Act of Jun. 27, 1895, P.L. 403, No. 288              Cl. 16
                                  AN ACT

     Creating the office of county controller in counties of this
        Commonwealth containing one hundred and fifty thousand
        inhabitants and over, prescribing his duties, and abolishing
        the office of county auditor in said counties.

        Compiler's Note:  Section 1051 of Act 447 of 1929 provided
            that Act 288 is repealed except insofar as it relates to
            counties of the first class.
        Section 1.  The office of county controller is hereby
     established, and the office of county auditor or auditors
     abolished, in each county of this Commonwealth which shall
     contain by any Federal census one hundred thousand inhabitants
     or over. At the municipal election in the year one thousand nine
     hundred and thirteen the qualified electors of each such county,
     not now having a controller, shall elect one citizen of such
     county to serve as controller, in place of county auditor or
     auditors, until the first Monday of January, one thousand nine
     hundred and sixteen. At the municipal election in the year one
     thousand nine hundred and fifteen, and quadrennially thereafter,
     the qualified electors of each county entitled to a controller
     shall elect one citizen of such county, who shall serve as
     controller for the term of four years from the first Monday of
     January thereafter following, or until his successor shall be
     qualified, if he so long shall behave himself well.
        (1 amended Mar. 27, 1913, P.L.10, No.13)
        Section 2.  No person holding office under the United States
     shall be eligible to the office of county controller during his
     continuance in office as aforesaid, nor until one year
     thereafter; and the county commissioner, county treasurer,
     prothonotary, register of wills, clerk of the courts, recorder
     of deeds, sheriff and district attorney and their chief clerks
     or deputies shall be ineligible, for two years, to the office of
     county controller, provided the said controller shall always be
     eligible to re-election or appointment.
        Section 3.  Before entering on the duties of his office the
     controller shall give bond to the county for which he may be
     elected, with at least two sureties, in the sum of twenty
     thousand dollars to be approved by the court of common pleas of
     said county, conditioned for the faithful performance of his
     duties and those of his deputy. The controller and his deputy
     and clerks shall also each take and subscribe the oath or
     affirmation as prescribed by article seven, section first, of
     the Constitution of the Commonwealth, a wilful violation of
     which shall be perjury. Said oaths and bonds to be recorded in
     the recorder's office of the proper county and then filed and
     kept in the commissioners' office, and the records thereof, or
     certified copies of the same, shall be used in evidence in all
     judicial proceedings with the same effect as the originals.
        Section 4.  The said controller shall have a general
     supervision and control of the fiscal affairs of the county and
     of the accounts and official acts of all officers or other
     persons who shall collect, receive or distribute the public
     moneys of the county, or who shall be charged with the
     management or custody thereof, and he may, at any time, require
     from any of them, in writing, an account of all moneys, or
     property which may have come into their control, and he shall,
     immediately on the discovery of any default or delinquency,
     report the same to the commissioners and the court of common
     pleas of the county and shall take immediate measures to secure
     the public moneys or property and remove the delinquent party,
     if in office and not removed by the commissioners.
        Section 5.  He shall cause to be kept a full and regular set
     of books, in detail, by double entry, of all the fiscal
     operations of the county, embracing as many accounts under
     appropriate titles as may be necessary to show distinctly and
     separately all the property of the county, its receipts and
     expenditures, and all debts and accounts due by the county
     officers or others the amount raised from each source of
     revenue, and the expenditures in detail, and classified by
     reference to the objects thereof; he shall prescribe the form
     and manner of keeping the books and papers used by each of the
     officers of said county in connection with the fiscal affairs of
     the county, and he shall, on or before the first day of
     February, annually, communicate to the commissioners, in
     writing, a detailed estimate of and for the legitimate purposes
     of the county for the current year, including interests due and
     to fall due on all lawful debts of the county bearing interest,
     and the commissioners shall, on or before the fifteenth day of
     February thereafter, fix such rate of taxation upon the
     valuation of the property of the county as will raise sufficient
     sum to meet the said expenditures, and the commissioners shall
     not, by contract or otherwise, increase the expenditures of the
     county in any year to an amount beyond the taxes assessed as
     aforesaid for said year.
        Section 6.  That he shall, in the month of January in every
     year, make a report, verified by oath or affirmation, to the
     court of common pleas of said county of all receipts and
     expenditures of the county for the preceding year, in detail and
     classified as required in the fifth section of this act,
     together with a full statement of the financial conditions of
     the county, which report shall thereupon be published one time
     in such newspapers published in said county as the controller
     may direct, the aggregate cost of which shall not exceed fifteen
     hundred dollars in any one year, to be paid for out of the
     county treasury, which publication shall be in lieu of that
     required by the twenty-seventh section of the act of fifteenth
     of April, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and thirty-
        (6 amended Apr. 27, 1923, P.L.111, No.84)
        Section 7.  That the controller shall keep his office in a
     room or rooms of the court house of the county to be furnished
     at the expense of the county, and shall furnish the
     commissioners of the county, whenever required by them, a
     detailed account of any officer or other person having in his
     possession or under his control funds belonging to the county,
     and shall, at all times between the hours of ten o'clock ante
     meridian and two o'clock post meridian, give information
     respecting any of said accounts to any taxpayer of the county
     demanding the same.
        Section 8.  That he shall scrutinize, audit and decide on all
     bills, claims and demands whatsoever against the county, and all
     persons having such claims shall first present the same to the
     controller, and, if required, make oath or affirmation before
     him to the correctness thereof; he may, if he deems it
     necessary, require evidence, by oaths or affirmation of the
     claimant and otherwise, that the claim is legally due and that
     the supplies or services for which payment is claimed have been
     furnished or performed under legal authority; he may inquire or
     ascertain whether any officer or agent of the county is
     interested in the contract under which any claim may arise, or
     has received or is to receive any commission, consideration or
     gratuity relating thereto, or whether there has been any evasion
     of the tenth section of this act by making two or more contracts
     for small amounts which should have been in one; and if he shall
     find that there has been any evasion or that any such officer or
     agent is so interested, he shall refuse to approve the claim;
     all claims which he shall find legally due he shall certify to
     the commissioners. He shall countersign all receipts given by
     the county treasurer to persons paying money into the treasury
     and keep an accurate record of the same.
        Section 9.  That after the controller shall have assumed the
     duties of his office under this act the commissioners of said
     county shall draw no warrant on the treasury for any debt, claim
     or demand whatsoever, not audited and approved by the controller
     as provided for in the foregoing section, except for the fees of
     jurors, witnesses, criers and tipstaves of the several courts of
     the county, the amount of said fees to be ascertained by said
     courts and entered on the records thereof and duly certified by
     their respective clerks to the commissioners, being first sworn
     to before the controller, and said certificate shall be
     delivered by the commissioners to the controller for
     preservation as soon as the warrants are issued.
        Section 10.  That from and after the passage of this act all
     contracts made by the commissioners of said county involving an
     expenditure exceeding one hundred dollars shall be in writing,
     and shall, immediately after their execution, be filed with the
     controller; but no contract shall be made, nor the payment
     thereof certified by the controller, for over three hundred
     dollars, unless when made with the lowest and best bidder, after
     due notice to be published by the controller, when directed by
     the commission, if he approved the purpose of the proposals
     invited, all bids to be received by the controller, under seal,
     and to be in his presence opened by the commissioners, and the
     contracts awarded, of which awards the controller shall keep a
     record, and he shall certify no warrants for contracts not made
     agreeably thereto.
        (10 amended Apr. 7, 1927, P.L.176, No.147)
        Section 11.  That all warrants drawn on the county treasury
     by the commissioners on certificates as provided for in the
     eighth, ninth and tenth sections of this act shall be
     countersigned by the controller, who shall keep a correct
     register thereof, noting the number, date and amount of each,
     the date of payment and to whom and for what issued, and shall
     report to the commissioners monthly, or oftener if required by
     them, the amount of outstanding warrants registered, and the
     amount of money in the treasury.
        Section 12.  That the controller shall have the custody of
     all official bonds (except his own) given to the county, and of
     all title deeds to real estate owned by the county, and of all
     contracts entered into by or on behalf of the county, and of all
     books, documents and papers relating to its financial affairs,
     and of all bonds and other obligations issued by said county
     when paid, which bonds and other obligations, when so paid,
     shall be distinctly cancelled by him and carefully and regularly
     be filed, a register of which cancellation shall be kept by him
     in a book to be provided for that purpose.
        Section 13.  The treasurer of said county shall pay no money
     out of the county treasury except on warrants drawn by a
     majority of the commissioners and countersigned by the
     controller. His books shall, at all times during office hours,
     be open to the inspection of the controller, and he shall report
     daily to the controller all moneys received by him from the
     county, the person by whom and on what account they were paid;
     he shall cancel all warrants when made, by distinctly spearing
     or cutting them, he shall also report daily all moneys paid out
     by him, giving the number of the warrant and the party to whom
     paid, and shall deliver the warrants to the controller who shall
     cancel the same, and all outstanding warrants issued before the
     controller enters upon the duties of his office shall be
     presented to him as other claims against the county. But in the
     counties to which this applies wherein the poor tax is paid into
     the county treasury, the county treasurer shall also keep a
     separate account of the said county poor tax received by him and
     pay out the same upon warrants drawn by a majority of the
     directors of the poor of the county.
        Section 14.  The controller shall appoint a deputy controller
     and such other clerks as may be necessary, whose salaries shall
     be fixed by the commissioners and the controller, as provided by
     section seven of the act of thirty-first of March, one thousand
     eight hundred and seventy-six. The deputy controller shall,
     during the necessary or temporary absence of the controller,
     perform all his duties, and also in case of a vacancy, until a
     successor is qualified.
        Section 15.  That all duties devolved on the county auditors
     by the act of April fifteen, one thousand eight hundred and
     thirty-four, and all powers conferred on them by said act shall
     be performed and exercised by the county controller so far as
     regards county accounts and State taxes for which the county is
     or may be liable, and all other accounts with the treasurer with
     the Commonwealth shall be audited by the auditor of the accounts
     of prothonotaries, clerks, et cetera, appointed by the court of
     common pleas under the act of twenty-first of April, one
     thousand eight hundred and forty-six and its supplements. And
     the report required by the seventh section of this act shall
     have the same effect as the report of the auditors under said
     act of the fifteenth of April, one thousand eight hundred and
     thirty-four, with like rights of appeal therefrom.
        Section 16.  The Governor shall appoint a person in each
     county wherein this act is or becomes operative, to act as
     controller of such county until his successor in office is duly
     elected and installed, and shall also appoint a suitable person
     to fill any vacancy that may occur by death, resignation or
     removal from office of controller in any county wherein this act
     is or becomes operative.
        (16 amended May 8, 1901, P.L.140, No.114)