From 2007 to the present, the Department of Education (DE) paid about $ 84.2 million in incorrect compensation to some 17,500 people, of which 15,000 are former employees of the agency, reported the executive director of the Fiscal Control Board, Natalie Jaresko .
In a press conference, Jaresko affirmed that the erroneous payments made over the past 13 years respond to several of the inefficiencies that the agency presents, among them the poor handling of its payroll. She explained that the agency did not adjust the payments according to absences, leaves or time worked.
“When an employee resigns, retires or unfortunately dies, the system must change the status of the person immediately so that it is immediately reflected in the payroll. This is not what has happened in the agency … This is happening in the entire government, “detailed Jaresko.
Despite the fact that in 2007, the DE made a millionaire investment in an assistance system, the fiscal executive explained that it was not implemented efficiently. Given this, he ordered that the agency must integrate an efficient system before the end of the year.
“The problem with these inefficiencies is that it lends itself to potential cases of fraud. It does not matter if the person punches or not, however they receive the same payment because the system does not adjust it. This same system paid thousands of dollars to former employees of the agency “, he alerted.
Last year alone, Education paid $ 9.7 million to people who no longer worked at the agency either because they resigned, retired, or died. This year, the figure already goes to $ 3.1 million.
Jaresko emphasized that the board is in talks with the relevant authorities to try to recover the money paid in error. Although the situation has been discussed with law enforcement agencies, it was not clear whether legal action will be taken against the agency’s secretaries who served for the past 13 years.