State audit critical of Highland school district’s handling of O-T policy

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ALBANY – A State Comptroller’s Office audit of the Highland Central School District’s non-instructional overtime determined district officials did not properly authorize or monitor overtime for non-instructional employees or review the overtime payment calculations.

As a result, the audit found 20 non-instructional employees were paid overtime totaling $203,444, primarily for non-emergencies. It said with appropriate scheduling, over $60,000 of those overtime payments could have been avoided or reduced.

The audit also found that 10 employees were overpaid for 189.75 hours totaling $7,551, and seven employees were underpaid for 39.25 overtime hours totaling $1,158.

Key recommendations from auditors include adopting policies and procedures with clear guidelines for overtime work, including approval of overtime, to ensure that only necessary overtime charges are being incurred; implementing procedures for supervisory review of hours worked for accuracy of manual calculations of overtime charges; and ensuring those policies and procedures are monitored and enforced.

District officials generally agreed with the comptroller’s recommendations and indicated they plan to initiate corrective action.