87.5 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, August 19, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesTWO NEW FEDERAL AUDITS HIT PERSONNEL, GERS

TWO NEW FEDERAL AUDITS HIT PERSONNEL, GERS

Two of four audit reports released Friday by the U.S. Interior Department's inspector general found the Virgin Islands government seriously deficient in the areas of personnel management and oversight of the Government Employees Retirement System.
The two audit reports sought to determine if recommendations made in previous audit reports going back as far as 1991 had been implemented.
In the area of the Divison of Personnel and oversight of the GERS program, the V.I. government got F's.
Arnold E. Van Beverhoudt Jr., Interior's director of insular area audits, said it was not unusual for his office to conduct periodic audits of old reports when it was suspected the recommendations made in those reports had not been implemented.
In the area of personnel management practices, the report said the government had not implemented four of the six recommendations in a prior report, failing, among other things, to comply with the work force reduction and financing requirements of the Early Retirement Act.
The net of the findings relative to the retirement act was that though 567 employees elected to retire under the Early Retirement Incentive Act of 1994, which should have reduced the work force by that amount, that didn't happen.
Figures for the three years following the enactment of the act, implemented to reduce the work force by attrition, indicated that at no time was payroll reduced to meet the requirement of the act.
The report showed that as of November 1994 there were 10,389 budgeted positions within the executive branch. That number should have been reduced to 9,822 by the 567 early retirees, in accordance with the act.
The number of paid employees at the time the act was passed was 9,901 within the executive branch. That number should have been reduced to 9,334 with the retirement of 567 employees. But the figures for the next three years showed there were 9,901 paid employees in 1996; 9,931 for 1997 and 9,894 paid employees in fiscal year 1998.
Another area addressed in the 23-page Personnel Management report was the hiring of unclassified personnel and contracted workers to fill positions that should have been classified jobs.
The report said a sampling of 151 unclassified positions showed that 50 percent of them, with annual salaries of more than $2 million, should have been filled as classified jobs. The report cited positions such as secretaries, clerks, drivers, domestic aide and lifeguards as examples of positions that should fall under the classified designation but were filled by unclassified workers or personal services contracts.
The GERS audit concluded that 15 of 16 recommendations made in a 1991 report were never fully implemented.
Among the problems, according to the March 1999 audit, were deficiencies in the computer system. Another problem cited: a key position in the GERS that had been vacant since 1995.
The net of those problems in one area was delinquent loan balances totaling about $5.3 million as of February 1998.
Other problem areas disclosed in the audit were computerized loan files with duplicate accounts, incorrect Social Security numbers, and incorrect or outdated loan status information.
The report also stated that 32 out of 35 auto loans and home mortgages reviewed did not carry the required insurance.
The response to the draft report from GERS addressed the recommendations made in the 1991 report, but failed to address 11 new recommendations, according to a memorandum from Inspector General Eljay B. Bowron.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull responded to the audit of the Personnel Division by concurring with all four of the as-yet unimplemented recommendations and offering suggestions and a timeline for compliance.
The other two reports released Friday assessed the administration of real property taxes and reviewed payroll and collection practices of the V.I. National Guard.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
Two of four audit reports released Friday by the U.S. Interior Department's inspector general found the Virgin Islands government seriously deficient in the areas of personnel management and oversight of the Government Employees Retirement System.
The two audit reports sought to determine if recommendations made in previous audit reports going back as far as 1991 had been implemented.
In the area of the Divison of Personnel and oversight of the GERS program, the V.I. government got F's.
Arnold E. Van Beverhoudt Jr., Interior's director of insular area audits, said it was not unusual for his office to conduct periodic audits of old reports when it was suspected the recommendations made in those reports had not been implemented.
In the area of personnel management practices, the report said the government had not implemented four of the six recommendations in a prior report, failing, among other things, to comply with the work force reduction and financing requirements of the Early Retirement Act.
The net of the findings relative to the retirement act was that though 567 employees elected to retire under the Early Retirement Incentive Act of 1994, which should have reduced the work force by that amount, that didn't happen.
Figures for the three years following the enactment of the act, implemented to reduce the work force by attrition, indicated that at no time was payroll reduced to meet the requirement of the act.
The report showed that as of November 1994 there were 10,389 budgeted positions within the executive branch. That number should have been reduced to 9,822 by the 567 early retirees, in accordance with the act.
The number of paid employees at the time the act was passed was 9,901 within the executive branch. That number should have been reduced to 9,334 with the retirement of 567 employees. But the figures for the next three years showed there were 9,901 paid employees in 1996; 9,931 for 1997 and 9,894 paid employees in fiscal year 1998.
Another area addressed in the 23-page Personnel Management report was the hiring of unclassified personnel and contracted workers to fill positions that should have been classified jobs.
The report said a sampling of 151 unclassified positions showed that 50 percent of them, with annual salaries of more than $2 million, should have been filled as classified jobs. The report cited positions such as secretaries, clerks, drivers, domestic aide and lifeguards as examples of positions that should fall under the classified designation but were filled by unclassified workers or personal services contracts.
The GERS audit concluded that 15 of 16 recommendations made in a 1991 report were never fully implemented.
Among the problems, according to the March 1999 audit, were deficiencies in the computer system. Another problem cited: a key position in the GERS that had been vacant since 1995.
The net of those problems in one area was delinquent loan balances totaling about $5.3 million as of February 1998.
Other problem areas disclosed in the audit were computerized loan files with duplicate accounts, incorrect Social Security numbers, and incorrect or outdated loan status information.
The report also stated that 32 out of 35 auto loans and home mortgages reviewed did not carry the required insurance.
The response to the draft report from GERS addressed the recommendations made in the 1991 report, but failed to address 11 new recommendations, according to a memorandum from Inspector General Eljay B. Bowron.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull responded to the audit of the Personnel Division by concurring with all four of the as-yet unimplemented recommendations and offering suggestions and a timeline for compliance.
The other two reports released Friday assessed the administration of real property taxes and reviewed payroll and collection practices of the V.I. National Guard.