Audit: Poor oversight of police payroll, overtime

The Philadelphia Police Department poorly supervised its payroll, leading to overtime abuses,  City Controller Alan Butkovitz found in an audit released Monday.

The audit examined departmental data from 2006 through 2009. Police officials say some payroll and overtime problems have been corrected since Commissioner Charles Ramsey in 2009 created an overtime-management unit charged with reining in sky-high overtime spending. He has credited the unit with slashing $17 million in overtime in the last three years.

In Butkovitz's audit, a sample testing of the department's processing of overtime revealed that officers often inputted their own time to the payroll system, which then was processed without the required supervisory approval. Four officers, about 20 percent of the time, entered their own time onto the daily attendance record. On 13 of 16 occasions, the officers reported that they worked overtime, auditors found.

“There is an unacceptably high risk for improper payments when employees are permitted to enter their own time into the payroll system,” Butkovitz said. “Payroll filings should not be accepted for processing without the appropriate supervisory approval."

Read the full audit here.

We recently covered this issue here and here.