Audit dings town over leave time

BROADALBIN – An audit by the state comptroller’s office revealed the town did not properly account for leave time earned and used by the Highway Department’s employees.

According to an audit released Wednesday, a look at the town’s records from 2012 and 2013 showed deficiencies were found in the town’s records.

Time sheets between Jan. 1 and July 23, 2012, were not available for review because a payroll vendor failed to retain them.

Other problems included employees using sick time on a paid holiday and then using holiday leave on a regularly scheduled work day, an employee not reporting for work for a week without a request to take time off or notify the highway superintendent and excessive use of sick and personal leave time.

One employee’s sick-time balance, the audit said, was overestimated by 30 hours, valued at $657, because it was not removed from his total sick leave. Also, an employee used 19.5 hours of personal leave time in excess of the five days he was entitled to.

The audit also said there were issues with compensatory time. According to records, more compensatory time was used than recorded.

The audit suggested the Town Board adopt a leave policy that provides specific steps for submitting and approving leave requests, establish and maintain centralized records for leave time, make sure all employees use the town’s time-keeping system, ensure all time sheets are complete and contain an accurate record of hours worked, maintain a copy of each time sheet submitted for payroll processing and maintain adequate records for employees’ compensatory time.

In a letter to the comptroller, Supervisor Tom Christopher said the board would follow the suggestions.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the auditors for the courtesy and professionalism they extended to the town during this audit. We appreciate the auditor’s willingness to be of assistance to our newly elected officials,” Christopher said in the letter.

Christopher said this morning the audit found no major problems within the department.

“It is just some procedures and policies that were never set in place,” he said.

The audit’s suggestions will be passed at the Town Board meeting next month, Christopher said.