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.