State Wasted Resources by Improperly Accounting for Employee Leave, Auditor Reports

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and California Correctional Health Care Services, “wasted state resources by improperly accounting for leave taken by employees,” the state auditor reported June 20. The improper accounting cost taxpayers $169,541 over an 11-month time period, the auditor said.

The auditor pointed to several problems:

  • Personnel specialists did not charge employee leave balances correctly due to a lack of understanding and poor oversight.

  • They undercharged leave for employees working alternate work schedules.

  • They made numerous clerical errors in entering time sheet information into the agencies’ leave accounting system.

The auditor reviewed the timesheets of 170 employees in six correctional facilities, and found that the state failed to charge leave accurately for 128 of these employees. Based on the investigation, the auditor indicated that the problem likely is widespread throughout all 27 state correctional facilities.

The audit report explains:

“Through our research, we found that at least one of the two factors associated with the undercharging of leave was present at all 27 facilities, and that supervising personnel officers at seven of these facilities had an incorrect understanding of how to charge leave properly. We thus concluded that in addition to wasting $169,541 in state resources during a 12-month period at the six facilities we visited, the Correctional Agencies likely also wasted a substantial amount of state resources at the remaining adult correctional facilities through the undercharging of leave. We estimated that the amount of the waste could have been more than $400,000 from October 2010 through September 2011, although this is just an estimate, and the actual amount of waste could be significantly higher or lower.” (Source: California State Auditor, Report I2010-1045, June 20.)

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