HUGE GLITCH IN THE STATE'S HIGH TECH PAYROLL SYSTEMgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Reported on 6 pm news 6/28 WBRZ-TV - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
A HUGE GLITCH IN THE STATE'S HIGH TECH PAYROLL SYSTEM HAS 46 THOUSAND STATE EMPLOYEES IN A BIT OF A PAYCHECK PANIC TONIGHT. KATHERINE MOSELY REPORTS THEY WON'T GET PAID THIS FRIDAY AND THEY'RE NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT! NOT ONLY DID THE PRIMARY SERVER ON THE INTEGRATED STATEWIDE INFORMATION SYSTEM OR *ISIS* BREAKDOWN. BUT BOTH BACK-UP SYSTEMS THAT CONTROL PAYROLL ALSO FAILED. STATE OFFICIALS SAY EMPLOYEES WILL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL MONDAY TO GET PAID. THIS HIGH TECH SYSTEM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TRACKING STATE EMPLOYEES PAYCHECKS. "YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT" ISIS'S PRIMARY SERVER AND BOTH BACK-UP SYSTEMS FAILED ON TUESDAY. "THAT'S NOT MY FAULT IT'S NOT WORKING" AS A RESULT, 46 THOUSAND STATE EMPLOYEES ARE NOT GETTING PAID ON FRIDAY.THAT'S PAYDAY. "THEIR OBLIGATION TO ME IS I WORK 80 HOURS,THEY SHOULD PAY ME FOR IT" MANY WORKERS RELY ON GETTING PAID ON TIME. HERE'S ONE WHO DIDN'T KNOW UNTIL WE TOLD HER. "HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT NOT GETTING PAID ON FRIDAY? EYES." DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY WHIT KLING SAYS HE'S WORKING WITH LOCAL BANKS IN HOPES THEY WILL COMMIT TO NOT FINE EMPLOYEES FOR INSUFFICIENT FUNDS. "LA CAPITOL CREDIT UNION HAS COMMITTED TO HELP EMPLOYEES AND NOT ISSUE NSF OR LATE FEES AS IT RELATES TO EMPLOYEES" EMPLOYEES NOT ON THE ISIS SYSTEM WILL BE PAID ON TIME. THAT INCLUDES HIGHER EDUCATION, THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM, LEGISLATORS, RETIREES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.EVERYONE ELSE. "I HAVE NO OTHER MEANS OF INCOME" WILL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL MONDAY.TO SUPPORT MYSELF AND MY FAMILY. KLING SAYS IF THE BANKS DON'T COMMIT TO WAVING NSF AND LATE FEES, HE'S MAKING A RECOMMENDATION TO COMMISSIONER MARK DRENNON TO TAKE CARE OF ANY EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE FINANCIAL PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF THIS SITUATION. GEORGE.I SPOKE WITH THE COMMISSIONER A SHORT WHILE AGO. HE SAYS IT'S POSSIBLE THAT EMPLOYEES COULD RECIEVE THEIR PAYCHECKS BY SATURDAY. HE'S NOT EXCUSED FROM THE GLITCH.HE'S NOT GETTING PAID ON TIME EITHER.
-- tee (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 28, 2001
‘Glitch’ keeps state checks from 46,000 workers
By SCOTT DYER Capitol news bureau
About 46,000 state workers probably won’t get paid on time today because of a glitch in the computer system that runs the state’s payroll.
Because of the computer problem, the state missed the deadline required by the Federal Reserve Bank for making direct payroll deposits into state employees’ bank accounts.
State Commissioner of Administration Mark Drennen said Federal Reserve officials were working to process the state payroll despite the missed deadline of 10 a.m. Thursday.
"I don’t want people to expect it, but we’re still hoping that this will go through" for direct-deposit checks, Drennen said late Thursday.
Employees who have "hard-copy" paychecks mailed to their homes won’t get paid until Monday or Tuesday, depending on the mail, he said.
Deputy Undersecretary Whit Kling said even if all else fails, he’s "100 percent" certain employees who receive direct-deposit paychecks from the central payroll system will receive their money in their accounts Monday.
Kling said the potential error affects all state workers except those employed by agencies that run their own payrolls, such as the Department of Transportation and Development, the LSU medical centers and most colleges and universities.
Labor leader Garland Webb said a paycheck delay would have a devastating effect on many of the 9,000 state workers who belong to his union.
"Many of these employees literally live from paycheck to paycheck," he said.
"They pay their bills, buy a little bit of food and enough gasoline to ride around on for two weeks, and then their paychecks are all gone," said Webb, president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council No. 17.
Webb said his phones had been lighting up since state officials began relaying the news about the paycheck delay to agency heads Thursday.
"A lot of workers still don’t know about it. They won’t be told until getting-off time tonight or tomorrow," Webb said late Thursday.
Drennen said enough workers had learned about the paycheck delay early Thursday afternoon to deluge his office with complaints.
"We’re being inundated by calls about it," Drennen said.
Among those calling Drennen about the computer problem was Gov. Mike Foster, who was trying to figure out how the glitch occurred.
"I was already asking the same question that the governor just asked me, and that was, ‘What happened to the back-up?’ " Drennen said.
The state’s Integrated Statewide Information System has not one but two backups.
Both were degraded, meaning "They move as slow as molasses in churning stuff out," Drennen said.
Drennen said the state employees’ credit union, La Capitol Federal Credit Union, has agreed to honor checks written up to the amount of employees’ delayed paychecks and not charge them late fees.
"And we’ve contacted all the other financial institutions, asking them to basically work with the state employees," Drennen said.
Drennen said he’s asked to have a special team investigate why the backups failed and what can be done to prevent similar problems in the future.
During the governor’s weekly radio show Thursday, one irate state worker called to gripe about the paycheck problem and was assured by the governor, "This is not going to happen again."
"Apparently, what they’ve had is a back-up system that hasn’t been checked," Foster said.
The governor said the problem illustrates the need for a state chief information systems officer.
"We need a chief computer guy to make sure that you don’t have things like this happen, that everybody has the same type of equipment so that, if it breaks down in one department, you can go to another one and get your work done there," Foster said.
Foster’s first high-tech guru, Jim DuBos, abruptly resigned last week after four months on the job.
Webb said the only state workers who will be paid on time this week are those whose paychecks are processed outside the state’s centralized system.
He added some state workers are suggesting the state should pay interest on the delayed paychecks.
"They want to know how much interest the state is making on this deal," Webb said.
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), June 29, 2001.
<<< "Many of these employees literally live from paycheck to paycheck," he said. "They pay their bills, buy a little bit of food and enough gasoline to ride around on for two weeks, and then their paychecks are all gone," >>>
Beyond the fact of the glitch itself, this part stands out... not a news flash, but still it's always disturbing to consider how widespread this is. Just another way of saying the American public is *not* saving at all, indeed is into "negative" savings. (Same seems to be true of most businesses, too!)
-- Andre Weltman (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 02, 2001.