Public Finance

Accounts and Control

SECTION 35-6-1

§ 35-6-1. Controller – Duties in general.

(a) Within the department of administration there shall be a controller who shall be appointed by the director of administration pursuant to chapter 4 of title 36. The controller shall be responsible for accounting and expenditure control and shall be required to:

(1) Administer a comprehensive accounting and recording system that will classify the transactions of the state departments and agencies in accordance with the budget plan;

(2) Maintain control accounts for all supplies, materials, and equipment for all departments and agencies except as otherwise provided by law;

(3) Prescribe a financial, accounting, and cost accounting system for state departments and agencies;

(4) Identify federal grant-funding opportunities to support the governor's and general assembly's major policy initiatives and provide technical assistance with the application process and post-award grants management;

(5) Manage federal fiscal proposals and guidelines and serve as the state clearinghouse for the application of federal grants;

(6) Pre-audit all state receipts and expenditures;

(7) Prepare financial statements required by the several departments and agencies, by the governor, or by the general assembly;

(8) Approve the orders drawn on the general treasurer; provided, that the pre-audit of all expenditures under authority of the legislative department and the judicial department by the state controller shall be purely ministerial, concerned only with the legality of the expenditure and availability of the funds, and in no event shall the state controller interpose his or her judgment regarding the wisdom or expediency of any item or items of expenditure;

(9) Prepare and timely file, on behalf of the state, any and all reports required by the United States, including, but not limited to, the Internal Revenue Service, or required by any department or agency of the state, with respect to the state payroll; and

(10) Prepare a preliminary closing statement for each fiscal year. The controller shall forward the statement to the chairpersons of the house finance committee and the senate finance committee, with copies to the house fiscal advisor and the senate fiscal and policy advisor, by September 1 following the fiscal year ending the prior June 30 or thirty (30) days after enactment of the appropriations act, whichever is later. The report shall include but is not limited to:

(i) A report of all revenues received by the state in the completed fiscal year, together with the estimates adopted for that year as contained in the final enacted budget, and together with all deviations between estimated revenues and actual collections. The report shall also include cash collections and accrual adjustments;

(ii) A comparison of actual expenditures with each of the actual appropriations, including supplemental appropriations and other adjustments provided for in the Rhode Island general laws;

(iii) A statement of the opening and closing surplus in the general revenue account; and

(iv) A statement of the opening surplus, activity, and closing surplus in the state budget reserve and cash stabilization account and the state bond capital fund.

(b) The controller shall provide supporting information on revenues, expenditures, capital projects, and debt service upon request of the house finance committee chairperson, senate finance committee chairperson, house fiscal advisor, or senate fiscal and policy advisor.

(c) Upon issuance of the audited annual financial statement, the controller shall provide a report of the differences between the preliminary financial report and the final report as contained in the audited annual financial statement.

(d) The controller shall create a special fund not part of the general fund and shall deposit amounts equivalent to all deferred contributions under this act into that fund. Any amounts remaining in the fund on June 15, 2010, shall be transferred to the general treasurer who shall transfer such amounts into the retirement system as appropriate.

(e) The controller shall implement a direct deposit payroll system for state employees.

(1) There shall be no service charge of any type paid by the state employee at any time which shall decrease the net amount of the employee's salary deposited to the financial institution of the personal choice of the employee as a result of the use of direct deposit.

(2) Employees hired after September 30, 2014, shall participate in the direct deposit system. At the time the employee is hired, the employee shall identify a financial institution that will serve as a personal depository agent for the employee.

(3) No later than June 30, 2016, each employee hired before September 30, 2014, who is not a participant in the direct deposit system, shall identify a financial institution that will serve as a personal depository agent for the employee.

(4) The controller shall promulgate rules and regulations as necessary for implementation and administration of the direct deposit system, which shall include limited exceptions to required participation.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1939, ch. 660, § 65; impl. am. P.L. 1951, ch. 2727, art. 1, § 3; impl. am. P.L. 1952, ch. 2975, § 14; G.L. 1956, § 35-6-1; P.L. 1968, ch. 99, § 2; P.L. 1986, ch. 287, art. 23, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 247, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 100, art. 10, § 6; P.L. 2004, ch. 595, art. 45, § 6; P.L. 2007, ch. 73, art. 8, § 2; P.L. 2009, ch. 5, art. 10, § 6; P.L. 2009, ch. 68, art. 7, § 12; P.L. 2010, ch. 9, § 5; P.L. 2010, ch. 10, § 5; P.L. 2014, ch. 145, art. 9, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 141, art. 13, § 2; P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 4, § 10.)