Salaries and wages for more than 500 employees are a major cost for the city, including $14.8 million for police and $9.7 million for fire personnel.
Allegations of time-sheet cheating reminded Plaintalker that in 2010 the City Council asked for a biometric system, which the administration of former Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs rejected.
From May 2010:
--The administration withdrew a resolution to hire Automatic Data Processing to provide time, attendance and payroll services after council members asked for a biometric system rather than a time clock plan to replace an outmoded manual human resources management system. The issue came up on May 3 and the governing body was told there might be objections from unions over biometrics. But council members said they want to get the latest system if there is to be a conversion.
In July 2010, the city issued a Request for Proposals for a biometric system. In 2012 a new payroll system was approved, but it was not biometric.
Biometric systems use a person's actual characteristics such as fingerprints, iris or facial scans or even "hand geometry" to record work time and attendance. ADP, one of the largest providers of payroll services, explained the rationale for use of biometrics in a 2008 publication that cited cost savings as the main factor. One element is the elimination of "buddy-punching," or the ability of one employee to sign in or out for another.
Mayor Adrian O. Mapp spoke in favor of biometrics when he was council president in 2012. Asked for a comment Tuesday, he said he is a "big proponent" of biometrics time and attendance systems.
"Rest assured that biometrics will be coming to the City, in the not too distant future," Mapp said. "This is an administrative decision that does not need approval from collective bargaining units. The process is already in motion to make this a reality. My administration will continue to work on improving processes and putting better controls and greater safeguards in place for the benefit of our customers."