Publications: Guidance





Audit Committee Charter Guidance and Template

These guidelines provide a framework and offer guidance that boards of education can use for establishing an audit committee charter. A sample charter is provided at the end of this guidance. This sample charter does not include all activities that might be appropriate to a particular audit committee, nor will all activities identified in this sample charter be relevant to every committee. 

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Citizens' Guide to Local Budgets

The guide is intended to enable concerned citizens to evaluate how well the budget has been formulated.

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Conflicts of Interest of Municipal Officers and Employees

This brochure is intended to help you better understand New York State law as it pertains to conflicts of interest, and your responsibilities when your public and private interests conflict.

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Conflicts of Interest Poster

New York State General Municipal Law, Sections 800–809: Conflicts of Interest of Municipal Officers and Employees

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Fiscal Stress Monitoring System Manual

This manual provides a basic discussion about the System while accompanying technical appendices provide details about the methodology OSC staff utilize in performing the assessments.

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How to Apply for Exclusion of Sewer Debt from Municipal Debt Limits

This booklet contains the suggested application and legal notice form for an exclusion of certain sewer debt from a municipality’s Constitutional debt limit.

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Information for Town Officials

A review of the basic duties of a town supervisor with statutory references designed to assist the newly elected supervisor in becoming familiar with the structure of town government and the supervisor's role in it. This is also a publication useful to town board members and other town officials.
Updated November 2020 (Originally Issued January 2018)

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Internal Controls

A good internal control system is necessary to assist local officials in meeting all their responsibilities. In this session, we will focus on the following areas:  What are Internal Controls?, Why are Internal Controls Important?, Who is Responsible for Internal Controls?, Key Components of Internal Control, Internal Control Examples, Top Ten Fraud Risk Indicators, and Internal Control Checklist.

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Justice Court Fund: Handbook for Town and Village Justices and Court Clerks

The handbook for Town and Village Justices and Court Clerks is to assist in fulfilling the financial reporting requirements of the Town and Village courts. This publication may be requested in hardcopy from the Justice Court Fund by calling 518-473-6438 or 518-473-6830.

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Model Code of Ethics for Fire Districts

Model Code of Ethics for Fire Districts

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Model Code of Ethics for Local Governments

Model Code of Ethics for Local Governments

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New “Piggybacking” Law - Exception to Competitive Bidding

Procurements: Guidelines for the "Piggybacking" Exception to Competitive Bidding under General Municipal Law § 103(16)

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Preventing Fraud and Abuse of Public Funds: Local Governments Need to Do Better

OSC has identified fraud or abuse in all types of local governments in every part of the state. Fraud and abuse have other effects besides the amount of money that is lost and unavailable for productive uses by government. They also have the corrosive effect of undermining the public’s trust and confidence in government. OSC audits can be a useful tool in identifying and stopping

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Red Flags for Fraud

Why didn’t you see it? There was fraud and you missed it. Conducting a “should of” after a fraud happens may show that red flags were present. If you had only recognized the warning signs, then that loss may not have occurred or been substantially reduced. Based on a recent survey by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), occupational fraud substantially increases organizational costs. It is a myth that fraud is a big scheme that should have been uncovered sooner and easy to detect. Fraud starts small and just gets bigger and bigger, until something becomes noticeably different or unusual.

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Understanding the Audit Process

This booklet has been prepared to familiarize you with the audit process and provide insight into the key stages of its development, from the earliest stages to the final report. It describes what auditors look for and their professional auditing standards. The booklet is intended only to highlight some of the significant elements of the audit.

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Understanding the Constitutional Tax Limit - Cities

This booklet provides guidance on the implications of the Constitutional tax limit, information on its calculation and instructions for filing.

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Understanding the Constitutional Tax Limit - Counties

This booklet provides guidance on the implications of the Constitutional tax limit, information on its calculation and instructions for filing.

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Understanding the Constitutional Tax Limit - Villages

This booklet provides guidance on the implications of the Constitutional tax limit, information on its calculation as well as instructions for filing.

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