*Reposted Gotham Gazette. Written by Ben Brachfeld. (photo: John McCarten/City Council)

New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, a progressive Brooklyn Democrat, is getting situated in his new role, which he calls the city’s “chief accountability officer.” As the comptroller, Lander’s citywide perch gives him a series of largely fiscal responsibilities mandated by the city Charter, including as a fiduciary to the public pension funds, a watchdog over city government finances, and the auditor-in-chief of city agencies.

Lander came into office in January at the same time as Mayor Eric Adams, a fellow Brooklyn Democrat who is more moderate, but the two have had a good working relationship over years, they’ve both said. That relationship will be put to the test over the coming years as Lander performs his job holding the mayoral administration accountable and the two look for ways to work together, as they quickly did even before taking their new offices in assembling a joint task force to improve the city’s much-maligned contracting processes, where both the mayoral administration and comptroller’s office have key roles.

That task force has already published a plan that both administrations are now working to implement, with a particular focus on how city government treats the thousands of nonprofit human service providers that the city pays tens of billions of dollars every year to perform essential functions, often for the city’s most vulnerable residents.

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