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November 23, 2010



District Could Have Saved More Than $90,000

The Gates-Chili Central School District is taking steps to effectively manage overtime custodial expenditures in response to an audit by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.  DiNapoli’s audit revealed that the district could have saved more than $90,000 in overtime wages and associated costs by improving management and oversight of these expenses.

“Times are tough, and $90,000 is a lot to be lost to inefficiency,” DiNapoli said.  “Our audits are tools than can help save taxpayer dollars.  Gates-Chili is using that tool to control custodial overtime costs.  The end result is a win for the district and a win for the taxpayers.”

The audit covered the period July 1, 2008 to April 2, 2010.

DiNapoli’s auditors reviewed the payroll records for 12 bi-weekly payroll periods for eight custodians who received overtime payments totaling $61,241 and did not find any evidence that the facilities supervisor actually preapproved overtime hours worked or reviewed overtime logs to ensure that the custodians actually worked the overtime hours. In addition, custodians did not complete their time cards or overtime logs.  Of the $61,241 in overtime payments, $53,217 was not supported by timecards and overtime logs for the eight employees.

DiNapoli noted that the district could have saved approximately $52,000 on overtime wages and associated costs during the audit period by paying custodians only for the actual time used to perform building checks. The district also could have saved $77,500 on overtime costs by using a combination of security staff and remote monitoring alarms to eliminate onsite building checks, $17,329 by hiring a part-time cleaner to perform field house coverage on the weekends, and $13,946 by requiring other custodians who were already at the buildings incurring overtime for other reasons to perform building checks.

DiNapoli recommended the board and district officials:

  • Adopt an overtime policy and develop written procedures to implement the policy;
  • Evaluate the necessity for continuing weekend building checks;
  • Hire a part-time employee to provide field house coverage or adjust the work schedule of a full-time custodian to provide the same type of coverage; and
  • Use custodial staff already scheduled to be working for other reasons to perform building checks if necessary.

The district generally agreed with DiNapoli’s audit findings and is in the process of implementing some of the recommendations and best practices, including strengthening internal controls and reducing building check overtime.  

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