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City of York Council council staff overpaid by more than £200,000 in 3 years
COUNCIL staff in York have been overpaid by more than £200,000 in the space of three years through errors and glitches, figures have revealed.
Details obtained through the Freedom of Information Act have shown one member of City of York Council staff was wrongly paid £96,191.18 more than they were supposed to receive last year while the authority was bringing in a new payroll system.
The council said this money was fully recovered within days, but of the £203,466.88 which was overpaid during 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13, £21,197.59 had not been recouped at the end of the last financial year.
In total, 139 staff were paid more than they should have been over the three-year period.
However, the number of overpayment cases has fallen, from 72 in 2010/11 to 38 in 2012/13. A council spokeswoman said there was no “singular issue” behind the wage mistakes, saying: “The cases are down to a combination of administration and paperwork errors, or not receiving notification of changes or leavers prior to payroll processing deadlines.”
She said payroll and authorisation systems had been improved, human resources and payroll staff had undergone extra training and managers were given regular notice of payday deadlines.
She also said none of the overpayments was due to staff claiming payments mistakenly or deliberately for hours they had not worked.
She said: “In order to recover an overpayment for anybody who has been overpaid and is no longer an employee of the council, we issue up to three reminder letters before referring to the bailiffs to attempt recovery.”
The largest single overpayment in 2010/11 was £4,260.70, and £4,772.17 the following year. The council said checks by management and internal auditors had found no similar cases to the £96,000 overpayment in 2012/13.
Council leader James Alexander said: "I take operational matters like this very seriously and I am pleased council staff have ensured the number of such human errors has decreased dramatically in the last couple of years. Numbers of incidents appear to reach a peak prior to the local elections."
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