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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Office of Children and Family Services
Dual Employment


Issued: December 19, 2013
Link to full audit report 2011-S-48

Purpose
To determine whether Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) employees who are also employed at other State or New York City agencies are working their required hours at each job. The audit covered the period July 1, 2009 through December 7, 2011.

Background
OCFS' mission is to promote the safety, permanency and well-being of children, family and communities. To achieve desired results, OCFS sets and enforces policies; builds partnerships; and funds and provides quality services. As of May 1, 2012, OCFS had 3,194 employees. OCFS requires its full-time employees to obtain agency approval before accepting a second job. Second jobs may not interfere with the employee's primary job responsibilities nor represent a conflict of interest. Part-time employees must obtain agency approval if potential conflicts exist.

Key Findings

  • Between July 2009 and June 2010, 160 OCFS staff members were simultaneously employed by another State or New York City agency, 28 of whom we selected for further review based on several risk factors. Follow-up showed eight of these staff (28 percent) violated time and attendance rules resulting in payroll payments for time not worked.
  • Each case showed a pattern of routine, improper activity. Seven employees submitted multiple time records that indicated they had worked at two places at the same time. Additionally, three employees charged sick leave at one job while actually working at another on multiple occasions. OCFS' failure to enforce time and attendance requirements allowed these employees to circumvent controls, sometimes with management's knowledge.
  • In most cases, due to poor supervision and recordkeeping practices at the agencies, it is not possible to determine whether these staff failed to work required time at OCFS, another agency or both. We estimate the cost of these abuses to be as much as $40,000. Since these employees all held second jobs for many years, it is possible that costs associated with these abuses may be significantly higher.
  • Since we initially communicated our findings, actions by OCFS officials have already resulted in the resignation or termination of three of these employees.

Key Recommendations

  • Work with the other agencies involved in these cases to determine whether the dually employed individuals we identified are continuing to abuse time and attendance procedures. Take appropriate actions as warranted, including recovery of salary payments, adjustment of pension salary and service, and assisting in any further investigation.
  • Assure that other dually employed staff are working the time for which they are being paid.
  • Provide pertinent time and attendance training to dually employed staff and their supervisors, and assure that required policies and procedures are followed.

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)

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: Management and Control of Employee Overtime Costs (2009-S-87)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: John Buyce
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