Just What Work Will AFO Do in E.P.?
A Municipal Administration and Finance Officer will be coming to East Providence possibly by the end of March, when the Budget Commission plans to leave.
A Municipal Administration and Finance Officer (AFO) is coming to East Providence -- probably by the end of March.
That addition to East Providence’s administrative staff was revealed in an “exit plan” unveiled at last Thursday’s Budget Commission meeting for the budget board. The budget board anticipates relinquishing its responsibilities by the end of March.
The AFO position is mandated for five years after a budget board departs under RI General Law 45-9-10. The AFO’s principal responsibility under the law: “responsible for the overall budgetary and financial administration" of a municipality.
To put that another way, the AFO will be responsibile for making sure East Providence follows guidelines established by the budget board so it doesn’t fall back into the same spending habits that got the city into financial trouble, according to Rosemary Boothe Gallogy, director of revenue.
"We're trying to institute a new culture," she said.
The AFO will report directly to the mayor and be paid a salary up to $100,000 by East Providence. The mayor, James Briden, will select the AFO from among three candidates forwarded by Gallogly.
She described the AFO as “support for the executive staff” and an “adviser for the City Council” at last week's Budget Commission meeting.
“It will be oversight role,” said Gallogly. “I don’t see the AFO and city manager bumping into each other.”
But she also said: “We’re kind of making this up as we go along.”
Certain city officials, including the tax assessor, treasurer, finance director, controller, director of information technology, purchasing agent, director of human resources or employees with similar duties will be under the direction of the AFO, according to state law.
He or she will appoint those employees with the approval of the mayor. Most of those positions report now to the city manager, who usually hires them as well.
The AFO will have to bring to the city a detailed knowledge of public administration and accounting procedures practiced in municipal government, and the ability to supervise a staff engaged in financial management and budget preparation. The AFO does not have to live in East Providence.
Here is a more detailed look at examples of the work to be performed by the AFO:
- Coordinating, administering and supervising all financial services and activities.
- Assisting in all matters related to East Providence’s financial affairs.
- Implementing and maintaining uniform systems, controls and procedures for all financial activities in all departments, boards, commissions and operations that have a financial impact on the general fund and enterprise funds of East Providence.
- Supervising all financial data processing activities.
- Assisting in the development and preparation of all department, board, commission, agency and office budgets and spending plans and reviewing those plans perioidically.
- Reviewing all proposed contracts for East Providence.
- Providing for the allotment of funds on a periodic basis.
- Provide information to the school department relating to the operation of the school department.