The City of Woodward will soon begin outsourcing its employee services.

City commissioners voted Monday night to approve an agreement with ADP Workforce Now to begin digitally tracking employee time and attendance and processing the city's payroll.

Eventually ADP will also transition to take over other employee services including human resources, benefits, and recruitment, City Manager Alan Riffel said.

Riffel said the transitioning process to the outsourced services will begin within a month and should be fully implemented by next July 1.

The city manager said the decision to outsource such employee services came after "we received the resignation of our payroll clerk."

"We looked at how we should replace that position and what the best approach would be going forward and if we should consider outsourcing," Riffel said.

After investigating the matter, he said, "it became clear that if we take that step we would gain a tremendous amount of efficiencies not only in payroll management, but in time management and human resources.  There will be a number of additional reporting opportunities available to us at virtually the same cost as the staff position."

According to the investment summary included with the ADP contract, the original cost to the city would be $63,733.25  for a year of services, with an additional $13,360 one-time implementation fee.

Both of these fees are at a significant discount, which Riffel said the city was able to negotiate through an affiliation with the city's insurance broker, which is also served by ADP, and because ADP is nearing the end of its own Fiscal Year.

Some of the "efficiencies" gained through the use of ADP's services will include a "digital time clock," whereby employees will clock in and out for the day by logging in and out on their computers, Riffel said.

With these time records in digital form, he said, ADP will be able to offer "charting and graphing abilities for department supervisors to see how their crews are working in the field."

In addition, Riffel said that eventually ADP's services will also "allow us to offer online applications and eliminate whole sections of files because of document cloud access."

When Commissioner John Meinders asked for more information about ADP's background, Assistant City Manager Doug Haines said the company has a "worldwide" presence and is "really popular in the private sector."

"It's becoming popular in the public sector as well but is only just know kind of making its way into Oklahoma," Haines said.  "But I found out today that there are 3 other cities in the state who are getting ready to pull the trigger on similar services."

Haines said another benefit to outsourcing payroll and human resource services is that "it allows for redundancy" so that the city no longer has to worry about who will fill in if the payroll clerk has to be gone.

He said there will also be benefits for the employees who will be able to keep track of how many hours they are logging by viewing their time history online, as well as make digital requests for time off and go online to see whether their supervisor has approved the request.

After the contract with ADP Workforce Now was unanimously approved by the present commissioners (Commissioner Roscoe Hill was absent from Monday's meeting), Haines thanked them.

"This is a positive move in a forward direction," he said.

In other business Monday night, city commissioners approved:

• granting an easement that will allow for the a new transformer to be installed to service the lighting at the new softball fields at Crystal Beach Park;

• adopting a resolution in support of taxing online retail sales which is being considered as part of the Marketplace Fairness Act which is being presented in the U.S. House in Congress; and

• the final preliminary engineering report relative to the 34th Street enhancement project so that it may be submitted to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Riffel explained that ODOT is partnering with the city to help with some of the costs of the project, which is currently estimated to cost around $7.6 million.

The preliminary engineering report is necessary so that ODOT can conduct an environmental review of the project, which must be completed before the project moves on to the construction phase.  Riffel previously stated that the environmental review process will take an estimated 18 to 24 months to complete.

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