Metro management questioned.
Photo: Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy
Although the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has been running a deficit for years that has been dramatically compounded by the pandemic, it mistakenly paid one of its desk workers for “overtime” (OT) and commutes.
Even more unusual, the error did not happen once, but for three years until discovered that full amount had been paid. The worker was not eligible for that benefit and no one in management noticed, according to a new report from the agency’s own watchdog.
MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny said that no less than eight supervisors failed not noticing the unidentified employee’s overtime, which allowed her to earn that money in violation of your contract and agency policies prohibiting overtime for office workers.
“Wasting taxpayer money on unnecessary overtime and travel time is bad enough, but multiple MTA supervisors overseeing so little that they actually approved, it’s just wrong ”, Pokorny said in a statement.
An MTA order in 2019 to investigate those who earn a lot of overtime uncovered the woman’s inadvertent payment, but none of her managers would take responsibility, the Inspector General (IG) said.
Interviews conducted by IG researchers revealed that the woman had been verbally authorized by her immediate supervisor to work an additional hour or two per day at your desk, even though the MTA generally doesn’t allow OT for office work.
The woman won $ 42,868 in additional pay for OT shifts, which lasted six months, from November 8, 2018 to March 23, 2019. Investigators also found that he had received other $ 37,021 in illegitimate “travel time” to get to and from your workplace. Under her contract, she should only have received such payments during her first two months working on the site, investigators said, the New York Post cited.
Even worse, the employee was not penalized for the violations, that IG researchers attributed to their managers and the lack of effective policies and protocols to enforce MTA rules, and in fact he will keep the money.
Since then, the MTA has required that all overtime cases have the explicit approval of a general superintendent or higher, according to the IG report.
“The MTA has aggressively addressed overtime and implemented new controls to substantially increase oversight and accountability, resulting in a decrease of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars since 2018 and the implementation of a five-year plan to reduce overtime costs by nearly $ 1 billion, ”MTA Representative Meredith Daniels said in a release.