419 workers shortchanged on payday

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419 state workers shortchanged on payday Checks to employees eventually corrected, but troubles remain BY ERICA CURLESS Gazette State Bureau HELENA - More than 400 state employees received half of their normal pay Wednesday, but state officials said the computer problem was corrected, and new paychecks were issued for the remaining cash before most workers went home.

The glitch further aggravated many state employees' distrust of the state's new $16.5 computer system that keeps Montana's financial books, including issuing pay checks. In all, 419 employees received erroneous paychecks.

But Brian McCullough, who oversees the new network, said he's unsure if it's the system's fault, human error or a combination.

"We haven't isolated the specific issue," said McCullough, adding that the important point is that employees eventually were paid properly.

Most of the state's 11,800 employees weren't affected because the problem was limited to the state Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Industry and Labor.

When these employees opened their paychecks Wednesday morning, at least half of their normal pay was missing. Some workers even got paychecks for zero because their deductions for insurance and other benefits totaled more than their earnings.

McCullough said payroll officers scrambled to issue revised checks and get workers their remaining cash by day's end. But it's still unclear if the deductions for insurance and other benefits and tax withholdings were calculated correctly.

State Department of Administration Director Lois Menzies said any employees with problems should get in touch with their payroll officer.

Employees were alerted to the problem Tuesday night after payroll officers realized that the system was overpaying some workers. They tried to correct the problem and instead ended up underpaying employees.

These problems come at the same time that the state is rushing to get year-end financial reports to the federal government, whose fiscal year ends Sept. 30, to show how Montana spends its federal dollars. But glitches with the new computer system known as SABAHRS - Statewide Accounting, Budgeting and Human Resources Systems - are slowing the process. Though most state officials believe that Montana will meet its federal deadline, employees are remain frustrated about the transition.

Several departments are also having problems paying companies that do business with the state, and many employees say it takes up to five times as long to enter information into the system as with the previous system.

But even with the criticisms, state officials are confident that the system will work but say the transition will take time.

Menzies pointed out that this is a major overhaul and the state's information systems haven't been updated since the 1980s. She said it may take months to fully see the network's benefit, and many of those perks are already showing.

Updated: Thursday, September 23, 1999 Copyright ) The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.


-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), September 23, 1999


Homer Beanfuck,

So what? It was fixed. Read my lips ---- We will survive!

-- (sickofthis@crap.com), September 23, 1999.

Thanks for all your excellent posts, Homer. When the Pollys attack, it's your sure-fire badge of honor, and a Big Clue you've got real info that strikes their soft nerve.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), September 23, 1999.

Where does it say it was fixed?

How about this one?

Wednesday, September 15, 1999

The Local Review / DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY Council to Hire Expert to Study Payroll System


OS ANGELES--The Los Angeles City Council agreed Tuesday to hire an outside management consultant to determine whether a new, costly city payroll system should be scrapped or whether it can be salvaged. The city has spent $17 million so far on the new system, designed to replace the antiquated payroll that churns out checks for 32,000 city workers. City Controller Rick Tuttle said the system is millions of dollars over budget, a year behind schedule and probably won't meet the city's needs. But Councilwoman Laura Chick, who heads the council's Governmental Efficiency Committee, said the city needs to have the system evaluated to find out whether taxpayer dollars are being wasted or if the system needs major changes.

Copyright 1999 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Rese

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), September 23, 1999.

The city of Los Angeles needs to study a 17 Million dollar system that does not work to see if they are wasting money? I'd like to volunteer to be on the committee.

After all, it is only logical.

-- onlylogical (onlylogical@hotmail.com), September 23, 1999.

Let's see - they "overhauled" a "old" computer system just in time to make sure they could meet the federal government's 30 Sept fiscal year deadline ... (ever wonder why so many things were scheduled to finsih 30 Sept 99?) ...

and they busted the most visible part of the financial system (paychecks!) then had to rush a fix through ...

now, re-read the story and see how many of these phrases will creep up again over the next few months as otehr "glitches" are discovered in "newly-busted" but renovated y2k-remediated systems.

Look for the "spin" from the state administrators in the story. It will be typical.

And I thought the pollies assured us we didn't have any fiscal year impacts from this here problem?

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), September 23, 1999.


Thanks for all your research. Please, keep it up. I agree with A&L. <:)))= (big grin)

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), September 23, 1999.

Pollyana = cognitive dissonance = mental vapor lock

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), September 23, 1999.

What's the matter "sick of?" Nothing else to do in Fairfax, Virginia these days?

-- (sick@of.you), September 23, 1999.

"We haven't isolated the specific issue," said McCullough, adding that the important point is that employees eventually were paid properly."

They got paid, didn't they. Do any of you ever read good news?

-- (sickofthis@crap.com), September 24, 1999.

Now go fix the L.A. payroll, and don't come back til you're finished. Goodbye.

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), September 24, 1999.

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