Note:  new application feeERIE COUNTY




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See reverse side of this announcement for fee waiver information


NO. 64-382                                                                                                      SALARIES VARY


At present there is one vacancy in the Department of Law ($28,502 - $35,840) and one vacancy in the Town of West Seneca ($27,473).  The eligible list resulting from this examination will be used to fill this vacancy and other appropriate vacancies which may occur in municipalities or districts under the jurisdiction of Erie County Civil Service while this list is active.


RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS:  CANDIDATES MUST HAVE BEEN LEGAL RESIDENTS OF ERIE COUNTY FOR AT LEAST FOUR MONTHS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DATE OF THE WRITTEN TEST AND MUST BE LEGAL RESIDENTS OF ERIE COUNTY  AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT.  Preference may be given to successful candidates who have been residents of the municipality in which the appointment is to be made for four months preceding the date of the written test and who are residents of the municipality at the time of appointment.  Non-residents may be required to become a resident of the appointing municipality if local law so states. 


A promotion examination will be held at the same time as this examination.  The list resulting from the promotion examination will be used first but appointments from this open competitive examination are anticipated.  Use of the list may be suspended after it is one year old for any position which it is practical to fill through a new promotion examination.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:  Candidates must meet the following requirements on or before the date of the written test:  Graduation from high school  or possession of a high school equivalency diploma and three years of office clerical experience.


NOTE:  Additional office clerical experience, beyond the three year requirement, may be substituted for high school graduation on a year for year basis; and completion of a post-high school secretarial course, of at least one year duration, may be substituted for one year of the required office clerical experience.


NOTE:  1  Verifiable part-time and/or volunteer experience will be pro-rated toward meeting the experience requirements.  2.  Your degree and/or college credit must have been awarded by a regionally accredited college or university or one recognized by the New York State Education Department as following acceptable educational practices.  A grade of “D” or better is necessary for a course to be credited as successfully completed.  If your degree and/or college credit was awarded by an educational institution outside of the United States and its territories, you must provide independent verification of equivalency.  You can write to this Department for a list of acceptable companies providing this service; you must pay the required evaluation fee.


NOTICE:  Erie County no longer maintains a file of applicant transcripts.  Exam applicants must be prepared to provide documentation of educational qualifications (transcript, diploma, etc.) to the hiring agency prior to appointment.  Documentation may also be submitted with the exam application.


DUTIES:  A Principal Clerk supervises, instructs and coordinates the work of employees performing typing, filing, or related office clerical work; maintains specialized records and prepares reports relating to the activities of the department to which assigned; prepares payrolls and maintains time/attendance and employee personnel folders and insures confidentiality of such information; maintains simple financial records and accounts relating to departmental budgets and/or expenditures for supplies and equipment; prepares statistical reports and related documents and checks for accuracy; assists in preparing budgets and personnel request documents; requisitions and inventories office supplies and equipment; maintains control of purchase orders; lays out, oversees and checks for accuracy, the work of a number of subordinate clerical employees; develops, tests and assists in the installation of new work methods and procedures; may be responsible for the production of photo I.D. cards; may occasionally operate an alpha-numeric keyboard to transcribe data to either punch cards, tapes, magnetic disc or directly to a computer.


A medical examination may be required before appointment.


TO RECEIVE ADDITIONAL POINTS.  (See application for more information.)






A P R I L  2 8,  2 0 0 7






M A R C H  2 8,  2 0 0 7


                                                                                           - 2 -


SUBJECT OF EXAMINATION:  The written test is designed to test for knowledge, skills, and/or abilities in such areas as:

1.          CODING/DECODING INFORMATION - These questions test your ability to use written directions to code and decode information accurately. You will be asked to apply sets of coding rules to code information and to interpret coded information. Complete directions will be provided; no previous knowledge of or training in any coding system is required.

2.          OFFICE MANAGEMENT - These questions test for knowledge of the principles and practices of planning, organizing and controlling the activities of an office and directing those performing office activities so as to achieve predetermined objectives such as accomplishing office work within reasonable limits of time, effort and cost expenditure. Typical activities may include but will not be restricted to: simplifying and improving procedures, increasing office efficiency, improving the office work environment and controlling office supplies.

3.          OFFICE RECORD KEEPING - These questions test your ability to perform common office record keeping tasks. The test consists of two or more "sets" of questions, each set concerning a different problem. Typical record keeping problems might involve the organization or collation of data from several sources; scheduling; maintaining a record system using running balances; or completion of a table summarizing data using totals, subtotals, averages and percents.

4.          SUPERVISION - These questions test for knowledge of the principles and practices employed in planning, organizing, and controlling the activities of a work unit toward predetermined objectives. The concepts covered, usually in a situational question format, include such topics as assigning and reviewing work; evaluating performance; maintaining work standards; motivating and developing subordinates; implementing procedural change; increasing efficiency; and dealing with problems of absenteeism, morale, and discipline.

5.          UNDERSTANDING AND INTERPRETING WRITTEN MATERIAL - These questions test how well you comprehend written material. You will be provided with brief reading selections and will be asked questions about the selections. All the information required to answer the questions will be presented in the selections; you will not be required to have any special knowledge relating to the subject areas of the selections.

NOTICE TO CANDIDATES:  Unless otherwise noted, candidates are permitted to use quiet, hand held, solar or battery powered calculators.  Devices with typewriter keyboards, "Spell Checkers", " Personal Digital Assistants", "Address Books", "Language Translators", "Dictionaries", or any similar devices are prohibited.  You may not bring books or other reference materials.




                                                                                           INFORMATION FOR CANDIDATES

APPLICATION FORMS:  You may obtain these forms in person at the Erie County Personnel Department, Rath County Office Building, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo.  Forms are also available in the libraries and at Town, Village and School District administrative offices.


Mail your application form when completed to the Erie County Department of Personnel, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY  14202.


Candidates who submit incomplete applications and documentation may be disqualified.  The Erie County Department of Personnel reserves the right to reject for lateness or to accept applications filed after the advertised filing period.


MILITARY STATUS:  Active duty military personnel may file an application for this exam.  A special military make-up examination will be conducted for any member of the armed forces of the United States who has duly filed a timely application but who was deprived of the opportunity to compete in the scheduled exam due to active military duty.  Special conditions apply to these requests and may be reviewed at the Erie County Department of Personnel.


VETERANS:  Disabled and non-disabled veterans as defined in Section 85, New York State Civil Service Law, will have 10 and 5 points, respectively added to their earned scores if successful in the examination.  You must claim these credits when you file application but you have an option to waive them any time prior to appointment.  If you have already used these credits for a permanent position in NYS, you may not claim them again.


In conformance with section 85-a of the Civil Service Law, CHILDREN OF FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY shall be entitled to receive an additional ten points in a competitive examination for original appointment in the same municipality in which his or her parent has served.  If you are qualified to participate in this examination and are a child of a firefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty in this municipality, please inform this office of this matter when you submit your application for examination.  A candidate claiming such credit has a minimum of two months from the application deadline to provide the necessary documentation to verify additional credit eligibility.  However, no credit may be added after the eligible list has been established.


APPLYING FOR EXAMINATIONS IN MULTIPLE JURISDICTIONS ON SAME DATE.  If you have applied for any other Civil Service exams for employment with New York State or any other local government jurisdiction, you must make arrangement to take all the exams at one test site.


If you have applied for both State and Local government exams, you must make arrangements to take all your exams at the State exam center by calling 1-877-NYS-JOBS (1-877-697-5627) no later than two weeks before the test date.
If you have applied for other local government exams, call or write each Civil Service Agency to make arrangements.  You must make your request for these arrangements no later than three weeks before the date of the exams.  You must notify all local government civil service agencies with whom you have filed an application of the which you wish to take your exam(s).  For this exam call (716)858-7509 or write Erie Co. Personnel Dept., 95 Franklin St, Buffalo, NY  14202.


ADMISSION TO EXAMINATION:  Notice to appear for the test will be conditional as review of application for minimum requirements may not be made until after the written test.  Call or write this Department if you have not received your notice 3 days before the date of the test.  You may not be admitted to the examination room without official notice.


SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS:  Applicants whose religious beliefs prevent their taking examinations before sundown on Saturday and physically handicapped candidates who require special examination facilities should so inform the Erie County Department of Personnel, by a separately mailed letter at the earliest possible date before the test.


RATINGS REQUIRED:  Tests are rated on a scale of 100 with a passing mark at 70.  Unless the announcement states otherwise, you must pass the written test and the oral test, if any.  Test instructions may further divide the tests into parts and set minimum standards for each part.


TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE:  If a subject of the examination, training and experience may not be rated if all passing candidates are expected to be immediately reachable for appointment.  If rated, training and experience will be based on the statements in your  application subject to verification.  If this examination includes a qualifying written test, candidates admitted to the test will have conditional approval only.  Final decision regarding the qualifications of candidates rests with the New York State Department of Civil Service.


VERIFICATION OF QUALIFICATIONS:  Candidates may be investigated or called for an interview to verify information contained on the application.


Verifiable part-time and/or volunteer experience may be pro-rated toward meeting full-time experience requirements.


MEDICAL EXAMINATION:  You may be required to take a medical examination to determine if you are medically and physically capable of performing the duties of the position.


In accordance with State Law, Governor’s Executive Order 6, and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended the County of Erie does not discriminate against handicapped persons in access to employment, during employment, or in any of its programs

and activities.

ELIGIBLE LIST:  The eligible list resulting from an examination may also be used for appointment to the same title or to any other title deemed to be similar and appropriate.  Eligible lists are active for a minimum of one year and a maximum of four years from the date established.


Background Investigation:  Applicants may be required to undergo a State and national criminal history background investigation, which will include a fingerprint check, to determine suitability for appointment.  Failure to meet the standards for the background investigation may result in disqualification.  Applicants may be required to pay a fee for the investigation.


NOTE:  Fingerprints are sometimes required at the time of appointment.  When they are required, the fee involved must be paid by the appointee.



A $20.00 filing fee is required for this exam.  The required fee must accompany your application.  Send or bring check or money order made payable to Erie County Personnel Department and write the examination number(s) on your check or money order.  Do not send or bring cash, as the County cannot be responsible for cash payment.  As no refund will be made, you are urged to compare your qualifications carefully with the requirements for admission and file only for those examinations for which you are clearly qualified.


APPLICATION FEE WAIVER:  A waiver of application fee will be allowed if you are unemployed and primarily responsible for the support of a household.  In addition, a waiver of application fee will be allowed if you are determined eligible for Medicaid, or receiving Supplemental Security Income payments, or Public Assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/Family Assistance or Safety Net Assistance) or are certified Job Training Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act eligible through a State or local social service agency.


All claims for application fee waiver are subject to verification.  If you can verify eligibility for application fee waiver, complete a “Request for Application Fee Waiver and Certification: form and submit it with your application by the close of business on the Application Deadline as listed on the Examination Announcement.  The form is available at the Erie County Personnel Department, 95 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY  (Room 604) or can be downloaded from the County’s website at  Click on “County Departments and Agencies”, then “Erie County Civil Service”.


This examination is prepared and rated by the New York State Department of Civil Service, and held in compliance with

the New York State Civil Service Law and the rules and regulations of the New York State Department of Civil Service.