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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 posted to your CFB Portal account. It is imperative that you check the Message Center in the Portal regularly and keep your email address current so you will receive alerts when notices post.

The post-election audit happens in three stages:

The first step in the post-election audit process is the Initial Documentation Request (IDR). This request for documentation you didn't previously submit will be posted in your CFB Portal account. 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 IDR and DAR is a critical opportunity to address issues that may lead to penalties or repayment of public funds 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 C-SMART transaction ID.

Most findings may require you to file amendments to your disclosure statements using C-SMART. After data entry is complete, you should submit amendments to all previously filed disclosure statements. Additionally, run the last statement of the election cycle you have submitted so far, 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 at least 48 hours prior to the deadline 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 to your CFB Portal account.

You may receive a Notice of Alleged Violations and/or a Notice of Public Funds Repayment Obligation, after responding to the DAR. These notices include findings that remain unaddressed or for which you provided an insufficient response.

For further assistance with the post-election audit process, be sure to attend a Post-Election training and contact your Candidate Services Liaison. 

The Final Audit Report (FAR) is sent 14-18 months after the first semi-annual disclosure statement following election day is filed. It will be posted to your CFB Portal account and published on the CFB's website. It will detail any findings, violations, and penalties determined by the Board. It will also detail any public funds repayments owed to the Public Fund. If a post-election 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 first semi-annual disclosure statement after the election. For most elections, except some special elections, that disclosure statement is due in January 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.

These DAR and FAR completion 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 any request for information;
  • submits an inadequate response to any request for information;
  • requests an extension to its response deadline; or
  • consents in writing to an extended deadline.

You will receive a notice in your CFB Portal account if the deadline to complete the DAR and/or FAR is extended for any reason. If the delay is caused by a late or inadequate response by your campaign, the deadline is extended 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. If the CFB grants your request for an extension, the deadline will be extended for the number of days agreed upon.

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