The Bucks County Commissioners have approved an agreement to spend close to $1 million on a countywide time and attendance system for county employees.
The commissioners agreed to a two-phase program that will cost the county $947,973.27. The agreement "has long been in the works," said Chairman Robert Loughery.
The newly approved Kronos Inc. system will replace the 15-year-old PC based system that the county is currently using, which is a stand-alone system, not a network system. With the new system, payroll will be executed efficiently and quickly, according to county representatives.
The county is obligated to Phase 1 of the project, which will last for approximately three years and cost an estimated $558,000. The departments that will be experiencing the new system during Phase 1 are the 24/7 departments, such as the corrections department, the youth center, and Neshaminy Manor.
“So we are stuck, no matter what, for three years and a half of a million dollars,” commented Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia.
The county will be reducing the workforce by at least three employees in order to fund the project, officials said. The system is fully automated, so the positions that will be eliminated to help fund the project will not be needed because of the new system, according to county representatives. The elimination of the positions will not occur until the system is in place and running, which will take approximately six to eight months.
"There will be a reduction in the workforce, but efficiency is to be had in this system," said Brian Hessenthaler, the county's chief operating officer.
Although Marseglia agreed with the benefits of the system on the management side, she said she has “huge concerns about this amount of money.”
"If we don’t do this project or change the way we are doing things today, we will go to hand time," said Meredith Dolan, the county's human resources director.
If the commissioners do not approve the agreement or the county is unable to find another way to calculate time and attendance for all employees, Dolan said there would be a need to increase the workforce. The county will need to significantly increase staff at each of the 24/7 departments in order to manually enter time and attendance for the hundreds of county employees at each facility.
The proposed contract with Kronos Inc. was approved by a 3-0 vote and will run from April 17, 2013 until April 16, 2018 if both phases are successfully executed.