The local media loves to cover stories on overtime issues in county government; we see it almost every day. While there’s good overtime and bad overtime, it’s not easy for the public to understand the difference when the news would rather sensationalize misuse of taxpayers’ dollars. In reality though, it’s not the overtime costs that are concerning for government officials, but rather the inability to easily access the labor data to analyze what was happening.
Imagine your county is in the spotlight for excessive overtime, but the data is stored on various documents leaving you vulnerable to hearsay until you can sift through and determine the root cause. And don’t forget about the resource that needs to devote hours or even days to literally piece it together. Even then its accuracy can be debatable.
Tracking labor through a centralized system gives you instant visibility into trends and patterns of abuse. This can be delivered in real-time with dashboards and alerts for proactive overtime management. It gives you an opportunity to correct bad behavior before it gets out of hand. At the very least, it provides an indisputable audit trail that can help you get to the bottom of issues quickly.
Getting a handle on overtime costs and having visibility into the entire county’s labor data is something most government executives are striving to achieve. A reactive approach to situations as they arise should give way to a proactive strategy that provides positive transparency. Media attention for the right reasons will put executives and elected officials back in control of citizen’s perception of budgets.
Author: Tracy Coleman, Sales Executive – Kronos for Public Sector