(Hauppauge, NY, February 22, 2012) In an effort to do more with less, County Executive Bellone has directed all Department Heads to adhere to new, stringent guidelines to better monitor and curtail use of overtime. Suffolk County Departments must seek approval from the County Budget Office before approving overtime pay unless overtime is contractually required by union contract or law.
“Doing more with less means tightening our belts while providing essential services to residents,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “It is increasingly clear that we are not on a sustainable fiscal course and must cut back. That is why I am placing stringent guidelines on overtime and informing managers that all spending needs to be both justified and scrutinized.”
The directive, sent today, requires personnel to submit a new Overtime Pre-Authorization Request Form which must be approved by the Department Head and then forwarded to the County Budget Office for review and approval. All scheduled overtime requests must be submitted to the County Budget Office seven days in advance of the required overtime in an effort to allow the Budget Office to review and deem essential or deny the request due to departmental budgetary constraints. All departmental overtime costs will be reconciled on a monthly basis to accurately monitor departmental expenditures.
Overtime expenditures for the County have grown approximately 21% since 2006 and have consistently exceeded approved budgets during the same time period. If County departments’ overtime pay remained at 2006 levels, the County would have saved $11.6 million.
This directive comes as the independent Suffolk County Fiscal Task Force is analyzing and reviewing the 2011, 2012 and 2013 County budgets to determine the size of the fiscal challenge facing Suffolk County. The Suffolk County fiscal report will be released within the next 10 days.