• By Pacific island Times News Staff

Public safety agencies account for 84 percent of GovGuam's overtime expenditures

Public safety agencies on Guam accounted for 84 percent ( or an average of $8.2 million a year ) of overtime expenditures charged against the general fund over five years from Oct. 1, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2019, according to the Office of Public Accountability.

The general fund averaged $9.7 million a year (or $48.4 million cumulatively) of overtime expenditures during that period, OPA said.

OPA's analysis listed the Guam Fire Department, Guam Police Department, and Department of Corrections as the agencies that used most of GovGuam's overtime benefits.

Details of overtime spending from FY 2015 through FY 2019[2] for these public safety entities are as follows:

· Guam Fire Department: Over five years, GFD overtime expenditures increased by 44 percent , or by $1.5 million. Fire captains, fire service specialists, and firefighter IIs were the top earners of overtime pay at GFD, averaging between $34,000 and $43,000 a year in overtime. GFD accounted for 50 percent, or $24.3 million, of all GF overtime expenditures.

· Department of Corrections: Over five years, DOC overtime expenditures increased by 65 percent . A correction officer supervisor I,correction officer III, correction officer II, and several correction officer I were the top earners of overtime pay at DOC, averaging between $23,000 and $31,000 a year in overtime. DOC accounted for 23 percent, or $11 million of all GF overtime expenditures.

· Guam Police Department: Over five years, GPD overtime expenditures decreased by 33 percent or $400,000 . A police sergeant I and several police officer IIIs, police officer IIs and police officer Is were the top earners of overtime pay at GPD, averaging between $15,000 and $32,000 a year in overtime. GPD accounted for 11 percent, or $5.M million of all GF overtime expenditures

We also identified the inequitable treatment of reporting requirements and payment of overtime expenditures amongst GFD, DOC, and GPD. We also found that DOC and GPD were non-compliant with overtime reporting requirements, which imposed a $250 fine for each missed or untimely report.

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To address these findings, OPA recommended:

  • BBMR, DOA, GPD, and DOC, ensure overtime payouts are done equitably and timely amongst the public safety agencies;

  • the Guam Legislature require GFD be subjected to the same overtime reporting requirements imposed on DOC and GPD; and

  • DOC, GPD, and the Guam Legislature verify and certify the timely and non-timely submissions of their monthly or quarterly overtime reports.

“We conducted a thorough review of GFD, DOC, and GPD’s overtime expenditures and the numbers speak for themselves. Over the past five years alone, GFD and DOC overtime increased 44 percent respectively. On the other hand, GPD’s overtime decreased by 3 percent. The results also show multiple public safety officers making in excess of $30,000 overtime in one year. The starting salary for an entry-level public safety officer is less than $30K annually,” said Public Auditor Benjamin J.F. Cruz.

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