The mission of the Ulster County Comptroller’s Office is to serve as an independent agency of the people and to protect the

public interest by
monitoring County government and to assess and report on the degree to which its operation is economical, efficient and its financial condition
sound.







ELLIOTT AUERBACH PHONE (845) 340-3529
COUNTY COMPTROLLER countycomptroller@co.ulster.ny.us
244 FAIR STREET www.co.ulster.ny.us/resources/comptroller
KINGSTON, NEW YORK 12401

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COMPTROLLER RELEASES SPENDING TRACKER
COUNTY’S MONTHLY BILLS TOP $11 MILLION

KINGSTON, NY (August 20, 2014)…. Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach is pleased to introduce the ULSTER
COUNTY SPENDING TRACKER, a monthly look at expenses and payments by department and vendor.

NUMBERS TO WATCH:

July’s payments include over $300,000 to the third party administrator of the County’s Health Benefit Plan. A
recent audit of the plan by the Comptroller’s Office made recommendations to improve County oversight of
dependent eligibility and reduce risk of fraud and waste in the administration of this approximate $24.7 million
County program. The Comptroller’s Office will be conducting a compliance review within 90 days to confirm that the
Personnel Department has prepared a management Action plan in response to those recommendations.

The largest monthly spending of any County Department originates from Social Services (DSS), spending over $3
million and accounting for nearly 28% of July’s expenditures. To put it in perspective, DSS accounts for 38% of the
County’s annual appropriations. The massive DSS expenditure is driven by state mandates. For instance, of 83 DSS
contracted vendors, 58 (70%) are contracted to perform state-mandated services.

The spending figures also reflect nearly $478,000 in payments for college “chargebacks,” a state mandated tuition
reimbursement paid to out-of-county community colleges when Ulster students elect to attend a community
college other than Ulster County Community College (UCCC).

The County Comptroller’s 2012 report on this topic revealed a serious imbalance in the amount Ulster pays out in
chargebacks, and recommended that a survey be conducted in connection with a student’s application for the
chargeback reimbursement, in order to collect data as to why so many local students choose to attend out-of-
county schools. The proposed survey was prepared with the full support of UCCC, which will use the data to do
long-term planning to improve the college’s position in the higher education market and correct the inequity on
chargeback payments. The County legislature in its last session approved a resolution to provide the survey at the
time of the application. “We applaud the legislature for taking proactive steps to address this issue, which will
improve services to the Ulster community and could radically alter the flow of chargeback dollars for the better,”
said Comptroller Auerbach.

The JULY 2014 County Spending Tracker, as well as the Comptroller’s Audit of the Health Benefit Plan and its
Chargeback Report, can all be found at youreyesonulster.com.

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NEWS FROM THE OFFICE OF
ULSTER COUNTY COMPTROLLER
ELLIOTT AUERBACH