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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Forensic Audit of Dual Employment Approvals and Conflicts


Issued: December 19, 2013
Link to full audit report 2011-S-46
Link to 90-day response

Purpose
To determine whether Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) employees who also worked for a New York State or City agency had approval to do so; were working their required hours at each employer; and were not violating any safety regulations. Our audit covered employees with the described dual employment during the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010 for payroll analysis purposes, and through December 31, 2011 for field observations.

Background
The MTA provides transportation services in and around the New York City metropolitan area. MTA's Code of Ethics (Code) allows employees to engage in external employment with certain provisions. For example, the outside employment must not interfere with the employee's ability to fulfill his/her duties at the MTA; and the employee must not use any MTA resources in connection with his/her outside employment. Each MTA agency may develop its own outside employment policy (Policy) to supplement the Code. As of June 30, 2010, we found that the MTA and its agencies had 78 employees who were dually employed and earning more than $10,000 from both the MTA and either a State, City or another MTA Agency during the exact same time periods.

Key Findings

  • We found that 58 of the 78 dually employed MTA employees did not notify MTA officials regarding, or have MTA approval to work, their outside job.
  • We identified 11 MTA employees who were fraudulently reporting to be at two places at the same time. These instances equate to an overpayment of $42,247 during the audit period.
  • There were 16 Transit employees who, because of their dual employment, were violating time limits for consecutive hours worked within a 24-hour period. Accordingly, they were potentially putting public transportation users at risk.
  • In addition, MTA employees on military leave were overpaid an aggregate of $65,722.

    We have referred our findings to the MTA Inspector General and will assist in any further investigation.

Key Recommendations

  • Prepare comprehensive policies for employees who are seeking, or have, outside employment, or are on military leave, stipulating the required approvals and appropriate conduct in such circumstances, as well as the ramifications for those who do not comply with the policies.
  • Distribute these policies to staff with appropriate guidance, monitor compliance and take follow-up action as appropriate.
  • Recoup the $108,000 in overpayments identified in this report, and take appropriate disciplinary action where fraud was perpetrated by employees and abetted by their supervisors.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Metro-North Railroad: Forensic Audit of Select Payroll and Overtime Practices and Related Transactions (2010-S-60)

Metropolitan Transportation Authority: Management and Control of Employee Overtime Costs (2009-S-88)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Frank Patone
Phone: (212) 417-5200; 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