Tags: overtime | pay | homeland | lerner

More Abuse of Overtime Pay Revealed at Homeland Security Offices

Tuesday, 28 Jan 2014 01:30 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Department of Homeland Security employees have been accused of padding their weekly wages by claiming excessive amounts of overtime at offices in northern Virginia.

According to the Office of Special Counsel, about 95 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staffers, including managers, at the National Targeting Centers in Herndon and Reston, Va., increased their pay by 25 percent through overtime abuse, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

In testimony prepared for a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee hearing Tuesday, Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said staff members "improperly claim AUO up to two hours a day, every day."

The acronym AUO stands for administratively uncontrollable overtime, which can only be used for unpredictable work beyond an employee’s normal shift, Lerner said.

And investigation was already underway in Lerner's office into allegations made by whistleblowers that Homeland staffers abuse an overtime payment account known within the department as the "candy bowl." The Senate Homeland Security panel's workforce subcommittee is also investigating.

In a statement planned for the hearing, the subcommittee's Democratic chairman, Jon Tester of Montana, noted that a report from Lerner last year to President Barack Obama revealed that staffers from multiple DHS agencies regularly abused the overtime payment system.

Tester said that Lerner's report found that in the CBP Commissioner’s Situation Room in Washington, employees billed overtime for "even watching TV or surfing the Internet."

"We all greatly appreciate the work being done by the men and women at DHS," Tester said. "However, the employee actions and misuse of public funds outlined in [Lerner's] report are unacceptable."

At the hearing Lerner planned to unveil six new cases under investigation by DHS, apart from the Virginia cases, including alleged overtime abuses in El Centro, Calif., El Paso, Texas, and Chattanooga, Tenn.

Catherine Emerson, chief personnel officer for DHS, and Ron Vittiello, deputy chief of the Border Patrol, also said in their testimony that "a number of internal investigations are being conducted" into overtime abuse, according to the Post. They noted that DHS executives have now set limits on the amount of overtime hours that can be claimed and are "studying additional measures" that can be taken to curb abuse.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Imam to Hannity: Sharia Law Is 'Coming to a Place Near You'

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 23:11 PM

Controversial London Imam Anjem Choudary had a heated argument with Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity on the latter's show . . .

Missouri Governor Names New Public Safety Director

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 22:35 PM

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday appointed a new state public safety director, giving his administration its only bl . . .

Stifling Free Speech? California Looks to Ban Confederate Flag

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 22:16 PM

California is looking to bar the "Stars and Bars." A bill sits on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk to ban California from display . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved