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Comptroller: Parks officials still lax about payroll

Brookhaven State Park was reopened after it and

Brookhaven State Park was reopened after it and a number of state parks were closed to help close the budget gap. (May 28, 2010) Photo Credit: Photo by Joseph D. Sullivan

Long Island state park officials have yet to implement all recommendations of an audit three years ago to ensure employees are paid only for time worked, according to the comptroller's office.

The comptroller's staff followed up on the audit of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation's regional operations last month and found just two of eight recommendations had been fully implemented, two were partially implemented, with no action on the remaining four.

Parks spokeswoman Eileen Larrabee responded Friday: "We will be reviewing the updated material and responding accordingly."

The audit found managers made periodic unannounced visits to verify if employees were on duty but did not always follow up when workers could not be located.

At some parks, seasonal employees and supervisors were not required to sign an employee's time record. And some employees were permitted to enter payroll information relating to themselves or relatives. Three seasonal employees left earlier than their time records reflected on specific occasions that were checked.

In the follow-up, auditors found no action taken to monitor compliance with the new policy restricting staff from entering their own payroll information or that of relatives.

There was also no action to recoup $659 paid to an employee who was not deleted from the payroll immediately after leaving the job.

The comptroller's office also said a new policy of having all seasonal employees and their supervisors sign their time records was still not being followed consistently. The auditors also found insufficient evidence that action was taken against employees paid for time not worked.

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