Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner and City Controller Michael Lamb today addressed the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA) Board, highlighting that the City continues to lose money by delaying the implementation of the already-built payroll module and stressed the need to stop bleeding money by taking imminent action. Totaled losses could be as high as $5 million per year, as a result of delays. This is especially important at a time when the City is considering tax increases for its residents.
Both Wagner and Lamb noted that the Shared Services Center, a collaborative effort between the City and the County and which built the payroll system, has been lauded as a national model of government innovation, collaboration and efficiency.  Both Controllers indicated their eagerness to work with Mayor Peduto and City Council so that the payroll implementation will not only save millions of dollars for City taxpayers but will further promote the City and County as national models for innovation and collaboration in government.
“The system is ready to go; the house is built, we just need to move the boxes in,” Controller Wagner said. “There is a real cost to inaction and we want to make sure people understand why and how inaction and delay costs so much.” The Controllers emphasized that it is imperative to implement the payroll module now in order to prevent further unnecessary costs. They outlined three categories in which the City is bleeding money as a result of the delayed implementation:

        1. A contract at $850,000 with outside vendor Ceridian
      2. Forecasting inability, in that there are positions being paid for that are not included in the budget, and extraneous costs, such as overtime, that could be substantially curtailed with this tool
     3. Continued miscalculations in benefits and pay that have been led to believe the outside vendor may continue to produce

Collectively, these three categories may result in a loss of $5 million or more per year, and underline the need to implement the robust, state-of-the-art payroll system to avoid any and all unnecessary costs.
Board Chairman Nicholas Varischetti thanked Controller Wagner and Controller Lamb for their testimonies and concurred that the City should not be bleeding money. As a result of these concerns, the ICA approved a contract for a forensic audit with Gleason Associates to independently determine the actual level of waste and voted to withhold gaming money until receiving additional data.
“After years of driving a gas guzzler of a payroll system, this City invested in an energy efficient vehicle to better serve its needs. It is like we are leaving our new vehicle in the driveway, while driving the old inefficient vehicle and we are incurring even more costs for that delay in switching over. It is senseless and we are hopeful that by bringing this to the attention of the Mayor, Council and ICA, we can all work together to take advantage of the economies of scale and benefits of innovation and collaboration this system offers.”