Staff at council earned up to €33,000 in overtime with some signing off on their own time sheets

Employees at one local authority were earning up to €33,000 in overtime with significant shortcomings in how the extra work was being accounted for.

An internal audit looked at 550 overtime transactions and found that 20% of them, worth €23,083, did not indicate the start or end time of hours worked and could not be verified correctly.

For another 66 claims – valued at €12,362 – the timesheet gave no explanation of what the overtime was even being claimed for at Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

Another 25 transactions, together worth €3,741, did not include the hours being claimed for and therefore could not be tested for accuracy by auditors.

Across an eighteen-month period, 232 waged employees were paid a total of €1.247 million in overtime with the top ten payments ranging from €17,650 to €27,359.

A further 62 salaried employees of the council were paid a combined €449,322 in overtime during the same period.

The top ten highest payments in that category of worker ranged in size from €14,518 to €33,334 with some people earning up to 64% on top of their “basic annual pay ranges”.

The audit also found that in some cases, employees were signing off on their own overtime sheets.

An analysis of 550 transactions found 61 cases – worth a combined €10,795 – where the claimant themselves had signed off on the timesheet.

For another fifty of the claims examined, the timesheets did not have “appropriate approval”, meaning they had not been signed off by a supervisor or foreman as required.

Twenty five of the overtime claims did not have any sign-off at all, but the €4,885 claimed on them was still paid out by the council.

These findings were considered “high priority” by the auditors Mazars with a further six medium priority findings also made by the firm.