OIG Follow-Up Finds That the Department of Water Management Has Significantly Improved Its Overtime Monitoring

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has completed a follow-up to its audit of the Department of Water Management’s (DWM) overtime monitoring system. Based on the Department’s responses, OIG concludes that DWM has fully implemented 7 of 13, substantially implemented 3, and partially implemented 3 of the corrective actions that will help the Department effectively monitor overtime to prevent waste and abuse.

The 2020 audit determined that DWM developed policies and tools to manage overtime but did not utilize these resources consistently. Management personnel, at both the central and bureau level, did not know the full range of overtime processes in place across DWM (which included compliance with 17 different collaborative bargaining agreements and more than 14,000 labor tracking code combinations for monitoring overtime). Additionally, the Department did not provide robust oversight, and it did not consistently retain overtime records.

OIG made several suggestions to strengthen DWM’s overtime monitoring tools and better promote compliance, to include: updating and distributing overtime policies; using existing monitoring tools to inform department-wide operational decisions; developing internal reporting tools; identifying, documenting, and standardizing overtime “call-out” processes; and retaining overtime records.

Based on the follow-up responses, OIG concludes that the Department has implemented corrective actions for many of the issues raised in the audit. Specifically, DWM revised its overtime policy to include a complete list of labor tracking codes and to address new operational considerations; developed procedures to ensure retention of transfer documentation; distributed an updated overtime policy to employees; and monitors overtime through its Tableau reports and monthly meetings. Additionally, the Department began posting and checking overtime call-out lists, but still needs to work on fully documenting the call-out procedures used by all trades. The Department also needs to update its document retention policy and ensure it includes all current forms.

The full report can be found online: bit.ly/DWMOTFollowUp.

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The mission of the independent and non-partisan City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) is to promote economy, effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity by identifying corruption, waste, and mismanagement in City government. OIG is a watchdog for the taxpayers of the City and has jurisdiction to conduct investigations and audits into most aspects of City government. If you see corruption, fraud, or waste of any kind, we need to hear from you. For more information, visit our website at: www.igchicago.org.