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April 4, 2012


DiNapoli: Majority of Overtime Costs at Three Agencies

Overtime Costs Represent 3.15 Percent of State Payroll

State agencies spent $469 million for more than 12.2 million hours of overtime in 2011, with three agencies accounting for more than 60 percent of the total, according to a report released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli as part of an ongoing effort to identify opportunities to improve the efficiency of state operations.

"Our report shows that while overtime has declined over the past five years, a few agencies remain the primary drivers of overtime spending in state government," DiNapoli said. "All agencies should continue to carefully monitor overtime use to ensure that it is justified, reduced where possible, and to ensure that necessary work gets done efficiently and effectively."

The report found that the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) had the highest total overtime hours at nearly 3 million, accounting for 24 percent of the total overtime hours in the state. The Office of Mental Health (OMH) followed at 2.3 million hours, or 19 percent of the total, and the Department of Correctional and Community Services (DOCCS) had 2.2 million overtime hours, or 18 percent.

Over the past five years, the size of the state workforce has decreased along with the overall amount of overtime. The state workforce in 2011 was 2.7 percent smaller than 2007, and the total amount of overtime hours was 11.8 percent lower. However, overtime hours used in agencies largely made up of institutional settings (such as OPWDD, OMH, and DOCCS) have stayed relatively level, thus increasing those agencies' portion of total overtime hours in 2011.

Key findings of the report include:

  • On average, overtime represented 3.15 percent of total payroll between 2007 and 2011.
  • The total cost of overtime as a percentage of gross payroll declined from 3.6 percent in 2007 to 3.18 percent in 2011;
  • The total cost of overtime in 2007 was $474 million, 1.1 percent higher than in 2011 (not adjusted for inflation).
  • Overtime hours have trended down over the past five years, with declines in overtime occurring every year between 2007 and 2010. Overtime hours increased in 2011 from 2010, but are still down 11.8 percent over 2007.

A copy of the complete report can be found at

A list of total state overtime for the past five years can be found here:

A list of total overtime by state agency can be found here:

A list of the top overtime earners can be found here:



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