Metropolitan Transportation Authority - Long Island Rail Road

 

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Metropolitan Transportation Authority - Long Island Rail Road
Overtime and Other Time and Attendance Matters Found in the Use of Certain Federal Funds (Issued 01/24/14)


Issued: January 24, 2014
Link to full audit report 2010-S-2
Link to 90-day response

Purpose
To determine if the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) used the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds efficiently and for authorized purposes and whether the funds were properly monitored to prevent fraud, waste and abuse. Our audit covered the period April 30, 2009 to June 30, 2012.

Background
The LIRR, a constituent of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), received funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) for two of its projects: Atlantic Avenue Viaduct Phase II and Babylon Car Wash. These projects were estimated to cost approximately $77.3 and $25.5 million, respectively. A great portion of the work on these projects is performed by employees assigned to the LIRR Engineering Department (Department). The Recovery Act requires that instances of fraud, waste and abuse are mitigated and that there is a high level of transparency and accountability in the spending of its funds on these projects.

Key Findings

  • In certain instances, the LIRR did not efficiently manage its Recovery Act funds to ensure that they were used for authorized purposes, and that they were properly monitored to prevent fraud, waste and abuse. Due to the poor controls over its time and attendance, employees might be paid for overtime that is unnecessary and/or not worked. For example, Department management did not always know the whereabouts of their field employees and one supervisor misinformed auditors by stating that an employee was working when, in fact, he was not at work.
  • We identified three employees (an assistant track supervisor and two track foremen) who worked an excessive amount of overtime (from 18 to 24 hours in one day) on two separate occasions. Working an excessive amount of hours consecutively, without an adequate offduty rest period, may degrade the efficiency and effectiveness of work performance and could compromise worker and passenger safety.

Key Recommendations

  • Improve the control environment to promote accuracy in reporting staff attendance.
  • Monitor employees to ensure they are only paid for overtime hours worked.
  • Monitor the number of hours employees work consecutively without an off-duty rest period to ensure their work performance is efficient and effective and that worker and passenger safety is not compromised.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Metropolitan Transportation Authority: Management and Control of Employee Overtime Costs (2009-S-88)
Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Metro-North Railroad: Forensic Audit of Select Payroll and Overtime Practices and Related Transactions (2010-S-60)
Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Metro-North Railroad: Overtime and Other Time and Attendance Matters Found in the Use of Certain Federal Funds (2012-S-104)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Acting Assistant Comptroller: Brian Mason
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236