Auditor looking at fire dept. overtime

Carson City’s internal auditor is looking at the fire department’s overtime and citywide use of temporary staff.

The Audit Committee reviewed the scope of two studies to be conducted over the next several months by Eide Bailly, the city’s new internal auditor.

For the fire department study, the auditor plans to review overtime policies, budget reports, dispatch data, and labor agreements as well as interview personnel to assess risks and potential for savings.

Both Supervisor Lori Bagwell, who’s on the Audit Committee, and Sean Slamon, fire chief, proposed the auditor look at at two years’ worth of data.

“I recommend at least a two-year sample,” Slamon told the committee. “Last fiscal year we had a significant vacancy rate, this year it is much more controlled.”

The auditor is also studying use of temporary staffing by all departments, which spend roughly $1.5 million annually on workers hired through one of four temporary staffing agencies.

For that study, Eide Bailly will look at policies and procedures, training for temporary personnel, and the different purposes for which temporary staff is used.

Some temporary staff are seasonal workers, working during the summer for Parks, Recreation and Open Space, for example, while others are brought on short-term for special projects.

“My concern is the temporaries don’t have all the internal controls and check boxes, that things are getting bypassed,” said Bagwell. “I want to make sure that for simplicity’s sake to get things done we’re not looking at the big picture.”

Stephen Ferguson, Audit Committee chair, said he also wanted the auditor to look at any legal restrictions there might be on retaining an individual as a temporary worker for too long.

Dan Carter, partner, Eide Bailly, told the committee the auditor would have at least a draft of both studies ready for the next committee’s meeting.

The Audit Committee is tentatively scheduled to meet next on Jan. 29.


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