Huntington Town employees may soon have their work time and attendance tracked by a new electronic system.
The board voted unanimously by resolution earlier this month to authorize the implementation of an electronic time and attendance system. The resolution was sponsored by Huntington Town Councilwoman Susan Berland (D) and seconded by Councilman Gene Cook (I). The new electronic system will replace an old paper sign-in system.
“There has to be a system in place to track employees’ times,” Berland said in a phone interview this week.
The resolution was adopted for two reasons, Berland said.
In 2013, an audit of the town’s payroll costs by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office found the town had issues monitoring its overtime and leave benefits that could have entailed higher payroll costs.
The audit findings resulted in a recommendation to upgrade the town’s outdated time and attendance system.
Issues with overtime and leave are expected to be alleviated by the updated electronic system, which was a major finding of the 2013 audit. The audit looked at records from January 2011 through May 2012, and found that Huntington Town allowed employees to accrue more leave than bargaining agreements permit.
Implementing the electronic system also fulfills a requirement to qualify for tax relief for New York State taxpayers as part of the Government Efficiency Plan program. The plan, which is outlined on the state Division of the Budget page on the New York State government website, states that local governments and school districts can generate relief for taxpayers and qualify for the program by reducing costs through the consolidation of services.
The new automated system would be a step in the right direction to qualifying Huntington Town for the program and fulfilling the state requirements, Berland said. The new system was available on the New York State contract and procured with the New Jersey-based company SHI International Corp., according to the resolution. The total cost, which includes service contracts, computers, software and printers, will be $255,000.
“It helps lower payroll costs in the end,” Berland said, which she said is a key deciding factor in gaining approval on the town’s Government Efficiency Plan.
The new system will also serve to provide the town with “a more uniform sign in policy,” town spokesman A.J. Carter said during a phone interview.
Berland said there is not yet a timetable in regards to when the new system will be up and running, and that she did not want to speculate on a date.
“We have to develop a plan about how and when to institute this,” Berland said.