A smaller text A normal text A larger text

Audit Process

The CFB provides training, resources, and direct assistance from your Candidate Services liaison to help campaigns navigate the audit process.

All notices from Audit and Legal will be sent to your campaign electronically via C-Access. It is imperative that you check C-Access regularly and the CFB has the correct email address for you on file.

The post-election audit happens in three stages:

Shortly after the primary or general election, the CFB will send your campaign an Initial Documentation Request (IDR) via C-Access. The notification will include a checklist of all documentation being requested. The campaign must respond within 30 days.

The Draft Audit Report (DAR) is based on CFB staff’s review of documents submitted by your campaign throughout the election cycle and in response to the IDR. The CFB will cite any preliminary findings of non-compliance with the Campaign Finance Act and CFB Rules. The report may also contain potential public funds repayment obligations.

Note: the DAR is not a public document and does not represent any final determinations by the Board.

Your campaign’s response to the DAR is a critical opportunity to address issues that may lead to penalties if left unresolved. Each finding should be fully addressed in the same order it was presented by providing additional information, explanation, or documentation of your campaign’s financial activity (even if the documentation was submitted previously). Each piece should be labeled with the corresponding finding number and applicable statement and C-SMART transaction ID numbers.

Most findings may require you to file amendments to your disclosure statements using C-SMART. After data entry is complete, run the Modified Statement Report and submit amendments for each statement listed. Additionally, run the last statement of the election cycle because newly entered transactions will only appear in that statement. Remember, entering or modifying a transaction in C-SMART does not update the information on file with the CFB. You must file the amendments in order for the data to sync.

If your campaign does not respond to the DAR within 30 days after it is sent, you will be assessed a substantial financial penalty (see Campaign Finance Act §3-711(2)(b)). In addition, unanswered findings will be referred to the CFB Legal Unit for assessment of separate penalties. If your campaign needs more time, you must request for an extension in writing to AuditMail@nyccfb.info. Be sure to include the candidate’s name, election cycle, and the additional amount of time you need to respond. Extensions are never guaranteed. A response to your request with a potential new deadline will be posted in C-Access.

You may receive a Notice of Alleged Violations and/or a Notice of Public Funds Repayment Obligation, which, based on your campaign’s response to the DAR. These notices include findings that remain unaddressed or for which you provided.

If you require assistance with the draft audit process, you may:

The Final Audit Report (FAR) is sent within 14-18 months after the last disclosure statement is filed. It will be posted to your C-Access account and published on the CFB’s website. It will detail any findings, violations, and penalties determine by the Board. It will also detail any public funds repayments owed to the Public Fund. If a final public funds payment is due to the campaign, it will be issued with the final audit.

Post-Election Audit Deadlines

The Campaign Finance Act sets the following deadlines for the CFB to complete a campaign’s DAR and FAR. The deadline is calculated from the due date of the final disclosure statement for an election. For all elections, except some special elections, the final disclosure statement is due on January 15th following the election.

Office Sought Deadline for DAR Campaign Attended Post-Election Audit Training? Deadline to Complete Audit Process *
Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller 10 months Yes
No
16 months
18 months
Borough President, City Council 8 months Yes
No
16 months
18 months

* The audit process is completed when the CFB issues your FAR or when the CFB notifies your campaign of potential penalties and/or public funds repayment obligations.

The deadlines do not apply if your audit raises issues of serious violations. These include potential campaign-related fraud, other potential criminal activity, activity that may result in a breach of certification, or potential significant violations of the spending limit.

Additionally, deadlines will be extended (in the Campaign Finance Act, this is called “tolling”) if your campaign:

  • submits a late response to a request for information;
  • submits an inadequate response to a request for information;
  • requests an extension to its response deadline; or
  • consents in writing to an extended deadline.

You will be notified in writing if the deadline is extended for any reason. The deadline is extended from the date of the CFB’s notice until an adequate response is received. If the CFB asks for and your campaign grants additional time to complete the audit, the deadline will be extended for the number of days agreed upon.

SEE ALSO...