State Budget Office fires back against comptroller's report

Posted at: 11/19/2013 11:05 PM
Updated at: 11/20/2013 9:31 AM
By: WNYT Staff

The state's Budget Office is firing back at the comptroller about a scathing report of overtime, calling it baffling and skewed.

Earlier, NewsChannel 13 reported state agencies are on their way to spending a record amount of overtime money this year.

Overtime spending is up by 16 percent. State agencies have already spent $462 million on overtime alone. This all goes back to a Waste Watchers report NewsChannel 13 brought you last year. The Department of Corrections has spent the most, nearly $122 million -- a 20 percent increase from last year. That was followed by the Department of Transportation with a total so far this year of $36 million.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says reliance on overtime is becoming an expensive habit.

“This is meant to be a management tool for agency heads take a look at what your spending is and is there a way to do a better job controlling to costs because those are premium costs,” he said.

But the state Division of Budget, in a response late Tuesday afternoon, said all agencies have remained within their budgets. It called the comptroller's report baffling, skewed by a shocking lack of content, omission of fact and an apparent fundamental misunderstanding of the state of affairs in a number of agencies.  

It also points out the comptroller failed to mention three extreme weather events -- Superstorm Sandy, a blizzard on Long Island and the flooding in the Mohawk Valley over the summer, which would have accounted for a large chunk of overtime.