GMH gets upgrade on rating on compensation controls - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GMH gets upgrade on rating on compensation controls

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - On one hand, GMH is praised by the OPA but on the other they are butting heads.

According to Guam Memorial Hospital administrator Joseph Verga the latest audit released by the Office of Public Accountability shows they're doing a better job at paying compensation to employees. He said, "The OPA audit that recently that was very good it has to be the most positive audit we have ever had in fact. And she says that and I thank her for that."

According to an audit released Monday by Guam OPA it assessed GMH's compensation controls for personnel paid less than $100,000 from 2010 and 2012. Auditors determined they were better managed than previous years. Auditors scrutinized payroll records for employees looking at multiple pay tables, annual leave, overtime and additional straight time.

The audit did find some deficiencies such as:

-Certain exempt employees WHO were compensated $9K in overtime and $31K in additional straighttime;

-Four Housekeeping employees WHO consistently worked over 3,000 hours annually, of which two received $115K in overtime over a three-year period;

-Auditors also noted Part-time employees THAT were compensated as high as 316% over their base pay; and

-And finally Errors were found due to manual inputting of weekend and certification pay. "The issue was that we have never really had a defined policy that defines safe hours. In other words, what's the threshold on it?"

And while the audit recommended Verga amend the classification of exempt employees, restrict positions considered exempt and adopt safe hours of work policy he says the audit covers a period preceding his appointment. "Since that time we have on our own developed a policy for non exempt employees defined what they were we defined a mechanism to monitor safe hours to monitor the amount of hours and have a mechanism to review safe threshold hours when that kicks in," he said.

He says that GMH had that in process when the audit began and are delighted to have extra control mechanisms which has GMH heading in the right direction. "We have a policy that we are just about to improve it has gone through several versions and iterations and comments it is now ready for final approval and publication," he said.

This recent audit follows a previous audit in which the finding showed weak management oversight, and inconsistent application of payroll practices of personnel paid over $100,000.

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