Generally, the governing body of a public entity, as a whole, must approve the expenditure of public funds. The decision to expend public funds should be based upon a formal vote of the governing body that is memorialized in the meeting minutes.
On occasion, an elected official will authorize a payment on behalf of their public entity without first obtaining approval from the governing body. A public official who individually agrees to a payment of public funds runs the risk that the governing body will disagree. When that happens, the public official may be personally liable for the payment.
Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 02/28/2014