For Immediate Release:
February 27, 2013
Contact: Harvey Rice
Butkovitz Finds Lack of Payroll Oversight
Rampant Among City Departments
City Controller’s annual audit reveals inadequate oversight of paid leave,
overtime approval & and lateness policy
PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released the Annual Auditor’s Report on Philadelphia City Agencies FY2011 that found several City Departments not providing necessary oversight of payroll for city employees.
Sixty-six percent of City Departments did not independently double check the accuracy of employee work hours entered into the payroll system by payroll clerks. In FY2011, payroll costs for all departments totaled $1.6 billion.
“This lack of review could allow for errors to occur and may result in employees being underpaid or overpaid,” said Butkovitz. “Someone independent of the payroll process should be spot checking the clerk’s work.”
In almost half of the departments, there was no written lateness policy available to guide management on the definition of lateness and the progressive sanctions for violations of the policy. This included nothing in writing that would allow for disciplinary actions over staff work times.
“When there’s no policy stating when an employee needs to be at work, then it can lead to employee abuses by reporting to work late and not fulfilling a complete work day,” said Butkovitz. “Management and supervisors in these departments need to take immediate action and implement an employee lateness policy.”
Additional findings of improper supervisory review included 41 instances of employees in the Mayor’s Office of Community Services who had excessive undocumented sick leave time and were not notified by the agency in accordance with City policy. In the Police Department, it was found that employees were approving their own time.
Other findings included inadequate documentation of paid leave and employee overtime that was not preauthorized.
“The risk of having employees work overtime on a discretionary basis may result in the expenditure of unnecessary payroll dollars,” said Butkovitz. “Institutionalized discretionary overtime may result in lax work habits during the normal work day, resulting in a loss of efficiency.”