City officials tour ADP data processing business

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 5:52 PM
Last updated 11:54 PM
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In a continued push to win a $2.4 million annual contract with the city of Augusta, Automatic Data Processing invited the entire Augusta Commission to a meeting at its local facility Wednesday.

The global human resources outsourcing firm, however, overlooked the fact that meetings of the commission are required by Georgia law to be open to the public.

An ADP staffer sent to the door of the glassy complex on Flowing Wells Road to shoo three news crews away said that he was unfamiliar with Georgia open meetings laws but that it was ADP policy to refuse all media access because of the presence of proprietary and confidential information inside the call center, which employs about 800 people.

City Clerk Lena Bonner, aware of open meetings requirements, notified news outlets in advance about the meeting and its agenda, which included information about “how ADP will help city workers develop new skills and more rewarding careers,” a tour of the facilities, and meetings with local and national ADP leaders.

Only two commission members initially responded to the invitation, however, making the tour not a quorum “to fit within the scope of the meetings act requirement,” said the city’s general counsel, Andrew Mac­Kenzie.

ADP government and education leader John Joaquin, who spoke briefly to reporters remaining at the end of the two-hour meeting, said handling of the day’s events had been approved by the city law department.

Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle, who attended the meeting, said when a third commissioner – Matt Aitken – arrived at ADP later, Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles left to avoid a quorum of the city’s public services committee.

Guilfoyle said that it was “too bad” the media weren’t present but that he remains impressed with the outsourcing giant’s capacity to manage Augusta payroll, employee leave, health and other benefits, timekeeping and attendance.

“There’s nothing I can say negative about ADP,” Guilfoyle said. “It’s not only HR; it’s them in the community. It was a very impressive meeting; great dialogue. It’s a professionally run company.”

Guilfoyle was referring to the jobs ADP provides Augustans at the center and its community outreach. It donates to area causes and, giving $64,333, was the second-largest corporate donor to Paine College, the college’s 2010 annual report says.

It also promised $233,000 apiece annually to Augusta State University, Augusta Technical College and Paine for student scholarships in the math, science and technology fields, according to an April news release.

Despite the goodwill, the firm has not been embraced by all on the commission, which has postponed approving a contract with the firm for months.

Guilfoyle said a few of his questions had been answered at the meeting, including one about the number of in-house staffers the city needs to retain after contracting with ADP.

Previous literature distributed to commissioners indicated ADP sought to pay former Augusta Human Resources Director Rod Powell $60,000 annually to serve as “project manager” to report to the commission and represent its interests before ADP.

Powell retired from the city last year but remains on the payroll as a consultant.

City Administrator Fred Russell, who attended the meeting with two deputy administrators, MacKenzie and a human resources employee, said he would have advised the commission not to meet if a quorum had showed up.

ADP “feels they offer a good product at a good price,” Russell said.

At a commission meeting Tuesday, Russell detailed the annual cost of contracting with ADP: $2.4 million for the first five years until software is paid off and $2 million annually each subsequent year.

At least two elected Augusta department heads have expressed their concerns related to expanding ADP’s involvement in city payroll.

Richmond County Marshal Steve Smith said his employees continue to keep dual paper and time clock records, despite implementing ADP’s time tracking system last year.

The only explanation he has been given is that a computerized ADP payroll system has yet to be implemented, Smith said.

“Instead of relieving us of paperwork, it’s just added another part to it,” he said.

Sheriff Ronnie Strength said that although his department handles much of its human resources in house, implementing ADP’s time clock system isn’t feasible with 75 percent of his staffers, who respond as needed when a crime occurs.

In addition, his staff is concerned about being paid salaries and benefits properly and timely.

“I hope the commission will not go into something without being given enough information,” he said.

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OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 05/23/12 - 05:41 pm
3
0
I do not understand anyone

I do not understand anyone having to keep dual books. You log in with your password and log out with you password. Your supervisor has the authority to correct any mistakes if needed. The sheriff's department does not have to go back to headquarters to log off they can do it from any internet even a cell phone if it has internet access. i know this because I use and manage staff with this system daily, you also have the benifit of them doing your background checks and eliminating somebody's buddy being hired. If it is cost effective i say that is the way to go.

Fools_and_sages
360
Points
Fools_and_sages 05/23/12 - 05:45 pm
3
0
ADP is an awful payroll system for supervisors
Unpublished

For anybody who has to approve time cards for employees, ADP is an awful system. ADP is excruciatingly slow and it works using a very outdated version of Java. To run ADP on your computer, you can't have any other version of Java installed but the very outdated version ADP supports. If you accidentally update Java or your computer is set to automatically update Java, ADP stops working. This Java issue isn't a problem for people who have to "punch" the ADP time card. It is only a problem for the supervisors who have to approve the time cards so the employees get paid.

For employees, you better make sure you punch in and out faithfully and you better double check with your supervisor to make sure they approved your time card. ADP may refuse to process a pay check for an employee if they forget to punch in or out and the supervisor doesn't fix the missed punches. Even if ADP will process a pay check with missed punches, the employee won't get paid for the day where they screwed up their punches. ADP may refuse to process an entire pay check for an employee if the supervisor forgets to approve the time card as well. ADP also charges an exorbitant fee to the employer to fix incorrect pay checks or to issue pay checks outside the normal pay cycle. That means if you screw up some punches or your supervisor forgets to approve your time card and ADP decides not to pay you, you won't get paid until the next pay period. At that time, you will get what amounts to a double check that covers both pay periods. In some instances, getting a full month's pay all at once will kick you into a higher tax bracket for that pay period, which means more taxes get taken out.

In short, ADP SUCKS! The program they use is hard to work with and the company has very little (if any) tolerance for human error.

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 05/23/12 - 07:12 pm
1
1
Look, This Company Runs America's Payrolls

This company is so omnipresent over the country the stock market reacts to their payroll reports. They are local, employing almost a thousand people in good jobs, paying taxes and contributing to causes. I have no doubt they will run the county system much better as long as the supervisors do their jobs as they should be doing. This is pretty simple. I really don't see how we can deny them this work.

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 05/23/12 - 10:15 pm
1
1
Fools_

Fools_and_sages must want the city to continue to pay employees who falsify timecards like the thieves at our Highland Ave plant.
Lets not forget our current HR dept. tried to add an employee's ex-wife to the city health plan(HIGHLY ILLEGAL).
The argument of timeclocks is ridiculous, employees have to sign in somehow and ADP has more ways to do so than anyone.
Marshall Smith has a good argument about not implementing the timeclock system, but the problem is INTERNAL. ADP is not implementing this. The city is doing the implementation and many of our Gov't employees are attempting to sabatoge this in order to protect jobs.

IntrepidES96
109
Points
IntrepidES96 05/23/12 - 09:23 pm
1
0
OhWell: "I do not understand

OhWell: "I do not understand anyone having to keep dual books."

I wish it was that simple. The requirement for all of the city employees to fill out paper time cards and use the electronic punch comes from the very top...not from individual department heads.

Fools_and_sages: You are exactly right. The system runs (slowly) on a very old version of Java. Even then, the sun, moon, and stars have to align just right for it to work properly!

Bowles: I don't see a single point in Fools' that mentions that he wants the county to continue paying those who are falsifying their timecards. He was merely stating the weaknesses of the system. Anyone who uses ADP's eTime system on a daily basis (and I don't mean only county employees) knows this. It's sad that a simple clock-in/clock-out has become so difficult. I think that a digital system should be in place, but ADP's system is causing more issues!

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 05/23/12 - 10:15 pm
0
0
Intrepid

Adp's system is not slow at all. It's your server! One company that I own uses this daily and the employees click in on their cell phone APP. It takes about 2 seconds. They can even message the supervisor when running late.
Don't confuse the City's use of adp with the private sectors. Because we do things efficiently and effectively or we are Out of business.
You are lucky that your employer can tax its way out of a deficit.

You obviously have not used ADP easyPay App.

IntrepidES96
109
Points
IntrepidES96 05/23/12 - 10:11 pm
1
0
Bowles: Maybe you should take

Bowles: Maybe you should take a refresher course on reading comprehension! Did I say my employer was the government? "Anyone who uses ADP's eTime system on a daily basis (and I don't mean only county employees) knows this."

I work in the private sector and have worked for several employers using the ADP system. True, I have not used the easyPay App, but from what I understand, the city isn't either...

Oh yeah...one more thing: It wouldn't be my "server" that would cause the slowness...it would be ADP's server! Especially when my downstream and upstream connection coming into my place of business is 100 mbps! On top of that, the Java Runtime Environment is the main cause of slowness. Stick with your field and I will stick with mine (that is Information Technology).

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 05/23/12 - 10:17 pm
0
0
Intrepid

So you are telling me that 2 seconds to clock in is quicker than a timecard manual punch then a secretary keying into the current system?
Through streamlining it will cut down on errors and human time is all I am trying to show

IntrepidES96
109
Points
IntrepidES96 05/23/12 - 10:28 pm
1
0
Bowles: Stop putting words

Bowles: Stop putting words into my mouth. In my first post I said, "I think that a digital system should be in place..."

Maybe I need to reiterate it: Yes, I do agree that a digital system should be in place to avoid human error and and prevent those who want to cheat the system.

bigclaude
339
Points
bigclaude 05/24/12 - 07:23 am
0
0
You'll be sorry!!

Mr. Bowles. If you are still reading comments on this thread....have you done any research on the disaster that ADP has been for the Georgia University System? They cost the system 22 million dollars mostly due to their inability to adequately address problems with the implementation of their system.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 05/24/12 - 07:45 am
0
0
Mindset

If an organization seeks to implement a new timekeeping system, they need to get the supervisors on board with training and indoctrinating. The supervisors and department heads need to be cheerleaders and disciplinarians for the new system for success to occur.

One problem with the commission is that when a vote is taken, the losing side does not support the majority decision. That leads to subversion and sabotage.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 05/24/12 - 07:50 am
0
0
Big Top

IntrepidES96 posted:

The requirement for all of the city employees to fill out paper time cards and use the electronic punch comes from the very top...not from individual department heads.

That would be one Fred (What, me worry?) Russell.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 05/24/12 - 08:56 am
1
0
Guilfoyle

Sandwiched in between paragraphs containing quotes from Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle was this:

ADP also promised $233,000 apiece annually to Augusta State University, Augusta Technical College and Paine for student scholarships in the math, science and technology fields, according to an April news release.

Is this promise unconditional or is it contingent on getting the $2.4 million contract with the city?

If the latter, it is a sneaky way to transfer city taxpayer funds to the colleges; and might run afoul of Georgia's laws against gratuities. Of course, those anti-gratuity laws did not stop Fred (What, me worry?) Russell from cutting a city check to Betty Beard's friend for gastric bypass surgery.

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 05/24/12 - 09:49 am
0
0
If this system is used as

If this system is used as designed and you have responsible employees and supervisors the supervisors have a minimal of duties. The copany I work for has over 600 employees in several states and everyone gets their paycheck on time.

Sweet son
11083
Points
Sweet son 05/24/12 - 05:07 pm
0
0
What the Hell??

Are we not paying the Commisioners to conduct the county's business and they won't even show up for meetings/forums intended to better the expenditure of our money. Unbelieveable!! They don't deserve to be in office and poor ole Fred even gets kicked for everything he is trying to do! Except for Guilfoyle and a few others the commisioners are too busy tending their own business to even consider what we have elected them to do!

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