC collects from local governments to produce research reports on major policy issues facing local governments and state policy-makers.
Annual Performance Report on New York State's Industrial Development Agencies - Fiscal Year Ending 2013 [Released 05/18/15]
IDAs are important for economic development in the State, but local officials need to improve their scrutiny over projects so that taxpayers know if their community is receiving promised jobs and economic benefits. Recent audits have found deficiencies in IDA processes for approving and monitoring projects, as well as for recouping benefits from projects that have failed to meet their goals. [read complete Annual Performance Report on New York State's Industrial Development Agencies - Fiscal Year Ending 2013 - pdf]
Local Authorities in New York State – An Overview [Released 04/09/15]
The State has approximately 639 local authorities operating outside of New York City. These authorities generally operate without many of the constraints and controls over day-to-day operations required of municipal governments. OSC audits have helped to shine a light on questionable practices from board member compensation to the selection and results of economic development projects. OSC continues to advocate for express audit authority over LDCs and other not-for-profit local authorities, better reporting requirements for all local authorities and legislation to achieve more transparent results. [read complete Local Authorities in New York State - pdf]
OSC provides numerous publications for use by local government officials and others interested in government issues and finance.
Fiscal Stress Monitoring Summary Results: Common Themes for School Districts [Released 01/29/15]
The districts experiencing fiscal stress are spread across the State. One indicator in particular—the operating deficit—saw substantial changes in the FSMS points assigned compared to the previous year: 19 percent received a higher FSMS score on this indicator, while 28 percent scored lower. Changes in scores for this indicator contributed to changes in districts’ overall levels of fiscal stress. [read complete Summary Results report - pdf]
2014 Annual Report on Local Governments [01/15]
Although some of our key economic indicators suggest improvement in the economic climate, the pressure on local governments to do more with less persists. The following report highlights the very difficult fiscal environment under which local officials are expected to fulfill their obligations to the people they serve, as well as outlining the significant steps OSC is taking to assist in these efforts. [read complete 2014 Annual Report - pdf]