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MTA bungles $24M rollout of new time clocks meant to crack down on OT fraud By CLAYTON GUSE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |
Updated On: Mar 02, 2020
MTA workers busted up several fancy time clocks designed to crack down on overtime fraud, the agency's inspector general said. (Metropolitan Transportation Authority Inspector General)

On Jan. 17, more than 8,000 Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees — or about 15% of the agency’s workforce — were still not required to use the system, the IG report shows.

At least nine of the time clocks — which scan fingerprints to clock workers in and out of shifts — were smashed last year in “apparent acts of vandalism," according to the IG. Those clocks represent a small fraction of clocks in the MTA’s entire system.

The MTA moved to install the modern clocks after a report last year found the agency spent $1.3 billion on overtime in 2018, a $100 million increase from the year before.

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A consultant in August blamed the soaring costs on bad management — but another IG report found that some fraud was afoot, particularly within the Long Island Rail Road.

Four foremen who worked in the LIRR engineering department raked in a combined $650,000 in overtime in 2018 — and Tuesday’s IG report shows the MTA still struggles to track employees in that division.

Roughly 11% of LIRR employees still do not use the new time clocks, the report states. The MTA’s expensive new system struggles to monitor LIRR employees who work at multiple or remote locations, according to the report.

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The MTA board in July approved a $20 million change to a contract with Kronos, the time clock’s manufacturer, to bring the fingerprint-reading devices to all of its workplaces. The board last year also approved an additional $2.7 million on special cables for the new clocks, and $1 million on personnel to install them.

The agency has not released an analysis that shows how much money the clocks will save.

MTA spokeswoman Abbey Collins did not dispute the facts reported by the inspector general — but said that the 8,000 employees not yet using the system are a “small number.”

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