Thwarting the Time Bandits

By Charles K. Trainor

“Time Bandits,” the 1981 movie written by Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame, is a fantastic fairy tale about some misguided, otherworldly fellows who steal a time map and jump from one point in time to another, stealing from historic characters they encounter along the way.

School districts have their own version of time bandits. And since time is a valuable commodity, you need to make sure you get your money’s worth.

Unfortunately, a variety of schemes are used to cheat districts, where salaries and benefits are the greatest expense. Some involve the manipulation of controls put in place to monitor actual hours worked. Others involve the payroll process, insurance fraud, ghost employees, and other unscrupulous behaviors.

Since salaries are usually tied to number of hours worked, the payroll area and its supporting departments need close monitoring by administrators. In addition, oversight by board members will keep time bandits at bay.

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