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Overtime payments to Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) employees have increased dramatically of late and warrant an investigation, MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Foye announced yesterday.Recent reports on excessive overtime payments throughout the system are "extremely concerning," he said in a statement. "Some overtime is to be expected at any public transit agency, in order to keep up with critical repairs and maintenance, especially at a time of extraordinary work being done around the system. But the accumulation of so many hours of overtime raises serious questions, including potential safety issues such as exhaustion," Foye said.Foye is taking several actions to address the issue, first by directing Long Island Rail Road President Phillip Eng, Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi and New York City Transit President Andy Byford to conduct a full review of current overtime procedures and regulations."We have strict procedures and regulations in place regarding scheduling and payment of overtime, [which] either must be followed or we need to implement stronger rules on day-to-day procedures," Foye said. He's also calling on the railroad presidents to review the past 12 months of overtime claims and payments to ensure all were earned and appropriate."If this investigation suggests we need to look back farther than 12 months, we will do so," Foye said.Reviews should be completed within 60 days, then findings will be presented to the MTA's board and made public, he said."I am also requesting the Inspector General's office complete their own full review of excessive overtime payouts to ensure that they were appropriately planned for, scheduled and signed off upon, and that the claimed hours were in fact worked," said Foye.