Tags: Homeland Security | Homeland | Security | paychecks | overtime

Report: Homeland Security Employees Routinely Pad Paychecks

Image: Report: Homeland Security Employees Routinely Pad Paychecks

By    |   Friday, 01 Nov 2013 10:05 AM

Department of Homeland Security employees regularly pad their paychecks, abusing an overtime payment account known throughout the agency as the "candy bowl" and creating a "profound and entrenched problem," according to an investigative report.

The abuse may amount to tens of millions of dollars a year, according to the investigation by the Office of Special Counsel and reported by The Washington Post. Employees routinely dip into the account without working additional hours. The practice, the Post noted, can add as much as 25 percent to a paycheck and has become so routine, it has even been used by managers to recruit new employees.

ObamaCare: You Can Win With The Facts

The overtime abuse came to light during the testimony of seven whistleblowers, according to the Post. One of the whistleblowers, Jose Rafael Ducos Bello, told the Post that some Homeland employees add two hours to their timecards each day.

"It's pickpocketing Uncle Sam," Ducos Bello, who until recently was a supervisor at Customs and Border Protection, told the newspaper. "Employees will sit at their desks for an extra two hours, catching up on Netflix, talking to friends, or using it for commuting time."

Based on information supplied by seven whistleblowers, the Office of Special Counsel prepared a report for Congress, detailing what investigators call "a gross waste of government funds." The report estimated that $8.7 million dollars is wasted each year by six departments within DHS, including four departments within Customs and Border Protection.

According to the report outlined in the Post, the overtime account dubbed the "candy bowl" — officially called Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime — was designed primarily to compensate law-enforcement officials for urgent, unscheduled work.

But Carolyn Lerner, special counsel at the Office of Special Counsel, told the Post many Homeland security employees believe they are entitled to routine overtime pay from the account.

"These are not Border Patrol guys chasing bad guys who can't stop what they are doing and fill out paperwork for overtime. We are not questioning that," Lerner said.  "These are employees sitting at their desks, collecting overtime because it's become a culturally acceptable practice."

Peter Boogaard, a spokesman for Homeland Security, said a departmentwide review of overtime is underway in response to the report.

"DHS takes seriously its responsibility to ensure proper use of taxpayer funds," he said. "While many frontline officers and agents across the department require work-hour flexibility, often through the use of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO), misuse of these funds is not tolerated."

Lerner, however, told the Post that similar assurances of ending overtime abuse were offered by Customs and Border Protection five years ago in response to allegations then. The agency promised to implement a new policy to address the problem.

But, Lerner wrote in a letter to the White House on Thursday along with the OSC report, the "lack of progress in implementing plans first outlined five years ago raises questions about the agency's willingness or ability to confront this important problem," the Post reported.

ObamaCare: You Can Win With The Facts


Related Stories:


© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
Department of Homeland Security employees regularly pad their paychecks, abusing an overtime payment account known throughout the agency as the "candy bowl" and creating a "profound and entrenched problem," according to an investigative report.
Homeland,Security,paychecks,overtime
523
2013-05-01
Friday, 01 Nov 2013 10:05 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

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