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ABOUT THE CONTROLLER

About Controller

The City Controller is one of two independently elected, citywide offices in the City of Pittsburgh, the other being the Mayor. The term of office for the City Controller is four years, and is not term limited. 

The City Controller is the fiscal watchdog for the citizens of the City of Pittsburgh. It is the job of the Controller to protect City tax dollars from waste, fraud and abuse. The Controller does this by auditing all city government related expenditures (the City also has a Finance Department and Treasurer who collect and audit all City revenues).

The Controller also conducts audits of all City departments and City authorities such as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Pittsburgh Parking Authority, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and the Pittsburgh Housing Authority.

Through audits of City departments and authorities, the Controller makes recommendations on how to make those departments more effective, efficient and how to better spend City tax dollars.

In addition to auditing City departments, the City Controller reviews and approves City contracts and is also charged with reporting to the citizens of Pittsburgh, the Mayor, and City Council the state of the City’s fiscal condition.

Every year, the City Controller issues the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The CAFR provides detailed information on Pittsburgh’s short-term and long-term financial outlook.

Lastly, the City Controller sits on the boards of the city’s Municipal Pension Fund and the Comprehensive Municipal Fund.

Biography of City Controller Michael E. Lamb

Michael E. Lamb was elected Controller of the City of Pittsburgh in November of 2007, and took office on January 7, 2008. As Controller, Michael Lamb has put a focus on making the Pittsburgh government more transparent. Lamb created Open Book Pittsburgh, a website that allows citizens to search and view all City contracts, and campaign contributions and expenses of all candidates running for office in the City of Pittsburgh.

Lamb also released Pittsburgh’s first Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR), a user-friendly version of the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), that provides a clearer picture of the state of Pittsburgh’s finances and information on Pittsburgh’s demographics and government.

Michael Lamb has worked to make the Controller’s Office more effective and the City more efficient. Audits by the City Controller’s Office under Lamb have exposed waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars in many City departments and authorities.

Audits also led to improvements by City departments and authorities in the way they interact with taxpayers. Working with officials from neighboring municipalities, Michael was instrumental in the creation of CONNECT, The Congress of Neighboring Communities.

An aggressive political organizer, Michael Lamb has managed successful political campaigns in Allegheny County and in the City of Pittsburgh, including the Allegheny 2000 Citizens Committee which advocated for the County Home Rule Charter.

Putting the interests of Allegheny County’s citizens before his own, Lamb was an outspoken supporter of row office consolidation. Lamb even advocated for the elimination of the Prothonotary’s Office, his own elected position. In 2005, the citizens of Allegheny County voted to consolidate the County’s row offices. As a result, Lamb became the last Prothonotary of Allegheny County.

In addition to being City Controller, Michael Lamb is active in the community. Lamb was a founding co-chair of A Plus Schools, the community alliance for Pittsburgh Public education. In addition, Lamb serves on the boards of the Kane Foundation, the Catholic Youth Association, the Downtown Pittsburgh YMCA, and the 3 Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration Project. He is also a participating member of the Mount Washington–Duquesne Heights Community Development Corporation, and the Board of Fellows of the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics.

Lamb attended Penn State University for his undergraduate degree. He then continued his education by earning a Juris Doctorate from the Duquesne University School of Law and a Master’s Degree from the H. John Heinz School of Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.He is also a graduate of the Local Government Academy and an attorney admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Lamb has been a lifelong resident of Allegheny County, he was raised in the Beechview neighborhood of Pittsburgh where he attended St. Catherine’s School. He then went on to South Hills Catholic and Seton LaSalle High School. Lamb now resides in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Pittsburgh with his wife, Jill.

Core Services

Accounting

  • Incorporates all financial data into the Controller's financial information system.
  • Performs bank reconciliations, transfers of funds, and code account creation.  
  • Prepares monthly reports of revenues, quarterly reports of expenditures, and a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Accounts Payable

  • Audits City government related expenditures and provides payment to City vendors.
  • Audits all City contracts for specs before countersignature by Controller and digitizes all contracts,
  • Audits and payment documentation for support checks. Also accepts bids to be awarded for contracts.

Performance Audit 

  • Conducts audits of City departments and authorities (URA, Parking, Stadium, etc.) to ensure that program goals and objectives are being met;
  • Test for compliance with applicable laws;
  • Making constructive recommendations for improvement.

Fiscal Audit

  • Performs fiscal reviews of City departments and authorities, typically analyzing revenues and expenditures. Audits the City's imprest and trust fund accounts. 


Engineering

  • Inspects and audits all engineering, architectural, construction, and demolition contracts during and after completion of projects.