Carson City has instituted a new policy for hiring temporary workers.
The change comes after an internal audit conducted by Eide Bailly found several issues with the city’s lack of procedures.
Previously, departments had budgets for temp workers and hired them as needed. The city spends roughly $1.5 million annually on temporary staff hired through four agencies for seasonal work, special projects, and when city employees are on extended leave.
Now, under the new policy, departments must submit two request forms, one to human resources and a second to the internal finance committee, to get approval before hiring a temp worker. The department must also file a request if it wants to extend the worker’s assignment and file a form when any assignment is completed.
The policy also defines the circumstances under which a temporary staff person can be hired.
“I think we’ve come miles from where we started,” said Supervisor Lori Bagwell, who sits on the Audit Committee, which reviewed the policy on Monday.
The committee also discussed the fire department’s overtime, another item audited by the city’s internal auditor.
In 2018, the department spent $1.4 million on overtime, but $405,874 was recovered because it was incurred helping fight fires in other jurisdictions, which reimburse the department. Some also was due to eight vacant positions.
The department will soon have a timesheet that delineates why the overtime is being taken, such as due to vacations or training, in order to track it.
And Fire Chief Sean Slamon may be applying for a Fire Prevention & Safety Grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to hire six more firefighters. The grant would cover 75 percent of the new hires salaries for two years and 35 percent in the third year.
The grant would allow the department to see if the additional personnel reduces the overtime over that three-year period before committing to hiring permanent employees.
Slamon told the committee nine new hires through the grant would reduce overtime, but Bagwell said it would be a “heavy lift” to find funding for nine employees once the grant ended.
The committee also determined items for Eide Bailly to audit for fiscal year 2020, including cash handling procedures, citywide budget monitoring, and a continuing look into fee structures and the city’s social media policy.