Payroll audit in Detroit seeks to root out fraud

Feb 14, 2012

The city of Detroit plans to find fraud in its payroll system by forcing people to show up to collect their checks.

Mailed checks, or direct deposit won't happen on February 24, according to Nancy Kaffer of Crain's Detroit Business:

On Feb. 24, Detroit employees won't be paid via direct deposit or mailed checks. Rather, employees must show up in person and present government-issued photo ID and a Social Security card.

It's called a payroll audit, and it's a good idea — the goal is to eliminate "ghost employees," or folks who no longer work for the city but continue to collect paychecks.

It's part of an ongoing effort to root out fraud, said Naomi Patton, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's press secretary. The city hadn't done one, and decided it was time.

A management consultant says this type of action is the "low hanging fruit" for a business or city trying to turn things around. Kaffer questions why Mayor Dave Bing has waited this long to do something like this.