“A risk of false claims for overtime exists, as we could not be provided with reasons for excessive overtime”
IN THE last financial year the Sol Plaatje Municipality spent more than R19 million on overtime.
This is according to an internal audit report on the overtime at the municipality.
According to the report, the approved budget for the 2018/19 financial year was R13.762 million, while R19.033 million was spent – an over expenditure of R5.271 million.
It is pointed out in the report that there is an absence of an approved overtime policy while the manual procedure contributes to the mismanagement of the overtime administratively.
Gaps identified by the audit committee included the fact that officials did not specify the dates worked but were still remunerated, supervisors signed as both supervisor and manager, duplication of hours, the overtime forms not specifying between normal overtime or emergency overtime, and officials working an excessive amount of hours consecutively, without adequate off-duty rest periods, which could degrade the efficiency and effectiveness of work performance.
“A risk of false claims for overtime exists, as we could not be provided with reasons for excessive overtime,” the report states.
According to the detailed findings, two employees (from the sample) worked an excessive amount of overtime of 12 hours in one day. Officials at the Homevale Waste Water Treatment Works also exceed the 15-hour limitation a week, while the form did not specify if it was normal or emergency overtime.
Among the recommendations of the report is to monitor the number of hours employees work consecutively without an off-duty rest period to ensure that work performance is efficient and effective.
It was also recommended that the vacancy rate within each department must be analysed, looking at the cost benefit on overtime versus filling the vacant position in order to achieve the service delivery objectives.
It was further pointed out that an automated system would also assist the management of overtime and it was recommended that this must be prioritised.
A well-written, up-to-date policy/procedure manual has also been mooted to guide managers and supervisors in making decisions regarding overtime.