Government

More News | | | Editor

Commission votes down outsourcing HR department

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 9:13 PM
Last updated 9:36 PM
  • Follow Government

Augusta commissioners ended months of debate Tuesday over whether to outsource most human resources functions to the global outsourcing firm Automatic Data Processing, approving 6-3 a motion to deny ADP’s contract offer.

The group also halted a commissioner’s formal request that the University System of Georgia Board of Regents include the word “Augusta” in the name of the city’s new merged university, when a motion to make the request received only five commission votes.

Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles and commissioners Jerry Brigham and Wayne Guilfoyle were the only votes for ADP’s offer, a $2.4 million annual contract that would likely put several city employees out of work in a human resources department that hasn’t had a permanent director since August and lacks several certified personnel. Commissioner Alvin Mason made the motion to deny. It was seconded by Commissioner Bill Lockett.

The vote did not end ADP’s existing contract to manage the city’s time card system and health benefits management, but allows revamping of the city HR department to move forward, City Administrator Fred Russell said.

Russell said the city has begun advertising with government staffing services for temporary HR personnel to shore up the department of seven until consultant Malik Watkins’ recommendations for appropriate staffing levels and organization come back in August. In an earlier presentation, Deputy City Administrator Bill Shanahan said the city needed at least a dozen HR personnel to handle the city’s workforce of more than 2,400.

The debate over whether to outsource to ADP pitted ADP employees against city employees, with both sides spreading information about missteps the other was making. It also prompted some commissioners to consider the firm’s impact on Augusta, as it employs some 800 at a west Augusta call center. The agenda item had reappeared on commission agendas for months, but no ADP staffers appeared at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I think it would have been a hell of a lot better-run,” said Bowles, an ADP supporter whose business uses the firm’s services. “I’m interested to see what the solutions to our problems are.”

Commissioner Jerry Brigham had requested the commission approve a resolution in support of including “Augusta” in the name of the city’s new university to be formed when Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities are combined. With three commissioners absent by the time the vote was taken and Lockett and Matt Aitken opposed, the resolution died for lack of a sixth supporting vote.

“Yes, I’m disappointed,” said Brigham, who teared up when recognizing Augusta valedictorians at an earlier point in the meeting. “I will not present this again.”

Also, commissioners still present heard a glowing presentation on the city’s financial picture from Dianne McNabb, an Atlanta financial advisor who assists with Augusta’s large financing projects such as the Trade, Exhibit and Event Center construction and the city’s tax allocation districts beneath the new Costco and Rockmont Pigment.

McNabb noted that the 2010 TEE Center project’s financing preserved the tax-exempt status of bonds issued for the project, saving the city $2 million. She also said it was nearing time for the city to refinance its 2002 series water and sewerage revenue bonds to take advantage of low interest rates. McNabb said refinancing the $95.7 million outstanding on the bonds could save the city about $15 million in debt service payments.

Comments (14)

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.
itsanotherday1
34952
Points
itsanotherday1 06/06/12 - 01:23 am
8
2

"Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles and

"Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles and commissioners Jerry Brigham and Wayne Guilfoyle were the only votes for ADP’s offer, a $2.4 million annual contract that would likely put several city employees out of work in a human resources department that hasn’t had a permanent director since August and lacks several certified personnel. Commissioner Alvin Mason made the motion to deny. It was seconded by Commissioner Bill Lockett."

There ya go; a department in disarray propped up by the ones who view the local government as a jobs program.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 06/06/12 - 01:29 am
10
2

"With three commissioners

"With three commissioners absent by the time the vote was taken".

Who the hell was absent and why? What are we paying these guys for?

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 06/06/12 - 02:46 am
4
3

Retired Army,

Does anyone wonder why some refer to My Hometown as Disgusta or H***-[filtered word]ville?

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 06/06/12 - 09:20 am
7
2

It's one thing if a family

It's one thing if a family emergency arises and an employee has to attend to it. Being late for a dinner party or a beer bust does not constitute a family emergency.

The cats get a paycheck to do this work. Why can't we the citizenry dock their paychecks a couple hundred bucks every time they get up and leave and unajourned meeting for no good reason?

Seems to me a strong Mayor or Mayor Pro tem would support such a position. People voted for you to work for them and we pay you for it. Be there when the work is being done or get out.

Little Lamb
40309
Points
Little Lamb 06/06/12 - 09:02 am
3
1

Wallet

From the story:

The vote . . . allows revamping of the city HR department to move forward, City Administrator Fred Russell said.

Hold on to your wallets. Administrator Russell (What, me worry?) told the commission a couple of weeks ago that if they reject ADP, he will have to hire at least fifteen new employees. And those are just the low-level staff. They do not include hiring the new HR department head.

Little Lamb
40309
Points
Little Lamb 06/06/12 - 09:07 am
5
0

Sale

After reading the last two paragraphs of the story, I now realize they have to spend my money in order to save them money.

itsanotherday1
34952
Points
itsanotherday1 06/06/12 - 09:17 am
7
0

Hades is cooling off

It must be since I find I'm giving RA some thumbs up these days. Couldn't agree more on the absenteeism of commissioners; these jokers need to stand up to their responsibilities and quit the shenanigans. It may be that there is a meeting here or there missed, but more often than not it is just a ploy to mess up a majority vote when they don't like the way the vote is going. That is 2nd grade behavior, not adult.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 06/06/12 - 09:28 am
7
1

Outsourcing

As a retired CFO of a medium size manufacturing company I can tell you without a doubt that outsourcing some functions make sense from several points of view. First, you save money and get rid of the biggest headache within an organization. Secondly, you then can direct your efforts to why you are in business, make a product and market that product. It would seem that at least one of those principals would apply in government.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 06/06/12 - 09:23 am
6
0

Comments

For the record I agree with all the comments before mine.

dichotomy
26857
Points
dichotomy 06/06/12 - 09:41 am
6
0

We pay them to vote!

I don't care one way or another about the name issue for the merged school. But I am ashamed of our cowardly commissioners that scurry like cockroaches to avoid going on record.

As for contracting out...anything.....the only consideration should be whether it is cheaper to contract out the function or keep the function in house when everything is factored in. Is it cheaper to pay ADP or can Augusta hire employees and provide the same level of service when everything, to include benefits, retirement, salary, office space, paying managers, and buying equipment is factored in. In all of this yapping I have not heard an accountying of what it will cost to keep the function in house and provide the same level of service. Maybe I missed it but if I did it has not been heavily publicized. I believe, once again, our commissioners have taken a vote without considering all of the facts because they view county jobs as a something to be used for vote buying. And once again old Grady Smith apparently forgets who he is supposed to be representing. The only thing "at large" about our 10th District representative, Grady Smith, is that he is pretty at large about consistently voting to cost the taxpayers more money and give them worse service.

eb97
835
Points
eb97 06/06/12 - 09:50 am
2
1

Lockett

If the city could just say good-by to Russell maybe Lockett would apply for the HR director job( that is his area of expertise) we could get this city moving in the right direction once again.

itsanotherday1
34952
Points
itsanotherday1 06/06/12 - 10:01 am
3
2

You know, this situation is a

You know, this situation is a perfect example of where managing with sound business principles is appropriately applied to government. Just extrapolate this to the management of the federal government and it is clear that Romney's executive background is a big plus.

Native Augustan
12
Points
Native Augustan 06/06/12 - 10:28 am
5
1

HR Department

This vote was about who will control the HR Department. If ADP were to run the ARC HR Department then when employees were disciplined the paperwork would go directly to ADP and the discipline action carried out. Then some Commissioners would not have the ability to 'step-in' and have the discipline action erased. This is just another way for 'friends' of Commissioners to circumvent policies and procedures by making a phone call for 'mistreatment' by a Supervisor. The evidence has been shown by the Tom Beck issue and the Recreation Department Supervisor who was demoted. HR should not be subject to the whims of the Commissioners or their 'concerned' phone calls. Any enity that has 2400 Employes needs a strong HR Department free of politics, which will never happen in Augusta.

Little Lamb
40309
Points
Little Lamb 06/06/12 - 10:31 am
2
0

Private Sector

If the city would have voted for the ADP contract, they would have created some private-sector jobs in a local company. Instead, we will now have patronage jobs at the Marble Palace. Not a good trade.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/07/12 - 04:57 am
4
1
double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 06/06/12 - 03:59 pm
2
3

People give it a rest

ADP was going to be a kickback for a certain few. It would've not saved money and probably cost more in the process. Privitatzation has not worked. Human Resources needs a quality manager/director and not one of Fred's drinking buddies. Now ADP should be negotiated to outsource payroll which is its original intent.

Little Lamb
40309
Points
Little Lamb 06/06/12 - 04:06 pm
2
0

Drinking Buddy

But, double_standard, it will be Fred (What, me worry?) Russell who will hire the next Human Resources Director. Why do we expect anything better to happen than under the last one?

Conservative Man
4639
Points
Conservative Man 06/06/12 - 07:47 pm
1
0

In General...

In general, having the private sector run a particular enterprise is more efficient and cost-effective. But care must be taken that a particular company is indeed able to provide the service required.
Witness Augusta's latest troubles with Mobility concerning the bus system.
The right company? Cool....The wrong company?....Trouble.....
Get it right people......Commissioners , do your homework and show up to vote......that's what we pay you to do.....

Back to Top

Top headlines

Augusta police seek familiar suspect

Police were searching this morning for a known trickster with a history of arrests who is suspected of snatching money from a woman's vehicle on Broad Street Wednesday.
Loading...