Government

More News | | | Editor

Leaked Augusta memo hints at trouble with ADP

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 8:32 PM
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 7:23 AM
  • Follow Government

As the city of Augusta prepares to outsource its remaining human resources functions to Automatic Data Processing, a leaked internal memo indicates problems with the city’s existing relationship with the human resources outsourcing giant.

The memo’s release also could mean trouble for whoever alerted the media of its existence, City Administrator Fred Russell said.

The Augusta Commission voted 10-0 on Jan. 17 to move forward with obtaining a price quote from and negotiating a contract with ADP, which operates a Solution Center in Augusta that employs nearly 1,000 people.

The memo, authored by Deputy Administrator Bill Shanahan, is an informally written list of issues raised by city employees, including human resources staff and notes made by Shanahan about existing or foreseen issues between the city, insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and ADP, which began overseeing eligibility and payment of benefits last year.

Many of the issues are technical, such as long waits for shared files to load between the city and ADP. Others indicate poor customer service, such as “procedures seem to change constantly” and “ADP personnel are sometimes combative, rather than cooperative.”

It also points at ADP as the cause of employees or their family members being inadvertently dropped from insurance coverage, a complaint raised by several city employees last year.

“We have had cancellation in every vendor group; without explanation,” the memo says. “The only common denominator is ADP.”

Other points reference issues Augusta employees are having using ADP’s service.

A phone tree, for example, needs to be “dumbed down” because it confuses some workers, according to the memo.

The city administrator’s office provided the memo to The Augusta Chronicle after it was leaked to another media outlet. Shanahan said the memo essentially is the notes he has taken in an ongoing dialog with ADP and that many concerns have been resolved.

“Some were their fault; some were our fault,” he said.

Shanahan is preparing a white paper on the decision to outsource human resources to ADP to present at a Monday commission committee meeting.

No contract or price has been set, but Russell said implementation costs to the city would be about $1.3 million. The company is able to provide a total package of human resources services, from hiring for positions on, he said.

He called the memo “an ill-conceived document that never should have seen the light of day.” He said late Wednesday that he hadn’t determined whether to punish those involved.

“I have no idea how it got out,” said Human Resources Manager Robby Burns.

The department hasn’t had a permanent leader since the August retirement of Rod Powell, and several employees have resigned or been fired in the past few months.

A proponent of outsourcing and an ADP customer, Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles said the firm had encountered difficulties in seeking information from city employees to develop a proposal.

“I’m sure a lot of people are trying to sabotage that process,” Bowles said, including “some of our upper-level management that believe in bigger government.”

Comments (6) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
my.voice
5180
Points
my.voice 01/25/12 - 08:51 pm
0
0
Sounds like a torpedo to me.

Sounds like a torpedo to me.

david jennings
625
Points
david jennings 01/26/12 - 06:25 am
0
0
Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles

Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles summed it up well in his last sentence.

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 01/26/12 - 08:25 am
0
0
hey joe, how dare you make
Unpublished

hey joe, how dare you make reference to "BIG GOVERNMENT" when it is the augusta/richmond county gov't that built and owns the TEE CENTER, you know the money pit you voted for and then out-sourced the management of it to your benefactor "ole billy"...so you need to get off you high horse, with you "holier then thou" attitude. you are no better than the politician you criticize about wanting "BIG GOVERNMENT" if you believe in the free market then tell me and others why is are the taxpayers paying for the TEE CENTER??? shouldn't there be a privatge investor willing to risk his capital to build it?? oh yeah i forgot, you were told by the head of the CVB that based on a feaseability study that is over 7 years old that it will work.....you joe the old saying "if we build it they will come"....they pay augusta riverfront llc (i. e. billy) 250,000 per year for 20-50 years to manage it...yeah real sound business practices

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/26/12 - 08:52 am
0
0
Careful, careful. ADP is

Careful, careful. ADP is already gigantic. They are the Walmart of data processing.

Little Lamb
49246
Points
Little Lamb 01/26/12 - 08:55 am
0
0
The way the newspaper makes

The way the newspaper makes Susan McCord break her paragraphs makes understanding quotes more difficult. Here are some that I pieced together:

City Administrator Fred Russell said the memo was, “an ill-conceived document that never should have seen the light of day.” Then Russell says he hasn't decided whether to punish those involved.

Then Human Resources Manager Robby Burns said, “I have no idea how it got out.”

It sounds to me that Burns is saying, “It wasn't me! It wasn't me! I know nuh-tink! I know nuh-tink!”

And if Russell is "deciding" whether to punish someone, that implies that he actually knows who leaked the document.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On another note, here is an interesting quote from the article:

The [Human Resources - - LL] department hasn’t had a permanent leader since the August retirement of Rod Powell, and several employees have resigned or been fired in the past few months.

Hey, Joe Bowles, Jerry Brigham, Joe Jackson — you should be shouting from the rooftops that reorganization is working. These people that have been fired should be identified. Burns and Russell should be praised.

Sweet son
11762
Points
Sweet son 01/26/12 - 12:03 pm
0
0
Bomb dropping!!! Like Newt's

Bomb dropping!!! Like Newt's ex wife!!!

GuesS_wHU
3
Points
GuesS_wHU 01/26/12 - 01:46 pm
0
0
A proponent of outsourcing

A proponent of outsourcing and an ADP customer, Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles said the firm had encountered difficulties in seeking information from city employees to develop a proposal.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Interesting statement. Is there a "follow the money" lesson here?

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs