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Auditor Says OASIS Salary Calculation is Illegal

ArmsteadMeeting.jpg
Perry Bennett
/
West Virginia Legislative Photography
House Speaker Tim Armstead reviews the legislative auditor's findings during a meeting Sunday.

After a legislative audit showed a new pay system would cost the state tens of millions of dollars in unintentional pay raises, West Virginia lawmakers are assessing what -- if anything -- they can do to stop it. 

Last month, Legislative Auditor Aaron Allred told members of the Post Audits Subcommittee the transition from semi-monthly to bi-weekly pay under the new West Virginia OASIS system will result in more than $50 million in additional pay for salaried employees over the next ten years.

The unintentional increase is the result of a computing error, dividing salaries by the new 26 pay period rather than the previous 24. Legislative Auditor Allred is now telling lawmakers he believes the conversion rate is illegal.

Allred recommends the state push back that date until lawmakers can reassess the code section dictating salaries during the next legislative session.

"If the state auditor wants to simply divide salaries by 26, which we believe is illegal, than he can come to the Legislature and ask for the Legislature’s approval to convert salaries the way that he’s planning on converting them,” he told the committee Sunday.

That second wave is the next group of state employees who will switch to the new biweekly pay system.

The first wave -- which included agencies like the Department of Administration, the Auditor's and Treasurer's Offices and the Division of Highways -- made the change earlier this year. Wave two, which will include the remainder of state employees, is scheduled for November 14.

Allred said he doesn’t know how much a delay will cost, but representatives of the executive branch have said the implementation will continue as scheduled. Lawmakers will likely not be able to intervene in the process until January’s session.


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