Kevin Lembo was elected Connecticut’s State Comptroller in 2010 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.
Lembo was then 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 more affordable and quality health care. While employers throughout the country have faced significant increases in per-person health-care expenses, Lembo has worked to unite stakeholders in both state government and in the corporate community to implement programs that emphasize preventative care – ultimately improving wellness and reducing immediate and long-term costs to the state.
Comptroller Lembo also serves as the chief fiscal guardian -- monitoring and reporting on the state’s financial status, 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.
Transparency initiatives include “Open Connecticut” – an online hub of state financial data that simplifies access to important information about the state’s budget and financial future. Lembo is also pursuing greater transparency surrounding hundreds of millions of dollars invested each year in economic development programs. These and other initiatives are pursued with a vital emphasis on collaboration between the business community – both large and small -- and government so that all stakeholders’ interests are considered during policy development.
As a longtime advocate of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), Lembo's office plays a critical role in transitioning the state to a new era of financial transparency and accountability and, on a monthly basis, he reports on the state's financial status to ensure that Connecticut proceeds on a secure financial track.
Comptroller Lembo has advocated 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.
Extending state savings to municipalities, Comptroller Lembo launched the Connecticut Partnership Plan, which offers an affordable health plan option to public employers.
Most recently, Comptroller Lembo launched “Man Up” – a statewide initiative to encourage more men to seek preventive health care so that they can live longer, healthier lives.
In addition to serving as Comptroller, Lembo has been reappointed by Yale School of Nursing as a Clinical Instructor 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.
Lembo resides in Guilford, CT with his spouse, Charles Frey; they have three children.
Office of the State Comptroller
KEVIN LEMBO, State Comptroller
Martha Carlson, Deputy Comptroller
Established - 1786
Statutory authority - State Constitution
Central office - 55 Elm Street,
Hartford, CT 06106-1775
Average number of full-time employees - 256
Recurring operating expenses - $24,190,877
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.
Management Services Division
The Management Services Division provides policy and program direction for certain administrative functions of the Office of the State Comptroller and develops and executes the agency budget.
The division administers accounting, accounts payable, purchasing, financial reporting and analysis, contract administration, tuition, travel and training reimbursement, and paycheck and deposit advice and distribution for state employees and retirees. It also provides comprehensive support for security, facility management, courier, and telephone services.
The division monitors legislative initiatives affecting the agency's budget and other programs under its jurisdiction. It also interprets constitutional and statutory provisions affecting state financial expenditures and revenues for the proper application and reporting of state monies and securities to various state and federal agencies on multiple statewide accounts and programs, including Other Post Employment Benefit (OPEB) accounts, active and retiree health insurance appropriations, disability payments for collective bargaining employees, employers' unemployment compensation payments to the State Department of Labor, tuition, travel and training reimbursements to collective bargaining employees, Funds Awaiting Distribution accounts, and court-ordered Adjudicated Claims.
The division reconciles and posts the bi-weekly state employee payroll to the appropriate miscellaneous accounts to allow payments of the fringe benefits, which has an annualized total of approximately $2 billion.
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.
Payroll Services Division
The Payroll Services Division pays all state employees; coordinates all payroll deductions; maintains records on payroll taxes; and deposits federal and state income tax withholding and social security contributions. It pre-audits and issues state employee and deduction checks on a bi-weekly basis; submits deduction reports; maintains wage execution records, and administers direct deposit programs.
The payroll system accommodates unique state payroll requirements including interfaces with central agencies, mass salary changes, collective bargaining information, complex accounting transactions and extensive management reporting.
The division implemented ePay, an initiative to transition the state to a paperless payroll system that will save significant state resources. This pilot program is enabling thousands of state employees to receive electronic pay statements, with the ultimate goal of moving virtually all state employees to the paperless system.
The division staff also produces information requests for state employees, state agencies, outside organizations, and the general public, including the media.
Retirement Services Division
The Retirement Services Division administers state pension plans serving more than 40,000 state retirees.
In providing oversight and management of the state pension plans, the division performs a comprehensive package of services including retirement counseling and administrative support to the Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission.
It receives and processes retirement applications from state agencies, and it manages computer, accounting, investigatory, payroll, training, record-keeping, and compliance activities related to the state's complex retirement programs.
The division analyzes and implements ever-changing statutory, collectively bargained, and federally mandated revisions to the pension plans within its jurisdiction. It plans, researches and develops new products based on retirement conditions and trends.