Comptroller To Audit MTA Overtime Spending
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has announced that his office will begin a forensic audit of overtime spending at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The probe is a result of DiNapoli’s recent audit of the authority’s overtime budget, which raised concerns that the MTA’s overtime expenses increased by 26 percent to $600 million from 2005 to 2009.
“Something is wrong with a system that allows more than 140 people to double their salaries through overtime,” DiNapoli said. “It’s hard to justify repeated fare hikes, layoffs and service reductions when New Yorkers believe the MTA isn’t controlling spending and restraining costs.That has to change.”
DiNapoli’s office has expanded its oversight of the MTA to unprecedented levels, completing nearly two dozen audits and reports since 2007. This audit will be his office’s first forensic probe of the MTA. Forensic audits focus on identifying evidence of fraud and wrongdoing that may constitute criminal offenses, resulting in referrals to law enforcement. Standard audits evaluate controls, results, efficiencies, cost savings, and regulatory compliance within State and local entities.
DiNapoli’s forensic audit team will follow up on suspicious transactions and practices identified in the prior overtime audit. The auditors will look to make sure that the MTA is only paying overtime that is justified, authorized, earned, properly calculated and correctly applied for pension and benefit determinations. Areas of concern highlighted in DiNapoli’s prior audit include a lack of justified or undocumented work in more than three quarters of sampled overtime transactions.
Auditors will also inspect work locations to make sure that staffers are working during their assigned shifts, and that overtime scheduling has been properly reviewed and approved by supervisors.