WASTE WATCHDouble Dipping
from Eyewitness News Online
Administration Secretary Says Loopholes Should Be Tightened To Cut Down On Multi-Million Dollar Price Tag
September 18, 2012
When the legislative auditor found 35 state retirees making more than $15,000 a year working for the government, it raised red flags about possible double dipping.
The law prohibits retirees from collecting their benefits and making more than $15,000 a year in state pay, but people are getting around that by working as independent contractors or temporary employees.
The auditor said the personnel division needs to do a better job instructing other state agencies about hiring.
Department of Administration Secretary Ross Taylor said Tuesday that there may be some room for improvement. “I have asked my personnel director to definitely look into what we could do better to have folks informed. So as of right now we're still . . . we're currently discussing trying to determine exactly what other policies, procedures we could put in place to help eliminate some of this.”
Taylor said although no one is accusing any of the 35 people named in the legislative auditor's report of fraud, there is a chance some state retirees are milking the system to make more money from the state than they are legally allowed.
“What individuals are doing is certainly within the law,” Taylor said. “However, it is alarming the number of dollars that have been spent on ex-state employees.”
And, like the legislative auditor, Taylor said it’s up to lawmakers to revisit the hiring policy relating to retirees. The price tag in 2011 for the 35 people named in the report . . . more than $2 million in salary and retirement benefits.
“We do believe that there are some loopholes if you will that could be maybe tightened . . . closed,” Taylor said.
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