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New York City Department of Parks and Recreation


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NYS Comptroller


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New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
City University of New York
Questionable Timekeeping Practices Relating to the Dual Employment of
Stationary Engineers

Issued: November 27, 2012
Link to full audit report 2011-S-27
Link to 90-day response

To determine whether stationary engineers employed by both the City University of New York (CUNY) and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) are working overlapping hours and whether each entity is assured that stationary engineers are available to efficiently and effectively perform their duties. The audit covered the period July 1, 2009 through January 26, 2012.

CUNY and Parks both employ stationary engineers, who are responsible for a variety of functions, such as operating and maintaining power plants for Parks and maintaining campus buildings for CUNY. Both the State and the City have enacted regulations to ensure that stationary engineers do not accept jobs with other agencies that interfere or conflict, or are otherwise incompatible with the proper and effective discharge of their current responsibilities. We matched the State payroll, which accounts for CUNY employees, with the City payroll, which accounts for Parks employees, for the period July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, and identified ten stationary engineers who received combined earnings from both CUNY and Parks that ranged from $150,000 to $256,000.

Key Findings

  • When we matched time records submitted to CUNY and Parks, we found 338 occasions where engineers reported being present at both jobs at the same time. In another 155 cases, there was no break between the times the staff reported leaving one job and starting their shift at the other, which was sometimes located in another Borough. We verified that the engineers did work at both agencies, but found they did not accurately report when they actually started and ended their shifts. As a result, neither CUNY nor Parks can fully be assured staff are working the hours claimed and being paid correctly.
  • Between their two jobs, most engineers ended up working excessive hours that could compromise their alertness and ability to perform critical duties for either employer, especially in an emergency. One engineer worked more than 16 hours on 74 occasions, including 16 instances of more than 40 hours without a rest break. Another worked more than 16 consecutive hours 34 times, ten of which exceeded 24 hours on duty.

Key Recommendations

  • Management should increase oversight of stationary engineers and their supervisors to ensure that all schedule changes are properly documented and approved.
  • Management should implement an automated timekeeping system and ensure stationary engineers follow all State and City regulations relating to dual employment.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

MTA/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:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236