Section 110 of the State Finance Law provides:
Certification or approval of the accounts or vouchers of a department, or of a division, board, body, bureau, officer or employee in a department, for personal services, maintenance and operation, for submission to the comptroller for audit, shall be made by the head of the department, or by such authority or authorities in the department as shall be designated by the head of the department by a rule or written directive filed with the comptroller.
Consistent with this provision, the Office of the State Comptroller’s (OSC) Bureau of Contracts (BOC) requires department heads to designate those individuals authorized to execute:
- Contracts on behalf of an agency where the State of New York is a party, and
- Vendor responsibility determinations for the agency’s contractors.
The department head of an administrative agency is the Commissioner; for a college or university, it is the President; for correctional facilities, the Superintendent; and for mental hygiene facilities, the Director.
OSC recognizes that according to established agency internal controls, individuals may be limited to signing only certain types of transactions. For example, an individual may be authorized to sign a grant contract but not a construction contract, or to sign vendor responsibility determinations but not contracts. Where such limitations exist, agencies must identify the limitation on the appropriate authorized signature form.
Agencies are responsible for establishing proper internal controls and security over the authorized signature process. Agencies should consult with OSC’s BOC if they have questions concerning the adequacy of controls in place.
Process and Document Preparation:
If the department head wishes to pass the duty to designate authority to sign transactions and/or vendor responsibility determinations, OSC’s BOC must have a letter on file with the department head’s original signature and the original signature of the designated individual(s). If the department head leaves an agency, OSC’s BOC must have on file the signature of the new department head and/or the designee stating the signatures on file continue to be acceptable.
OSC’s BOC uses the Bureau of Contracts Authorized Signature Form (AC 1782-S) to verify authorized signatures on contracts, amendments, change orders, purchase authorizations, and vendor responsibility determinations. BOC also uses the AC 1782-S to verify the authorized signature on the STS or AC 340-S for purchase orders subject to OSC review (OP Transactions). Form AC 1782-S authorizes the head of the department to designate individuals who can sign agreements to which that agency is a party. The AC 1782-S form provides OSC with an original signature and a printed name of the designated individuals for comparison purposes.
To add a new signatory, an agency submits an original Form AC 1782-S to OSC’s BOC. The agency head or designee must approve the addition by signing at the bottom of the form. To ensure adequate controls over the agency authorization process, the department head or designee must sign each individual authorization form when more than one page is required. An agency can remove an authorized signatory by sending a letter to OSC’s BOC, identifying the signatory name to be removed from the list. The department head or designee must sign the letter.
It is the responsibility of each agency to ensure that the signatures on file with OSC’s BOC are accurate and up-to-date, and that the correct forms are used. Incorrect, out-of-date forms will cause processing delays.
A separate form must be filed for each Department ID (within a Business Unit), that will be submitting contract transactions and/or vendor responsibility determinations.
Forms should be submitted to the address listed below.
Office of the State Comptroller
Bureau of Contracts
110 State Street – 11th Floor
Albany, New York 12236
Agencies must ensure that the appropriate contract signature page is used. (See Section 2.L - Contract Signature Page of this Chapter for additional information.) Further, all contracts or amendments between the State of New York and any contractor (whether individual, partnership, or corporate) must have proper acknowledgment of the contractor’s signature attached thereto. (See Section 2.M - Acknowledgment of Contractor’s Signature of this Chapter for additional information.)
Guide to Financial Operations