Riverside – “In calendar year 2018, the number of Riverside County employees earning at least 50 percent of their base pay in overtime totaled 350, with the highest employee earning 142 percent of their base pay in overtime. Employees continual clocking extra hours to accrue overtime is a common fraud scheme that can cost taxpayers millions of dollars annually. It is an area of high fraud risk that needs continuous monitoring and strong internal controls,” read the introduction to a new report from Riverside County Auditor-Controller Paul Angulo.
According to Angulo overtime is a cost-effective response to short-term labor shortages or spikes in service demands as compared to hiring additional employees. He warned however, “[L]ong-term overtime or uncontrolled uses of overtime represent significant risks of increased direct and indirect costs.” He further stressed that long-term overtime may help obscure fraudulent overtime with employees padding timesheets with overtime hours not worked.
In June Riverside County’s $6.1 billion-dollar budget shortfall was forcing county officials to make tough decisions regarding how to close the potential deficit. The county spent $105 million on overtime in fiscal 2018-19. Although it is far from $6.1 billion, putting an end to overtime could help narrow the budget deficit.
The full report is available online at https://www.scribd.com/document/423257702/2018-19-Countywide-Overtime-Monitoring-Report#download.