Augusta set to bring outsourced human resources services back in-house

In other action

Four years after city leaders pushed to outsource the government’s health and welfare benefits administration to global outsourcing firm Automatic Data Processing, the service might be headed back in-house.

According to Human Resources Director Tanika Bryant, despite ADP’s contract to handle most benefits-related calls from current and retired employees, the two city benefits representatives are still swamped with calls. It would be cheaper to replace the benefits administration portion of ADP’s contract with three additional city staffers, she said.

“During my first year as the HR director, I spent a lot of time gaining an understanding of what we do, how we do it and how we can allocate resources appropriately to lower costs and become more efficient,” Bryant said in a Friday e-mail to commissioners.

What she found was that while the city is paying ADP $279,000 annually – subject to a 3.5 percent annual increase – to answer up to 3,732 benefits calls each year, ADP only took 1,268 calls between June 2013 and June 2014 and referred two-thirds of them on to the city benefits specialists.

Bryant said she can hire three more specialists at $34,600 each, plus benefits, and save the city $134,975 annually or $874,823 over the next five years.

“In house could have saved us a considerable amount of money,” Com­missioner Wayne Guilfoyle said. “Have we reached out to ADP to find out if it is justified?”

Two years ago the commission also considered outsourcing the city’s remaining HR functions to ADP, which has a service center in Augusta, but later rejected the idea.

 

IN OTHER ACTION

Other business going before the commission Tuesday for approval includes:

  • Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick will present information about Richmond County student interns, as the summer program concludes
  • Activist Al Gray will speak about the Transport­ation Investment Act, which Augusta-area voters approved in 2010
  • A salary adjustment and equalization program for Augusta Fire Department, with funds to come from the department’s existing budget
  • Augusta Fire Depart­ment’s plan to opt out of the city’s First Vehicle Services fleet management contract and create its own vehicle maintenance program, which Fire Chief Chris James said will cut maintenance costs almost in half to $771,683
  • The refunding and reissuing of some $160 million in water and sewer bonds for Augusta Utilities, despite the continued objection Tuesday by Atlanta-based IFS Securities, which claims it could save the city $22 million and is minority-owned
  • Extending authorization for Aegias to continue to sell employee permanent life insurance policies for ING, despite not going through the procurement process as it did nine years ago
  • An update from Interim Administrator Tameka Allen on Heery International’s scope of work at Augusta’s new transit operations and maintenance facility, as well as Commissioner Marion Williams’ call for the firm’s city contract to be terminated
  • A request from Com­missioner Bill Lockett to task the Engineering Department with seeking funds to study the impact and expense of removing portions of John C. Calhoun Expressway

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