Six Million Plus and Counting on Another Failed System

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Another one of Governor Robert Bentley’s bright ideas to help bring the State into the “digital-age” is crumbling, as the time and attendance software known as eSTART was abandoned by the Department of Human Resources (DHR).

A recent memo from the DHR alerted staff that, ‘the use of e-START, the Time and Attendance System effective November 1, 2016, is [prohibited] until further notice.’

DHR joins a long list of State Agencies that dumped the system or refused to implement it altogether.
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Two Companies Bite Same State Apple

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—It appears that eSTART is a duplication of services for the State Human Resource Management.

In a September 2015 letter addressed to State Comptroller, Tom White, sent by Jackie Graham, State Personnel Director, in response to a letter White sent to the Alabama Department of Transportation. In White’s letter, he said the “State of Alabama did not license the Advantage Time and Leave Module for the Advantage 3.10 Human Resources Management (HRM) project.” Graham went on to point out that White also “reiterated that the State did not license this module” during an Advantage HR Self Service Demonstration. In fact, Advantage is the name of the CGI suite of software. In particular, two amendments to the CGI contract list the module, (Volume 1 of 3, Amendments 15 and 16). Amendment 15 was signed by the Governor Robert Bentley on January 8, 2015, and included “CGI Advantage Human Resource Management Base System 3.10” module.
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“Just the Facts Ma’am” More On eSTART

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—After reporting on the troubled eSTART time and attendance system, the Alabama Political Reporter received an email from a Director at the Department of Finance saying, “eSTART is the best thing to happen to state government in years. Ziegler is clueless and needs to fire his staff if they think eSTART will decrease efficiencies and increase workloads. I was able to downsize staff after the implementation and eSTART is paperless, which is another bonus. All state agencies will be on eSTART by the end of the year…I wish you would obtain all the facts before publishing.”
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Is eSTART the New STAARS?

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Even though the shoddily implemented STAARS accounting software is still causing major headaches for agencies and vendors, the Department of Finances is doubling down on a troubled new time and attendance system named eSTART.

All agencies, major and minor, are reporting unanimously: eSTART doesn’t lives up to the hype.

eSTART is the State’s name for the Kronos time and attendance program that, according to the company’s website, “makes easy work of the tedious tasks involved with monitoring employee time and attendance… simplified time-tracking software — working in tandem with our data collection devices — helps you control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity … without breaking a sweat.”
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Finance Spending Millions Per Year on New Time and Attendance System

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Not only has the State Department of Finance spent $47 million on this “failure-to-pay” software at the insistence of Director Bill Newton and his assistant Rex McDowell, but over the last two fiscal years, the State has spend nearly $8 million for an employee time log-in system, which just a few years ago was called a time clock.

In Fiscal Year 2015, alone, the State spent a total of $4,074,027.51 on this system.
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