Auditors: Information Technology Department needs revamp of overtime | NevadaAppeal.com

Auditors: Information Technology Department needs revamp of overtime

Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol Bureau

Legislative auditors say Nevada’s Department of Information Technology has virtually no controls over employee overtime and time sheets, resulting in some workers collecting hundreds of dollars for work they didn’t perform.

“The department could not provide evidence that any overtime was approved in advance, as required by (state law),” the audit report released Wednesday said.

The department director, however, said he believes the lapses resulted from sloppy recordkeeping, not dishonest workers.

Altogether, auditors say Information Technology employees collected $333,000 in overtime during calendar 2001, with more than a third of it going to the five-employee Web Services Unit.

Auditors also identified 20 out of 223 employees who had accumulated more than 120 hours of comp time — four of them with more than the statutory limit of 240 hours.

Among the abuses auditors found were two employees who volunteered in May to help the Wildlife Division with trout spawning at the Marlette Lake hatchery. But on their time sheets, both workers indicated they worked a regular shift, plus an hour overtime from noon to 1 p.m.

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Another worker volunteered to help Wildlife with a desert bighorn sheep capture in October. Instead of recording time off, the employee put 10 hours on the worksheet for that day — a regular shift, plus two hours overtime.

Auditors identified 11 instances in which overtime claimed wasn’t actually worked.

They said security systems show the workers didn’t go to the state computer facility at all those days. Another 56 instances were found where workers recorded two hours overtime to complete an 18-minute task backing up a computer on the weekend.

Two workers claimed travel reimbursements for mileage on eight days when their time sheets showed they were out sick.

Information Technology Director Terry Savage advised lawmakers procedures have been changed to require advance approval of overtime. He said the Web Services Unit has been reorganized and steps taken to make sure time sheets are properly filled out. He said that unit was new, and its added staffing was frozen because of the state’s budget crisis.

“However, we do not believe that this unacceptable sloppiness resulted in our paying for more work than was actually performed, even though the timing of the work was not correctly recorded,” he said in his response to the audit.