MONTGOMERY — Alabama lawmakers who have oversight of the contracts state agencies enter into spoke favorably today of the department of finance’s plan to spend $5.2 million on a statewide employee attendance and timekeeping system.
Assistance Finance Director Rex McDowell said the contract with Massachusetts-based KRONOS would also allow for an online portal where state employees could not only track their hours, but print their W-2s, check annual leave balances and request leave, among other things.
Several agencies still use time clocks where employees manually punch in and out every day, McDowell said.
McDowell said the state department of corrections implemented a similar system to what the state wants to do several years ago.
“They saw overtime drop considerably as better information was captured as to when people came in and left work,” he said.
Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said the new system is a good idea. Orr said he has previously heard of “buddy punching” at state agencies, where someone would clock-in a co-worker who was not actually at work.
“I know it appears to be an expensive contract, but in the end it should save us money and ensure accuracy in timekeeping,” Orr said.
It will also save the state more than three million pieces of paper per year, including pay stubs, McDowell said.
The computerized system could also lead to the elimination of jobs for those who currently handle timecard and payroll issues. McDowell earlier this week said it would be up to individual departments to decide if they want to eliminate or repurpose those positions.
McDowell said the $5.2 million cost includes software and training. He said that it will take about 30 months to roll the program out agency-by-agency.