Letters to the Editor

Most county employees utilizing direct deposit | Letter

Editor,

We would like to provide clarification and correction to statements in a (July 2) letter to the editor (written by Rick Shabo) regarding Island County payroll processes.

The vast majority of Island County employees, about 97 percent, are paid by direct deposit each pay period. Over the past six years, we have encouraged all county employees to convert to direct deposit, which is a more efficient method of payroll and is less costly as stated.

We routinely process payroll for approximately 435 county employees each pay period; except for about a dozen, all employees are paid by direct deposit.

We print about a dozen paper checks each pay period to county employees who have chosen not to convert to direct deposit. Due to contractual agreements, we are unable to mandate that these individuals agree to direct deposit.

All new employees are required to receive their pay by direct deposit. This has many advantages, including immediate availability of funds on payday and no requirement for hand delivery as is the case with paper checks.

Paper time sheets are the current system used by county departments. Employees complete their time sheet and submit it to their supervisor for approval. Supervisory oversight is required; therefore, no savings would be realized if this changed. Each department conducts data input of time sheets into the payroll system.

Statute requires payroll records be retained for between three to 60 years depending upon the type of record.

Governmental payroll processes and retention schedules are different from those of private sector.

The county is investigating electronic time-keeping systems to ascertain if such a system would be more efficient for our organization than paper time sheets.

Adoption of such a system would be complicated for a variety of reasons, but we recognize that eventually this is probably the direction we will go.

Sheilah Crider

Auditor

Oak Harbor

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