Harrisburg University District did not keep track of trip days, but paid employees for ‘unused’ time off: audit

Just before the state took above the Harrisburg University District in 2019, administrators did not observe holiday vacation or sick leave for staff.

But the administration even now authorized professionals and administrative team to carryover “unused” times off and paid out workers for some of that time off at the conclude of each individual yr.

The district also did not have proper oversight of overtime, top to amenities and custodial departments racking up an typical of 450 hours of time beyond regulation for each shell out period of time, according to audits of the college district.

But under new leadership, new computer computer software and new procedures, the district now has taken command of those payroll administration challenges and far more, explained Auditor Common Eugene DePasquale in a information meeting Thursday, updating his audit of the college district..

“Controlling expenditures is a essential component of guaranteeing dollars is focused the place it requirements to be, which is in the classroom,” he stated.

His newest audit located the district’s new leadership experienced resolved just about all of the suggestions from earlier audits highlighting weak inner controls that wasted dollars and posed threats of fraud. He said variations that the new management had produced probable is saving hundreds of thousands of bucks.

DePasquale introduced a “real-time” audit of the district shortly before the point out Division of Education placed it into receivership in June 2019. His update Thursday was his ultimate report as he is established to leave office environment up coming 7 days.

The district made use of to enable supervisors and administrative workers to carryover up to 40 unused days off each 12 months, and get paid out for up to 10 days earlier mentioned that. But less than new agreements negotiated with the Act 93 union masking those people staff members, that was minimized to 30 times carried above and up to 5 times paid out.

The auditor’s business wanted to zero out payments for unused time off as it acts as an incentive to not appropriately use time off and an pose an amplified chance of fraud when employees hardly ever have other personnel check out their information and pursuits as section of filling in for them.

But district officials reported zeroing out these kinds of payments could equate to a pay back lower for workforce who already are underpaid as opposed to surrounding districts for the reason that of years of lack of raises. Plus, district officials argued that other districts have identical agreements in their Act 93 contracts to pay back for unused time off to five days for every 12 months.

A person of the essential challenges identified in audits, DePasquale stated, was that the district formerly made use of a few distinct software package devices to method payroll information and none of them could be built-in.

That intended that staff had to manually review employee’s time and attendance information with their “leave” information to make confident there ended up no holes or faults. But with about 900 workers, that process was inefficient and may perhaps skip holes or faults, the audit concluded.

Less than a new timekeeping technique the district bought, it can be built-in with the computer software that tracks time off.

“We hope that this procedure will be automated and a report will be generated to discover any holes or mistakes in the facts that staff members can use to handle and right the errors, so that payroll and go away balances can be precise,” the audit said.

In spite of the district’s recent steps, the district has not been generating schedule payroll-associated relevant reports for the enterprise administrator, receiver and college board to use to check time beyond regulation and other payroll value fluctuations, the report stated. But district officers stated they are building individuals experiences.

In addition to the new computer software, the district also produced a “business strategies manual” and done instruction for new processes including:

  • Necessitating all staff, which include administration, to use the timekeeping process to “clock in and clock out” each day.
  • Demanding all principals and office supervisors to operate timekeeping method reviews to establish time history errors and solve them prior to approving biweekly knowledge.
  • Necessitating management need to pre-approve employee time beyond regulation right before overtime hrs are worked.

“The district’s new management has diligently labored to clear up so several elements of the district’s finances and operations,” DePasquale claimed. “While there is do the job remaining to be carried out, I am assured that Harrisburg’s college students and taxpayers are benefiting from these essential alterations.”

Some of the report’s recommendations may audio mundane, DePasquale reported, but “when you really do not keep track of that stuff it leads to mis-payments and overpayments that instantly take revenue out of the classroom.”

The modifications carried out by new district leaders will “help to retain a closer rein on payroll expenditures and be certain staff receive what they’ve attained, not a greenback fewer, but not a dollar far more,” DePasquale said.

A copy of the full audit is below.

Study: Scathing point out audit of Harrisburg School District reveals much more than $5 million in questionable fees

Read: Harrisburg university district adjustments stance, accepts state takeover