State overtime out of control

To say New York state spends money like a drunken sailor is an insult – to sailors, who couldn’t waste in a lifetime the money the state manages to spend in a year.

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced Tuesday state agencies spent more than $462 million on overtime in the first nine months of 2013, a jump of $65 million over the same period in 2012.

DiNapoli noted if the trend continues, the state could spend more than $600 million by the end of the calendar year on overtime, a substantial jump from last year.

It’s discouraging to see New York state appears to be issuing its agencies a blank check to cover overtime costs. It would help Cuomo – who has been touting that New York is open for business – if he actually made sure state agencies operated more like a business. Any private employer is cautious about paying people 1 times their regular pay to do the same work. For the state to allow an agency such as the Office of Information Technology to have a 517 percent increase in overtime is outrageous.

Another example of state government fiscal waste is the state’s use of a “headhunter.”

The Cuomo administration quietly hired a Rochester-area headhunter this spring to lure the “best and brightest” to state government jobs. The deal, exposed by the New York Daily News, could give the Datrose company a whopping $20.6 million over five years. It’s already spent nearly $166,000.

This money is lining the pockets of a company recruiting people for jobs that already sell themselves. State jobs pay well and come with great health insurance, retirement plans and other benefits. If the state advertises its job openings, strong candidates will seek them. There is no need for a headhunter.