DHR launches probe into Treasury’s overtime pay
The Department of Human Resources has launched an investigation into allegations that senior employees with Treasury have been getting paid for their overtime while by-passing the process as mandated by Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga on the issue of overtime.
Documents leaked to Samoa News last week indicate that four Treasury employees — which include three senior employees and an administrative secretary — were compensated for their overtime.
Questions sent to HR Director Sonny Thompson from Samoa News initiated the investigation.
Thompson confirmed that these employees by-passed the procedural route and they are looking into this matter.
According to an employee of Treasury, after the Treasurer had signed off on the time cards, they were then forwarded to the payroll division (under the Treasury Department) thus bypassing the HR Director’s final approval.
Documents indicate the secretary had overtime of 45.56 hours — receiving $992.09; while one of the three senior employees logged OT of 44 hours and her check was for $3,464.28; the second senior employee had 52 hours of OT and she received $2,221.86; and the last one had 27.37 hours, for which she received $1,548.02. These checks were issued on the October 7, 2013 payroll.
Emails sent to Treasurer Dr Falema’o Pili, who’s currently off island, received no immediate response.
In May, Governor Lolo directed that all overtime incurred be routed to the Department of Human Resources Director for approval.
The governor stated in his memorandum that Thompson would check and verify that the overtime is based on thorough justification presented for approval, prior to execution.
“Pre-approved request to incur overtime will be submitted to the Department of Human Resources to determine legitimacy and need based on the accompanied justification. If approval is granted, overtime will be incurred and paid" Lolo stated.
"The Director of Human Resources will prepare and submit for my review overtime incurred during the previous pay period,” according to the memo.
“This report will be transmitted for my review immediately after the close of the pay period, [and] only those qualified for overtime will be eligible for overtime pay.”
The governor in his memorandum further noted that “all compensatory time incurred during the pay period will be liquidated in accordance with the existing personnel provision governing the period in which incurred compensatory time is to be taken.”