1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Public Officers
  4. Article 2: Appointment and Qualification of Public Officers


Section 11 Official undertakings

Public Officers (PBO)

1. Every official undertaking, when required by or in pursuance of law to be hereafter executed or filed by any officer, shall be to the effect that he will faithfully discharge the duties of his office and promptly account for and pay over all moneys or property received by him as such officer, in accordance with law, or in default thereof, that the parties executing such undertaking will pay all damages, costs and expenses resulting from such default, not exceeding a sum, if any, specified in such undertaking. The undertaking of a state officer or clerk or employee shall be approved by the attorney-general as to its form and manner of execution and by the comptroller as to the sufficiency of the sureties and be filed in the comptroller's office. The undertaking of a municipal officer shall, if not otherwise provided by law, be approved as to its form and the sufficiency of the sureties by the chief executive officer or by the governing body of the municipality and be filed with the clerk thereof. The approval by such governing body may be a resolution, a certified copy of which shall be attached to the undertaking. The undertaking of such county officer shall, if not otherwise provided by law, be approved as to its form and the sufficiency of the sureties by the clerk of the county, and filed in his office. The undertaking of a town officer shall, if not otherwise provided by law, be approved as to its form and the sufficiency of the sureties by the clerk of the county and filed in his office. The sum specified in an official undertaking shall be the sum for which such undertaking shall be required by or in pursuance of law is given. If no sum, or a different sum from that required by or in pursuance of law, be specified in the undertaking, it shall be deemed to be an undertaking for the amount so required. If no sum be required by or in pursuance of law to be so specified, the officer or board authorized to approve the undertaking shall fix the sum to be specified therein. Every official undertaking shall be executed and duly acknowledged by at least two sureties, each of whom shall add thereto his affidavit that he is a freeholder or householder within the state, stating his occupation and residence and the street number of his residence and place of business if in a city, and a sum which he is worth over and above his just debts and liabilities and property exempt from execution. The aggregate of the sums so stated in such affidavits must be at least double the amount specified in the undertaking. If the surety on an official undertaking of a state or local officer, clerk or employee of the state or political subdivision thereof or of a municipal corporation be a fidelity or surety corporation, the reasonable expense of procuring such surety, not exceeding one percentum per annum upon the sum for which such undertaking shall be required by or in pursuance of law to be given, shall be a charge against the state or political subdivision or municipal corporation respectively in and for which he is elected or appointed, except that the expense of procuring such surety as aforesaid, on an official undertaking of any officer, clerk or employee in any city department of the city of New York, or of any office, board or body of said city, or of a borough or county within said city, including officers, clerks and employees of every court within said city, shall not be a charge upon said city or upon any of the counties contained within said city, unless the comptroller of the said city, shall first have approved the necessity of requiring such official undertaking to be given, and shall have approved of or fixed the amount of any such official undertaking; but this exception shall not apply to an official undertaking specifically required by statute to be given, and the amount of which is specifically fixed by statute. The failure to execute an official undertaking in the form or by the number of sureties required by or in pursuance of law, or of a surety thereto to make an affidavit required by or in pursuance of law, or in the form so required, or the omission from such an undertaking of the approval required by or in pursuance of law, shall not affect the liability of the sureties therein.

  2. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section or any other law, general, special or local, requiring an official undertaking to be conditioned substantially to the effect that an officer, clerk or employee will faithfully discharge his duties and promptly account for and pay over all moneys or property received by him in his official capacity, it shall be permissible in lieu thereof, with the consent and approval of the officer or governing body authorized to require the undertaking, for any department or agency of the state or any municipal corporation or district corporation or department or agency thereof to procure a blanket undertaking from any duly authorized corporate surety covering officers, clerks and employees. Any such blanket undertaking entered into on or after January first, nineteen hundred seventy-eight shall indemnify against losses:

  (a) through the failure of the officers, clerks and employees covered thereunder faithfully to perform their duties or to account properly for all moneys or property received by virtue of their positions or employment, and

  (b) through fraudulent or dishonest acts committed by the officers, clerks and employees covered thereunder.

  Notwithstanding any provisions of the civil practice law and rules any such blanket undertaking entered into prior to January first, nineteen hundred eighty-three may contain a provision that no suit, action or proceeding of any kind to recover on account of loss under such blanket undertaking shall be brought after the expiration of three years from the cancellation of such blanket undertaking as an entirety. Any such blanket undertaking shall be approved as to its form, manner of execution and sufficiency of the surety and filed and the expense of procuring such surety paid in the same manner as provided in subdivision one of this section. The failure to execute such blanket undertaking in the form required by law, or the omission of the approval required by law, shall not affect the liability of the surety thereon.

  3. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the procuring of a blanket undertaking to cover the liability of employees handling funds collected pursuant to the provisions of section fifty of the vehicle and traffic law.

  4. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section or any other law, general or special, requiring an official undertaking or bond to be conditioned substantially to the effect that a state officer, clerk or employee will faithfully discharge his duties and promptly account for and pay over all moneys or property received by him in his official capacity, the comptroller may, in his discretion, waive the requirement of procuring such official undertaking or bond, and the expense of procuring an official undertaking or bond shall not be a charge upon the state unless the comptroller shall first have approved the necessity of requiring such official undertaking or bond.