Fort Worth taxpayers on the hook for municipal payroll mistakes

Payroll errors stemming from a December misallocation of payroll will cost Fort Worth, Texas, residents approximately $1.8 million, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Payroll gaffes have forced the taxpayers to foot the bill to clean up the payroll processing errors made by city officials.

District 8 councilwoman Kathleen Hicks told the Star-Telegram she believed the initial mistakes were created by a shortage of staff. That may be no consolation for taxpayers, who saw the city pay $18 million for a payroll processing upgrade in 2009, only to see the system require $1.8 million more to re-train workers.

Assistant city manager Karen Montgomery stated the miscues were a result of data entry errors relating to police department payrolls.

"It's easy sometimes to say the system's broken, but the system is working in this case," city spokesman Jason Lamers told the Star-Telegram in December. "What we need help with and what we're working with is inputting the data into the system correctly from timekeepers."

Problems occurred in October when nearly 34,000 miscalculated paychecks went out to a significant portion of the city's police department and other municipal workers. Since then, only 616 corrected checks have been distributed to police and fire department personnel, Montgomery stated.

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