I thought I'd spend some time taking a more deep dive into the LOSAP Point System. There was a flurry of audit activity from from State in 2014 and 2015, which gave us more insight into how the State views that Point Systems should be adopted and administered. Since 2015, there have been a handful of additional audits, which gave some additional insight. What we'll do here over the next several weeks is take a deeper dive into the Point System, looking at each category and seeing what we can learn from legal opinions from the State Comptroller as well as State audit results.
These blog posts are not legal advice, and you should not rely completely on the information contained in these posts before reviewing them with your local attorney!
To start, note that the Point System is found in Section 217(c) of the General Municipal Law. The current version of the statute includes nine (9) categories from which a LOSAP sponsor can select when adopting a Point System.
This is the first key point - that the LOSAP sponsor does not have to include all nine (9) categories. The statute first states "Points shall be granted in accordance with a system adopted by the program sponsor. Such system shall provide that points shall be granted for activities designated by the program sponsor, which activities shall be selected from the following:" After this language, the nine (9) categories are detailed, and then the statute reads "The program sponsor may designate less than all the activities specified in this subdivision as activities for which points may be earned."
This is helpful to know when a municipality is first adopting a LOSAP, but creates some difficulty when the statute is amended, which has happened several times over the now 30 years since the original LOSAP bill was signed into law. This challenge will be discussed in a future post.