Ensuring that only government workers who are working get paid is an important component of fiscal responsibility.
In the past, the failure to connect attendance and payroll reflected serious fiscal mismanagement. It cost the people of Puerto Rico millions of dollars.
That is why the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, working with the Commonwealth government, developed a joint project to resolve this problem by implementing the Time & Attendance (T&A) initiative in September 2020.
The project links government employee attendance to the government payroll system to properly account for time worked, vacation and other absences, and employee departures.
Today, the initiative has reached an important milestone, as more than 50% of central government workers are now using the new system.
According to the Oversight Board’s Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Report, over 59% of the total 100,000 Commonwealth employees are using the integrated T&A system, including the Education, Health, Family, Justice, and Transportation and Public Works departments, as well as the Medical Services and Mental Health & Drug Addiction Services administrations.
The T&A project is also saving the Government money each pay period, as employees who do not record their time and attendance per T&A policy receive a payroll or leave discount in a timely manner. The estimated savings so far are approximately $92 million.
The T&A initiative aims to ensure public funds are properly used, strengthen responsible fiscal management, and instill a culture of public-sector excellence.
As part of the project, employees have access to register, justify and monitor their attendance electronically (mobile, tablets, laptops, computers, biometric clocks). They also have access to updated and automated leave balances.
The T&A initiative is ongoing and among the Commonwealth entities expected to be integrated in the automated system during the first months of fiscal year 2024 are: the Labor and Human Resources Department; Public Safety Department and its umbrella agencies such as the Police Bureau, Firefighters, 9-1-1 system, Medical Emergencies, Emergency Management & Disaster, and Special Investigations Bureau; Natural and Environmental Resources Department; Public Buildings Authority; and State Elections Commission.
By the end of fiscal year 2024, all 88 Commonwealth departments and agencies are expected to have fully integrated T&A systems.
Successfully linking the time and attendance system to payroll at government agencies is a big achievement for the Government of Puerto Rico, which will significantly improve fiscal responsibility and transparency. The Oversight Board is looking forward to continuing to improve fiscal responsibility in Puerto Rico.
For the most updated information and status about the T&A initiative please refer to: Time And Attendance – Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico (pr.gov)