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Curran Introduces Quality Assurance Unit to Develop and Review Policy and Procedures for DOA, ARC, and SCAR

LongIsland.com

Ana Sousa, Director of Audits and Grants in Office of Management and Budget will manage the new unit.

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

Photo by: Nassau County

Mineola, NY - January 17, 2019 - Today, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced the formation of the Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) which will provide internal review and help develop new or updated policies and procedures for:
 
  • The Department of Assessment (DOA),
  • The Assessment Review Commission (ARC), and
  • The Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) unit in DOA. 
Ana Sousa, Director of Audits and Grants in the Office of Management and Budget, will manage the new unit.  Sousa will report to Ray Orlando, Deputy County Executive for Finance. 
 
“The purpose of the new QAU is to provide a meaningful and thorough internal review of policy and procedures that will ensure best practices by our departments,” said Curran.  “We are in the process of identifying and recruiting key, knowledgeable assessment personnel.”
 
“I look forward to working with County stakeholders to provide critical management and support as we move into the next phase of reassessment and assessment challenges,” said Sousa.  “We will be diligent and transparent, and we will do this right.  After almost a decade of a frozen roll, there is a lot of work to do on developing updated written protocols.” 
 
Department of Assessment
 
For the 2020-2021 assessment roll, the DOA relied on the work of two outside vendors, Standard Valuation Services and Michael Haberman Associates, to complete the first countywide reassessment in nearly a decade.  The DOA will now need policies and procedures to sustain the new changes and be self-supportive.
 
“We look forward to a new generation of quality appraisal and real estate professionals employed by Nassau County,” said County Assessor David Moog.  “They will benefit from new written procedures and other recommendations from the QAU.”
 
“We recognize that property assessment is an ongoing, fluid process, and that we’re already in a new assessment year, 2021-2022.  The DOA will apply the lessons of the recently-completed reassessment for the new year.  It is a continuous process of updating all the information available on Nassau County’s 400,000+ parcels.  Quality assurance will help us get the job done.” said Curran.
 
Assessment Review Commission
 
ARC is an independent agency, separate from the DOA, which is responsible for annually reviewing applications for correction of assessment of Nassau County assessment rolls.  To ensure seamless operations that will ultimately protect the County’s interests, the County is investing in ARC to expand its staff with experienced, qualified professionals.  The new hires will help the agency assure more meaningful individual reviews and expedite resolutions.  The County just added back millions of dollars in property value on the assessment roll.  There is need for quality assurance metrics and review.
 
The County Comptroller is currently conducting a routine departmental audit of ARC.  “With the County’s new quality assurance unit in place, I’m confident that we’ll be able to fully address their concerns,” said ARC Chairwoman Robin Laveman. 
 
Small Claims Assessment Review Unit
 
Small Claims Assessment Review is a streamlined court procedure that provides class one residential property owners with an opportunity to challenge their assessment following ARC’s review period.
 
The County is investing in its SCAR unit at DOA to increase its staff to give each case greater attention, create more opportunities for property owners to be heard, and move cases faster to a conclusion.  The County’s goal is to ensure that the SCAR unit has sufficient resources to defend the County in SCAR proceedings and thereby reduce the likelihood and expense of refunds.