To prevent unauthorized leave buyback transactions, the department should increase the level of supervisory review to ensure that transactions unit staff process only authorized and properly coded leave buyback transactions.
In addition to any procedures established by control agencies (Department of Finance, State Controller's Office, etc.), State Parks requires additional Transaction Supervisory review for all cash out of leave balances. Transaction's Supervisors review and provide signature approval on leave buy back documents. Once review is obtained, Transaction's Specialists are authorized to key the transaction.
Leave Accounting Letter #12-016
The Department has changed our procedure. Only the Director or his/her designee can approve the Departments participation in a Leave Buyback Program authorized by CalHR and DOF.
The department misunderstood our recommendation. Specifically, we recommended the department increase its supervisory review of transactions unit staff to ensure leave buybacks were authorized and properly coded. We appreciate the department's response in that the director is required to approve the department's participation in leave buyback programs authorized by the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Finance. However, for other buyback, such as those included in bargaining unit agreements, we believe proper oversight and supervisory review within payroll and the administrative services division would be appropriate.
The memo issued, and subsequent training, outlined the increased supervisory review of Leave Cash-Out/Buy Back transactions.
When needed, Transactions staff will prepare a separation checklist which includes leave credit cash out information. The separation checklist will be submitted to a Transactions Supervisor or Manager for review and approval prior to cashing out the leave credits. The Transactions Supervisor or Manager will initial his/her approval on the separation checklist and return it to staff for processing.
Although the department has prepared a checklist that includes various levels of supervisory review, the checklist does not include a section that describes how the leave buyback is authorized (i.e. bargaining unit contract section). Without this information, the supervisory review cannot effectively ensure only authorized buyback transactions are processed.
The Department has written procedures that reiterate the conditions under which leave cash out can be approved and the consequences for policy violations. These procedures will be used to update the applicable section(s) of the Department Administrative Manual.
Although it asserts that it has written procedures that reiterate the conditions under which leave cash out can be approved and consequences for policy violations, the department has not provided us with a copy of its procedures to substantiate its claim that the recommendation is fully implemented.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.