Kevin Lembo was elected to a second four-year term as Connecticut's State Comptroller in 2014 following 20 years of public service and advocacy.
A native of Paterson, NJ, Lembo first came to public service as an independent advocate. Working with the private, public and non-profit sectors, Lembo helped design and implement an innovative long-term home care program in New York that successfully prevented premature and permanent admissions to nursing facilities. He was also program director for an AIDS education, prevention and primary care program before serving as Assistant Comptroller in Connecticut.
In 2004, Lembo was appointed Connecticut’s first state Healthcare Advocate where he spent years helping thousands of residents navigate the complexities of the health care system; advocated for patients denied coverage or treatment; and returned millions of dollars to consumers.
As State Comptroller, Lembo continues to lead the charge for affordable and quality health care with an emphasis on access to preventive care and wellness programs. Lembo - focused on consensus building across party lines -- continues to lead ongoing initiatives to establish government transparency and accountability, fiscal stability through an improved Budget Reserve Fund formula, better retirement savings options for all residents and more affordable ultra-high-speed Internet service for every business and household in the state.
Comptroller Lembo serves as the chief fiscal guardian -- reporting on the state’s financial status every month to ensure that Connecticut proceeds on a secure financial track, coordinating health care and payroll for hundreds of thousands of public employees and retirees, and administering the statewide electronic accounting system. He has been hailed by advocacy groups and the media as a "champion of transparency" for his efforts to promote public access to vital state financial information. The Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information recognized Lembo’s efforts toward open government with its Bice Clemow Award in 2013.
Comptroller Lembo has also been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government, Inc. (CFOG), a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting open and accountable government.
His transparency initiatives include "Open Connecticut" - an online hub of state financial data created and maintained by the Office of the State Comptroller that simplifies access to real-time state financial information. Lembo successfully advocated for greater openness surrounding hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development initiatives - resulting in the Governor’s Executive Order No. 38 establishing a searchable electronic database containing various forms of state economic assistance and tax credits used to recruit businesses and encourage job creation.
Comptroller Lembo has led the effort for financial and operational efficiencies across state and local government, expanding use of online technologies for employee and retiree payroll, and payments to vendors and municipalities.
Under authority granted by the state legislature, Comptroller Lembo launched the Connecticut Partnership Plan and the CT Partnership Pharmacy Plan to extend the state’s health-care savings to municipalities and other public employers.
In addition to serving as Comptroller, Lembo has served as a Clinical Instructor at Yale School of Nursing in the Nurse Management Policy & Leadership Specialty in Nursing.
Comptroller Lembo holds a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University and is a member of the Pi Alpha Honor Society. He was named a Toll Fellow of the Council of State Governments in 2004, and has served as a panelist and moderator throughout the state and country as an expert in health care and retirement administration.
In 2004, Comptroller Lembo was commissioned a "Kentucky Colonel," the highest honor awarded by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, in recognition of his advocacy on behalf of children in foster care. As an adoptive parent, Lembo frequently collaborates with other agencies and programs to continue his advocacy on behalf of foster care programs, and to help guide parents and families of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Lembo resides in Guilford with his spouse, Charles Frey; they have three sons.
To provide accounting and financial services, to administer employee and retiree benefits, to develop accounting policy and exercise accounting oversight, and to prepare financial reports for state, federal and municipal governments and the public.
The responsibilities of the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) were first charged in the State Constitution in 1786, and have been expanded over the years in the Connecticut General Statutes. According to Article Fourth, Section 24 of the State Constitution, the State Comptroller "shall adjust and settle all public accounts and demands, except grants and orders of the general assembly. He shall prescribe the mode of keeping and rendering all public accounts."
In addition, state law charges the office to adjust and/or settle all demands against the state not first adjusted and settled by the General Assembly; to prepare all accounting statements relating to the financial condition of the state; to provide for the budgetary and financial reporting needs of the executive branch through the Core-CT computerized system; to pay all wages and salaries of state employees; and to administer miscellaneous appropriations including the procurement of medical, dental and pharmacy benefits.
The bulk of the Comptroller's statutory requirements are detailed in CGS Secs. 3-111 through 3-123.
The office is organized by seven divisions:
Accounts Payable Division
The Accounts Payable Division manages the centralized accounts payable function for the state, maintains a database of more than 126,000 records on state vendor profiles, initiates and monitors the process for paying and settling the state's obligations, examines state encumbrances and expenditures for compliance, conducts pre-audits of procurement requests for $1 million or more, and addresses a variety of necessary federal and state requirements and Freedom of Information requests.
The division processes special payments such as tax-exempt bond funds, debt service, state legal settlements, land condemnations, human resource benefits, federal pass-through and state grants. These payments are processed through various methods such as checks, Automated Clearing House (ACH, also known as electronic funds transfer or EFT), wire transfers, and inter-agency transfers.
The division enforces the statutory, regulatory and accounting provisions mandated by state and federal law and by the comptroller's policies; facilitates the execution of state grant programs for payment to municipalities and/or non-profit organizations; produces reports of payments to municipalities and provides assistance to municipalities' independent auditors in the reconciliation of such payments; maintains financial records, including garnishments/offsets through the vendor file database within the state's Core-CT administrative and financial system; assists agencies in processing transactions and troubleshooting problems with such transactions in Core-CT; develops manuals and provides training to other state agencies' business office staff; processes and distributes forms for certain vendors, grantees and the Internal Revenue Service.
Budget and Financial Analysis Division
The Budget and Financial Analysis Division performs the state's accounting and financial reporting functions. The division is responsible for posting, analyzing and reporting state expenditures and receipts by fund and account category inclusive of federal and other funding sources.
The division computes and reports direct and indirect costs associated with major state programs. This cost data is recorded and maintained in accordance with federal law and is used to secure reimbursements from federal and other funding sources. At the comptroller's direction, the division prepares a monthly analysis of the state's budget condition that contains the financial statements for the latest month and projections for the budget position to year's end.
The division publishes two of the comptroller's annual financial reports -- a budgetary base (modified cash basis of accounting) report that details and analyzes state expenditures, receipts, and capital budget activities for the fiscal year; and a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) that analyzes the state's overall fiscal position and provides audited financial statements for state and state-supported fiscal activities.
The division develops and implements complex accounting systems and procedures for state agencies to maximize accountability, standardization and cost effectiveness; conducts independent audits; monitors agency compliance with these systems and procedures; performs analysis/interpretation and statewide dissemination of changes occurring as a result of collective bargaining contracts and negotiations; and monitors the activity on Trustee Accounts within state agencies.
It is responsible for the management of the state's real and personal property for insurance and accounting purposes, as well as maintaining casualty loss records. The division administers the statewide purchasing card and fuel card programs, including auditing and compliance reviews of the daily transactions of each of the 1,850 cardholders.
Staff members are available to provide assistance to state agencies in the implementation of and interpretation of accounting procedures.
Healthcare Policy & Benefit Services Division
The Healthcare Policy & Benefit Services Division administers benefits programs for all state employees, retirees, and their families. The largest programs are the medical, pharmacy, and dental benefit programs covering over 200,000 lives. The division is responsible for the contract procurement, administration, and evaluation of these programs.
The division provides administrative support to the Healthcare Cost Containment Committee, as well as substantive updates on the patient-centered medical home initiative, eligibility for and enrollment in the state employee and retiree health plan, and rates and utilization issues.
In 2010, the division implemented a new prescription purchasing initiative that could save municipal and state taxpayers millions of dollars. The Connecticut Prescription Partnership is a strictly voluntary partnership that permits towns and cities to join the state's self-insured pharmacy benefit program and achieve significant savings by purchasing drugs through the state.
The division is working on new and expanded opportunities for municipalities and non-profits to procure health care in coordination with the state, potentially saving significant dollars and resources.
The division is also responsible for administrating the State of Connecticut Defined Contribution Plans, including oversight of investments which are currently in excess of $3.2 billion.
The division also coordinates group life insurance, unemployment insurance and supplemental benefits for state employees.
Information Technology Division
The Information Technology Division is an inter-agency team that supports and helps maintain Core-CT, the statewide financial, human resource, and payroll system. Core-CT performs the state's accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, purchasing, billing, project management, human resource, time and attendance, payroll, and benefits administration functions and is used by well over 10,000 state employees. In total there are approximately 50 employees of the Office of the State Comptroller who work full time on supporting the system's operation.
The division is responsible for the maintenance and upgrade of Core-CT, and provides analysis for the comptroller regarding strategic information technology issues impacting the state.
The division's Technology Support Unit develops and maintains the
comptroller's technical infrastructure, including local area network
(LAN) planning, personal computer (PC) installation and troubleshooting,
training in desktop software applications, help desk support for all PC
users, and development of custom PC/LAN applications and is responsible
for web development and maintenance for the comptroller's Intranet and
Internet web sites.