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Huntington to employ automated timekeeping system

The Huntington Town Board has approved replacing a paper sign-in process for employees with an automated system.

In 2013, a state comptroller's audit report recommended town officials change the town's time and attendance system after finding it routinely paid supervisors overtime that might not be necessary and allowed employees to accumulate excessive unused sick, vacation and personal days.

"We purchased a time and attendance system that has many different capabilities," said Susan Berland, sponsor of the resolution. "Now, we need to meet and make the policy decisions that will dictate how to utilize the system and implement the plan."

The new system cost $255,000. Town officials said no bidding was required because the company was chosen from the state bid list.

Town officials said the goal is to have the automated system fully implemented -- and do away with the paper sign-in system -- by Jan. 1. Berland said that though the system offers an option to allow employees to sign in remotely, "whether we let people do that remains to be seen."

The town board voted 5-0 to approve the resolution at the June 9 town board meeting.

In August 2013, the board adopted the corrective action plan in response to the state comptroller's audit, which included a recommendation to standardize the sign-in process across departments. Some initial changes were adopted at the time, such as a more formalized paper sign-in process.

The audit, which covered Jan. 1, 2011, to May 31, 2012, found the town might have higher payroll costs than necessary because officials did not monitor and control these costs.

Town officials said the system will help the town control costs by ensuring that overtime taken is both necessary and properly documented. They added that will help achieve the goal of the tax freeze/government efficiency plan, which is required under the state tax cap law to ensure that residents continue to get state tax rebates.

"If you're [a taxing agency] staying within the 2 percent tax cap, you have to have a government efficiency plan," Berland said. "A time and attendance system can be submitted as part of a government efficiency plan."

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