City of Long Beach - Payments for Unused Leave Accruals (2019M-68)

Issued Date
December 11, 2019

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Assess whether payments to certain City officers and employees for unused leave accruals were authorized and accurately calculated.

Key Findings

  • The City approved $6 million in separation payments to 43 City officers and employees, of which $513,925 in payments to 10 individuals appear inconsistent with the City’s code of ordinances (City Code) and/or collective bargaining agreements (CBAs).
  • The City approved drawdown payments for unused leave accruals, totaling $229,494 to eight City officers and employees at a time other than at separation from service. In the absence of specific authorization for such payments, we question the appropriateness of $224,852, or 98 percent of such payments.
  • The City failed to take adequate corrective action in response to two prior audits that cited leave payments that were inconsistent with the City Code or contractual agreements.

Key Recommendations

  • Amend the City Code to clarify how the City intends to compensate officers and employees for unused leave accruals subject to the City Code.
  • Review the separation and drawdown payments identified in this report and seek recovery of such payments that are inconsistent with the City Code or any other applicable laws.

We conducted two separate audits of the City, one on financial condition and the other on leave accrual payments. The City submitted one response letter that addresses the findings in both reports.

City officials had some concerns about our findings. Appendix B includes our comments to both reports regarding City officials’ concerns.