Carson City may abandon new payroll system |

Carson City may abandon new payroll system

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

A computer program system for Carson City’s employee payroll records was purchased about two years ago, but officials are wondering whether it would be feasible to add to it – or even if they should continue using it.

The Board of Supervisors will weigh the issue during its meeting Thursday.

The city’s information services department “has added a lot of patches” since obtaining it, said City Manager Linda Ritter.

When people in computer programming refer to a “patch,” it’s either a minor upgrade or correction added to make the system work better.

It’s a question that comes at a time when the city is working around a tight budget. This fiscal year began Saturday and could end up about $600,000 in the red without modifications, such as an increase in the franchise fees added to electric and natural gas bills, also being proposed to supervisors on Thursday.

“Should we invest more in a system with so many flaws?” Ritter asked. “We could keep it going, but it hasn’t produced what we wanted it to.”

Other options are going to be examined, including buying different software or contracting out payroll, Ritter said.

Cost for the custom-designed system in 2005 was $271,000, which included employee training. It requires an additional annual $32,000 for ongoing maintenance.

The city’s Human Resources Information Management system, created by High Line Corp., provided “the most robust and functional system for the money” and was supposed to “streamline processes, eliminate paperwork and gain efficiency,” according to the staff report submitted to the supervisors in April 2005.

Eventually, officials expected the system to help Human Resources more efficiently manage employee payroll and recordkeeping, as well as assist with succession planning and training and development issues.

The company, based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, has been designing human resources and payroll management systems since the mid-1970s.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

WHAT: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

When: 8:30 a.m. Thursday

WHERE: Sierra Room, Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.