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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

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

Released: 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.

Background

The City of Long Beach (City) is located in Nassau County and has a population of approximately 34,000. The City is governed by its charter, City Code and New York State laws. The five-member City Council (Council) has overall responsibility for the City’s operations, with the City Manager and other administrative staff having responsibility for overseeing and managing the City’s daily operations.

Quick Facts
Number of Employees820
2018-19 Appropriations$94.5 million
2017-18 Separation Payments$1.78 million
2017-18 Unused Leave Payments (Drawdowns)$247,389

Audit Period

July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018.

For all officers and employees who received any part of their separation payments during this period, we extended our scope back to July 1, 2012 to review the entirety of those separation payments.


Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.ny.gov
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236