Meet Comptroller Braswell
Natalie Braswell is completing the term of her friend and former colleague Kevin Lembo, who resigned due to health issues on Dec. 31, 2021. She was appointed by Governor Ned Lamont.
Braswell served for 10 years as General Counsel and Assistant State Comptroller under Lembo. As the agency's chief legal officer, she negotiated and drafted a number of technology, healthcare, pharmacy and consulting contracts with statewide impact, and served as a chief negotiator for transformative agreements to modernize service delivery and save taxpayer dollars. Braswell played a critical role in the development of fiscal policy, retirement security programs, health care initiatives and other key agency operations.
Prior to her appointment, Braswell served as the chief of planning, legal, and regulatory affairs at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). She was an Associate Attorney at Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, PC where she practiced in the areas of municipal finance, public law and general corporate law from 2007-2011.
She is the former Vice President of the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association and the UConn Law School Foundation Board of Directors and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Urban Legal Initiative.
Braswell is a "Triple Husky," having attended the University of Connecticut where she earned a BA in Political Science, a Masters in Public Administration, and a JD from the School of Law. She lives in Bloomfield with her husband Rob, her daughter Gabby, and their dog Diogi.
About the Office of the State Comptroller
Office of the State Comptroller Natalie Braswell, State Comptroller
Martha Carlson, Deputy Comptroller
Established - 1786
Statutory authority - State Constitution
Central office - 165 Capitol Avenue,
Hartford, CT 06106-1775
Average number of full-time employees - 256
Recurring operating expenses - $24,190,877
To provide accounting and financial services, to administer employee and
retiree benefits, to develop accounting policy and exercise accounting
oversight, and to prepare financial reports for state, federal and
municipal governments and the public.
The responsibilities of the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) were
first charged in the State Constitution in 1786, and have been expanded
over the years in the Connecticut General Statutes. According to Article
Fourth, Section 24 of the State Constitution, the State Comptroller
"shall adjust and settle all public accounts and demands, except grants
and orders of the general assembly. He shall prescribe the mode of
keeping and rendering all public accounts."
In addition, state law charges the office to adjust and/or settle all
demands against the state not first adjusted and settled by the General
Assembly; to prepare all accounting statements relating to the financial
condition of the state; to provide for the budgetary and financial
reporting needs of the executive branch through the Core-CT computerized
system; to pay all wages and salaries of state employees; and to
administer miscellaneous appropriations including the procurement of
medical, dental and pharmacy benefits.
The bulk of the Comptroller's statutory requirements are detailed in CGS
Secs. 3-111 through 3-123.
The office is organized by six divisions:
Accounts Payable Division
The Accounts Payable Division manages the centralized accounts payable
function for the state, maintains a database of more than 126,000
records on state vendor profiles, initiates and monitors the process for
paying and settling the state's obligations, examines state encumbrances
and expenditures for compliance, conducts pre-audits of procurement
requests for $1 million or more, and addresses a variety of necessary
federal and state requirements and Freedom of Information requests.
The division processes special payments such as tax-exempt bond funds,
debt service, state legal settlements, land condemnations, human
resource benefits, federal pass-through and state grants. These payments
are processed through various methods such as checks, Automated Clearing
House (ACH, also known as electronic funds transfer or EFT), wire
transfers, and inter-agency transfers.
The division enforces the statutory, regulatory and accounting
provisions mandated by state and federal law and by the comptroller's
policies; facilitates the execution of state grant programs for payment
to municipalities and/or non-profit organizations; produces reports of
payments to municipalities and provides assistance to municipalities'
independent auditors in the reconciliation of such payments; maintains
financial records, including garnishments/offsets through the vendor
file database within the state's Core-CT administrative and financial
system; assists agencies in processing transactions and troubleshooting
problems with such transactions in Core-CT; develops manuals and
provides training to other state agencies' business office staff;
processes and distributes forms for certain vendors, grantees and the
Internal Revenue Service.
Budget and Financial Analysis Division
The Budget and Financial Analysis Division performs the state's accounting and financial reporting functions and develops and executes the agency budget. The division is responsible for posting, analyzing and reporting state expenditures and receipts by fund and account category inclusive of federal and other funding sources.
The division computes and reports direct and indirect costs associated with major state programs. This cost data is recorded and maintained in accordance with federal law and is used to secure reimbursements from federal and other funding sources. At the comptroller's direction, the division prepares a monthly analysis of the state's budget condition that contains the financial statements for the latest month and projections for the budget position to year's end.
The division publishes two of the comptroller's annual financial reports -- a budgetary base (modified cash basis of accounting) report that details and analyzes state expenditures, receipts, and capital budget activities for the fiscal year; and a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) that analyzes the state's overall fiscal position and provides audited financial statements for state and state-supported fiscal activities.
Healthcare Policy & Benefit Services Division
The Healthcare Policy & Benefit Services Division administers benefits
programs for all state employees, retirees, and their families. The
largest programs are the medical, pharmacy, and dental benefit programs
covering over 200,000 lives. The division is responsible for the
contract procurement, administration, and evaluation of these programs.
The division provides administrative support to the Healthcare Cost
Containment Committee, as well as substantive updates on the
patient-centered medical home initiative, eligibility for and enrollment
in the state employee and retiree health plan, and rates and utilization
In 2010, the division implemented a new prescription purchasing
initiative that could save municipal and state taxpayers millions of
dollars. The Connecticut Prescription Partnership is a strictly
voluntary partnership that permits towns and cities to join the state's
self-insured pharmacy benefit program and achieve significant savings by
purchasing drugs through the state.
The division is working on new and expanded opportunities for
municipalities and non-profits to procure health care in coordination
with the state, potentially saving significant dollars and resources.
The division is also responsible for administrating the State of
Connecticut Defined Contribution Plans, including oversight of
investments which are currently in excess of $3.2 billion.
The division also coordinates group life insurance, unemployment
insurance and supplemental benefits for state employees.
Information Technology Division
The Information Technology Division is an inter-agency team that
supports and helps maintain Core-CT, the statewide financial, human
resource, and payroll system. Core-CT performs the state's accounting,
accounts payable, accounts receivable, purchasing, billing, project
management, human resource, time and attendance, payroll, and benefits
administration functions and is used by well over 10,000 state
employees. In total there are approximately 50 employees of the Office
of the State Comptroller who work full time on supporting the system's
The division is responsible for the maintenance and upgrade of Core-CT,
and provides analysis for the comptroller regarding strategic
information technology issues impacting the state.
The division's Technology Support Unit develops and maintains the
comptroller's technical infrastructure, including local area network
(LAN) planning, personal computer (PC) installation and troubleshooting,
training in desktop software applications, help desk support for all PC
users, and development of custom PC/LAN applications and is responsible
for web development and maintenance for the comptroller's Intranet and
Internet web sites.
Payroll Services Division
The Payroll Services Division pays all state employees; coordinates all
payroll deductions; maintains records on payroll taxes; and deposits
federal and state income tax withholding and social security
contributions. It pre-audits and issues state employee and deduction
checks on a bi-weekly basis; submits deduction reports; maintains wage
execution records, and administers direct deposit programs.
The payroll system accommodates unique state payroll requirements
including interfaces with central agencies, mass salary changes,
collective bargaining information, complex accounting transactions and
extensive management reporting.
The division implemented ePay, an initiative to transition the state to
a paperless payroll system that will save significant state resources.
This pilot program is enabling thousands of state employees to receive
electronic pay statements, with the ultimate goal of moving virtually
all state employees to the paperless system.
The division staff also produces information requests for state
employees, state agencies, outside organizations, and the general
public, including the media.
Retirement Services Division
The Retirement Services Division administers state pension plans serving
more than 40,000 state retirees.
In providing oversight and management of the state pension plans, the
division performs a comprehensive package of services including
retirement counseling and administrative support to the Connecticut
State Employees Retirement Commission.
It receives and processes retirement applications from state agencies,
and it manages computer, accounting, investigatory, payroll, training,
record-keeping, and compliance activities related to the state's complex
The division analyzes and implements ever-changing statutory,
collectively bargained, and federally mandated revisions to the pension
plans within its jurisdiction. It plans, researches and develops new
products based on retirement conditions and trends.