Butkovitz Finds Widespread Failure Among City Departments to Monitor Payroll

For Immediate Release
June 25, 2015

Contact:  Brian Dries
215-686-8869

Butkovitz Finds Widespread Failure Among City Departments to Monitor Payroll
City Controller calls on Finance Director to tighten controls for several agencies

Annual Audit on all Philadelphia City Agencies FY13-FY14

PHILADELPHIA - City Controller Alan Butkovitz says almost half of the City’s 42 departments lack any policy or consequences for their employees arriving late to work, as indicated the FY2013-14 Annual Audit of all Philadelphia City Agencies released today.

Of the 20 departments without written procedures for lateness, 10 were also lax in requiring their employees to properly submit leave requests for paid time off.  The Office of Innovation and Technology and the Free Library could not provide any documentation authorizing paid time off for the employees sampled in the audit.

“These departments are leaving themselves exposed to higher risks for employees to abuse City time by not requiring and enforcing written policies,” said Butkovitz.  “The Finance Director needs to address these issues with management within every agency.”

Additionally, it was determined that payroll time records were not always reviewed to ensure that employees who no longer work for the City are removed from active status within the payroll system.  This included a separated employee from the Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT) who remained on the City’s payroll and was paid for eleven days after his or her termination date.  This amount totaled $2,107 and remains unrecovered.

“Departments need to require an independent review of payroll before it is submitted for payment,” said Butkovitz.  “The BRT needs to submit a payroll credit to Finance to recover the overpayment of wages paid to the separated employee.”

The Controller’s audit also indicated that for almost 40 percent of all departments the same individual who was responsible for entering payroll data was also the same person providing the supervisory and executive level reviews.

“Failing to segregate duties and allowing one individual to provide all approvals increases the risk of undetected errors,” said Butkovitz.  “It also provides opportunities for a person to provide false information during the payroll preparation.”

While the Controller’s audit found several internal control deficiencies, a number of agencies took corrective action on prior year conditions.  This included the Board of Ethics, Department of Public Property, Department of Records and the Office of the Director of Commerce.

“It is very encouraging when departments utilize our recommendations and improve their accountability,” said Butkovitz.  “They are taking measures to make our city more effective and efficient to benefit all Philadelphians.”

To view the City Controller’s latest audit, Annual Auditor’s Report on Philadelphia City Agencies for Fiscal Years 2013 and 2104, visit www.philadelphiacontroller.org

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