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West Kittanning audit reveals payroll errors

| Thursday, May 8, 2014, 12:26 a.m.

West Kittanning auditors said they found several payroll discrepancies, and made recommendations to borough officials, while reviewing the borough's finances for 2013.

In a nine-page report, the borough's auditors — chairwoman Carol Augustine, secretary Cheri Lindsay and Michael Holly — wrote to West Kittanning Council they had found a suspected $1,165 overpayment to a former borough employee, and questioned how officials monitor employees' timecards.

“A lot of these issues have come up before, and we just want to make sure taxpayers' money is being spent wisely,” Augustine said.

The borough has five employees — secretary and treasurer Carly Cowan, two part-time police officers and two full-time public works employees.

According to the report, a worker who left in January 2013 was paid for two weeks of vacation, which he hadn't taken. The board alleged an overpayment, since the vacation time was meant for the entire year, Augustine said.

The auditors advised council pay close attention to timecards and only pay employees for exactly how much work they have done. For example, Augustine said the auditors noticed some timecards had start times of 7:10 a.m., but the employees were paid for starting 10 minutes earlier.

“The mayor and the rest of council have really stepped up to make sure everybody is punching in and out when they're supposed to,” Cowan said. “Everybody has been a lot more actively involved in our employees' daily duties.”

Council will take the rest of the month to review the books, and some of its employee policies, said council vice president Henry Mores.

“There are some things in here that from last year, such as timecards, that this council already addressed,” Mores said.

For example, Mores said council has been monitoring each department's timecards to make sure they are starting and leaving work on time, and signing out for lunch and breaks. They no longer round their timecards down to the closest hour, Mores said.

“We were aware of a lot of the things they brought to us, and we're doing our best to address what we haven't already taken care of since January,” he said. “We're trying to work with everybody, and make sure everything is done right.”

Council plans to discuss the audit on June 2.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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