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kingston audit

kingston audit

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Published by Daily Freeman

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Published by: Daily Freeman on Feb 14, 2011
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02/14/2011

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THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI
 
C
OMPTROLLER
 
STATE OF NEW YORK
OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
110 STATE STREETALBANY, NEW YORK 12236
STEVEN J. HANCOX
DEPUTY COMPTROLLERDIVISION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTAND SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITYTel: (518) 474-4037 Fax: (518) 486-6479
February 14, 2011Mayor James M. SottileMembers of the Common Council420 BroadwayKingston, NY 12401Report Number: 2011M-015Dear Mayor Sottile and Members of the Common Council:One of the Office of the State Comptroller’s primary objectives is to identify areas where localgovernments and school districts can improve their operations and provide guidance and servicesthat will assist local officials in making those improvements. Our goals are to develop andpromote short-term and long-term strategies to enable and encourage local government andschool district officials to reduce costs, improve service delivery and to account for and protecttheir entity’s assets.In accordance with these goals, we conducted a limited review of certain police payroll-relatedtime sheets at the City of Kingston (City) for the period June 1, 2009, to August 31, 2010.This report of examination letter contains our finding and recommendations related to ourlimited review. We discussed the finding and recommendations with appropriate City officialsand considered their comments in preparing this report. Officials have generally agreed with ourfinding and recommendations and indicate that they plan to initiate corrective action.
Background, Scope and Methodology
During our audit of the Kingston City School District (District), we identified potential problemsregarding security services performed at the District by City police officers. Specifically, thesepotential problems concerned whether City police officers were performing police services forthe City during hours they were being paid for security services by the District. Therefore, thepurpose of our examination was to determine whether individuals were submitting claims forhours worked as City police officers that coincided with claims submitted to the District forsecurity services.As part of our examination, we interviewed key District personnel regarding security servicetimekeeping policies and procedures and reviewed payments for these services. We identified 13
 
2individuals who worked for the District as security officers and for the City as police officers.For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, these individuals were paid a total of $185,921 by theDistrict for security services. We selected four of the highest-paid individuals for further review.District payments to these four individuals ranged from $12,753 to $58,694 and totaled$110,367. We obtained supporting cash disbursement vouchers at the District for these four Citypolice officers documenting the hours they performed security services at the District during theperiod July 1, 2009
1
to August 2010. We then compared the hours worked, as shown on theDistrict vouchers, to the hours worked, as listed on City payroll overtime records. We performedthis review of City records to determine whether officers were paid by the City and District forthe same hours worked. For the above time period, we also reviewed police overtime records andsuch other documents that we found necessary to determine whether these four police officerswere submitting claims for overlapping hours worked at the City and the District.
Explanation
Based on our review of payroll records at the City and our audit work at the District, weidentified 16 instances, totaling 57 hours, in which one police officer
2
submitted a claim forhours worked as a security guard that coincided with the hours he claimed for police overtime(See Appendix A). In essence, he claimed to be working at two places at the same time. Forexample, on September 8, 2009, District records indicate the individual submitted a claim forworking as a security guard from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm, a shift of 15 hours. On the same date, Cityrecords indicate that the individual claimed to work overtime hours from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm asa police detective. City and District records document that he was working for both entitiessimultaneously from 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm, a period of 5.5 hours.We also identified an instance in which the hours claimed at the City and the hours claimed atthe District by this same individual resulted in an unlikely number of hours being worked withina 24- to 48-hour period. Starting on June 22, 2009, the individual claimed to work from 7:00 amto 9:30 pm at the District and from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am the following morning at the City. Hethen claimed to work from 7:00 am to 9:30 pm on June 23
 
at the District. Therefore, hesubmitted claims for having worked a total of 37 hours during a 38-½ hour period. The numberof hours claimed in this time frame seems highly unusual considering the type of work beingperformed (police and security services).Recordkeeping weaknesses at the City police department contributed to the payment of theseoverlapping hours by the City. The identified police officer, by virtue of his supervisory position,was allowed to authorize his own overtime. Also, City police department officials did notmaintain records to document the starting and ending times for shifts worked.
Recommendations
1.
 
City officials should consider referring this matter to appropriate law enforcement authoritiesand take action to recover any inappropriate payments.
1
Payments made in July 2009 related to the period of service of June 2009.
2
This individual was paid approximately $26 an hour by the District and approximately $52 an hour (for overtime)by the City. He was paid a total of $58,694 by the District for the 2009-10 fiscal year.
 
32.
 
City officials should require that police overtime be authorized and approved by someonecharged with supervising each officer’s work. Starting and ending times should bedocumented for all shifts worked. These times should be verified periodically.The Common Council has the responsibility to initiate corrective action. A written correctiveaction plan (CAP) that addresses the findings and recommendations in this report should beprepared and forwarded to our office within 90 days, pursuant to Section 35 of the GeneralMunicipal Law. For more information on preparing and filing your CAP, please refer to ourbrochure,
 Responding to an OSC Audit Report 
, which you received with the draft audit report.We encourage the Common Council to make this plan available for public review in the Clerk’soffice.If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Albany Regional Office at (518) 438-0093.Sincerely,Steven J. HancoxDeputy ComptrollerOffice of the State ComptrollerDivision of Local Governmentand School Accountability

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