City audit finds errors with overtime pay
The city paid nearly $58 million in overtime to
workers in fiscal year 2011, but a portion of that amount resulted from errors
when employees listed compensatory time or annual leave in their overtime
requests, according to an audit presented to the San Diego City Council on Monday.
“We found that the overtime calculations were 99 percent compliant with
the overtime regulations, so really the results were very positive,” Audit
Manager Chris Kime said. “However, we did question some overtime pay because
comp time or compensated leave was used in the calculation.”
About $250,000 of the payments were made in noncompliance with the
city's regulations governing overtime pay, according to the audit report, which
excluded San Diego Fire-Rescue Department personnel pay.
In addition to using comp time or annual leave to generate overtime pay,
ambiguity in the policy's provisions allow some employees to interpret it to
mean working on a scheduled day off would qualify, independent of paid leave
already taken, and how overtime pay is calculated, according to the report.
“It was difficult to determine compliance due to the various
interpretations of the overtime regulations,” Kime said.
The policy regulating overtime pay could be clarified, which would save
the city money, according to the auditors.
“This, I think, is a no-brainer — the city should not be paying for
unnecessary overtime,” Councilman Mark Kersey said.
Kime recommended the policy be reviewed and revised so it is not subject
to various interpretations; that city employees be trained on the policy's
provisions; and that overtime approval forms be revised to provide guidance for
employees and supervisors.