Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has ordered a top-to-bottom review of the county's automated timekeeping system, which has resulted in late overtime payments to workers, broken time clocks and work hours being computed improperly since the system went into operation more than two years ago.
The leader of the county's largest union, Jerry Laricchiuta of CSEA Local 830, said he has receieved numerous complaints from his members, about 5,000 of whom work directly for the county.
"The last snowstorm, I begged them, and they inputted the overtime manually," Laricchiuta said, referring to the signifcant mid-December snowstorm. "And some of them got paid and some not, but it was better than what was happening before."
According to county officials and documents, some workers complained that they were not paid for all of the hours they worked. Some complained they did not get overtime pay on time.
One of the main problems is that the $15-million system, called inTime and put in place under former County Executive Thomas Suozzi, does not mesh properly with a separate computer system that issues payroll checks, according to administration officials and documents.
The inTime system is a modern version of the old time clocks where workers slipped a paper time sheet into the clock to be stamped.
According to officials, workers sometimes had to fill out paper forms to make up for missing electronic entries, and had to argue about how much time off they had remaining.
The inTime system, which uses electronic key cards that workers swipe in front of electronic clocks, had huge problems from the moment it began operation in a handful of county agencies in the first week of December 2008, according to officials and documents.
Any employee who clocked in but did not clock out was paid for the entire day. Overtime payments were duplicated in some cases and did not get processed at all in other cases, according to a Feb. 23, 2009, internal memo from three county mangers to Jo-Ann Goldson, the county's director of human resources at the time. It was unclear if the workers paid the county back and officials are not sure what's wrong with the system.
Suozzi, now a consultant to Cablevision, which owns Newsday, did not return telephone calls for comment.
In the memo, county managers said some of those problems were fixed or are being fixed. But others were not and, as new problems arose, the backlog continued to grow, the memo said.
A spokesman for the county, Michael Martino, said Tuesday that many of the problems outlined in the memo are still unresolved. He said about 5,425 of the county's 10,300-member workforce use the system.
The county has spent about $11.3 million of the bonds that were issued to finance the project, according to capital budget records.
Martino said it was uncertain whether the system could be finished with the remaining $3.7 million.
The new county comptroller, George Maragos, also is reviewing the inTime system, a spokesman said.
And the county's Office of Legislative Budget Review said it has begun an analysis at the request of Legis. Peter Schmitt of Massapequa, the Republican presiding officer.