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.
Research Brief: Are Off-Track Betting Corporations Nearing the Finish Line? [Released 09/25/15]
Declining trends in the horse racing industry and an increase in gaming options have taken their toll on OTBs. With the advent of commercial casinos in the State, policymakers have an opportunity to re-examine the viability of OTBs and how they fit into State-authorized gambling. [read complete OTB report - pdf]
Three Years of the Fiscal Stress Monitoring System - Results for Municipalities with Fiscal Years Ending on December 31, 2014 [Released 09/23/15]
In September 2015, OSC released the third annual set of Fiscal Stress Monitoring System (FSMS) scores for all municipalities that have fiscal years that operate on a calendar year basis. This includes all 57 counties outside of New York City, all 932 towns in the State, 44 cities and 10 villages – a total of 1,043 municipalities. Since the FSMS now encompasses three years of data for these “calendar year” municipalities, it is possible to start to discern trends in the financial performance of these local governments. [read complete FSMS report - pdf] | [read Persistent Non-Filing Municipalities - pdf]
OSC provides numerous publications for use by local government officials and others interested in government issues and finance.
Local Government Management Guide: Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity [Released 10/28/15]
Years ago, ICS were considered low-risk because they were isolated from
networks and the Internet but interconnectivity with the outside world is now a reality. There are many steps municipalities can take to improve their ICS cybersecurity and better protect the health and safety of their residents. [read complete Cybersecurity report - pdf]
Local Government Management Guide: Ransomware [Released 10/15]
Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents access to a user’s computer or electronic data. Criminals create links and websites that install ransomware on the computers of unsuspecting users and then display messages demanding payment in exchange for restoring the computer to its functioning state. Criminals have used ransomware to target home computers, financial institutions, government agencies, academic institutions and other organizations. Instances of ransomware are quickly affecting users worldwide and are unlikely to subside anytime soon as they generate a significant amount of revenue for cybercriminals.
This guide describes a typical ransomware attack, highlights a strategy for those who encounter ransomware and outlines best practices for local governments wishing to apply preventative measures. [read complete Ransomware report - pdf]