DiNapoli: Undocumented Overtime Paid at Kings Park CSD
Due to weak financial controls over payroll, the Kings Park Central School District may have paid the former schools superintendent $10,000 more than she was due, and made another $8,500 in undocumented overtime payments to four employees, according to an audit released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The district also paid a $7,500 stipend to an assistant superintendent with no documentation of board approval, and incorrectly credited several employees with sick time not due them. The audit covered the period July 2006 to March 2008.
“The district didn’t have written polices for payroll processing, leaving employees to follow informal procedures,” said DiNapoli. “Payroll processing shouldn’t be guess work – particularly in these times when every dime counts.”
The audit found the district:
- Paid the former superintendent $6,973 for nine days in 2007 for which she did not sign in as working, and the payroll supervisor could not explain this discrepancy. Additionally, the former superintendent may have been overpaid $3,309 in unused vacation time;
- Paid a former assistant superintendent a stipend for teacher training of $7,500 in addition to her salary of $155,040. District officials indicated that the stipend was paid from state grant money. However, a grant does not exempt the board from approving the compensation;
- Paid three custodians $5,750 for working 137 hours of overtime based only on their supervisor’s verbal authorization; there was no documentation to justify the need for the overtime; and
- Paid a mechanic $2,839 for 65 hours of overtime, with no written justification or pre-approval.
DiNapoli recommended that district officials:
- Ensure that leave time is accurately recorded and charged against leave accruals in accordance with employee contracts and district policy;
- Investigate any potential overpayments made for leave time and attempt to recover such payments or adjust employee leave accruals;
- Verify and attest to the accuracy of overtime hours worked before such information is submitted to the payroll department for payment; and
- Approve all staff appointments, formally establish employee compensation, and authorize any change to an employee’s benefits or compensation that is not contractual.
School officials generally agreed with DiNapoli’s recommendations, and indicated they would take corrective action.
Click here for a copy of the audit.
School District Accountability
In order to improve accountability of the state’s schools, DiNapoli’s office will audit all of New York’s school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services by 2010. The State Comptroller’s office has completed 630 school audits and approximately 130 school audits are currently underway.