Overtime Management and Controls at the EPA Headquarters Are Deficient

FPCD-82-34: Published: Mar 16, 1982. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 1982.

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GAO reviewed overtime management and controls at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of an ongoing review of overtime usage at several agencies.

GAO found that EPA headquarters managers and supervisors do not appear to be managing overtime to insure that the work is necessary. Much of the overtime was for nonpriority administrative work which did not meet the EPA criteria for justifying overtime. Furthermore, over 60 percent of the overtime paid to EPA headquarters employees was not documented with overtime authorizations. In addition, overtime system controls did not insure that overtime claims were legitimate. The EPA system does not fully meet the required standards in developing and operating payroll systems. As a result, EPA employees have been able to submit fraudulent overtime claims and may have worked overtime unnecessarily.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should require administrative officers to disseminate the biweekly feedback reports to first-line supervisors and require the supervisors to certify these reports. The certified feedback reports should be retained for 3 years by the administrative officers for audit and verification purposes.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should reaffirm to timekeepers and payroll clerks that all changes on timecards must be approved and initialed by the supervisor and that the original entries must remain legible.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should establish procedures to prevent employees and timekeepers from gaining access to their timecards after certification.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should emphasize the importance of the requirement to managers, supervisors, and timekeepers that all overtime must be properly documented and approved.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should emphasize to managers that overtime and leave on the same day should only be authorized on rare occasions when there is no other alternaitve.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should reinforce agency requirements that overtime be held to a minimum and be approved only when absolutely necessary to avoid serious backlogs or to meet special workload peaks and unforeseen circumstances.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

 

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