The True Skinny:
11/01/08, 1525 HRS : I just got off of the phone with Camden County administrator, Steve Howard.
Here are the facts.
1. Only the 300 of the 400 employees who are on direct deposit were affected.
2. No one at the county was at fault.
3. The fault was entirely with Southeastern Bank, which handles the county's payroll account.
4. Someone other than the regular clerk at SEB was handling the wire transfer of all of the direct deposit funds this week. They unwittingly submitted the transfer request one day sooner than the Federal Reserve allows. The Fed rejected the request, but no one at the bank caught it, or if they did, did not act on it.
5. When Mr. Howard and Mr. Fender first learned of it from calls form employees just after 8:00 Am Friday, they sprung into action. They and several Finance Dept employees as well as SEB employees worked until 8:00 PM Friday to resolve the problem. Moreover, they were back at the old courthouse bright and early this morning cutting manual checks for those employees who wanted them. Some employees preferred to simply wait until the checks hit their accounts on Monday by direct deposit. By early this afternoon, all employees had been taken care of .
6. Monday, Mr. Howard will send a letter of explanation / apology to all affected employees.
7. SEB has promised an internal systems analysis to design a fail-safe program to prevent this from ever happening again. Not that when someone from Mr. Fender's office called earlier this week, as they always do, tho confirm that all was well, they were misinformed that it was.
8. SEB has agreed to make good any and all overdraft charges which employees may have incurred as a result of their error.
As always, my sincere thanks to Mr. Steve Howard for his prompt reply to my request and his thorough explanation.
1755 HRS. Just before the end of the 1st qurter of the Ga/FL game, Camden County Finance Director Mike Fender called. In addition to giving me the same information that Steve Howard had, Mike pointed out that they were able to contact all but two of the affected employees by phone on Friday. He thanked employees for being very understanding. Mike also pointed out that because all of the county employees involved in putting in extra hours solving the problem are salaried, administrative employees, no overtime pay is involved. Moreover, total related expenses (i.e., sending out letters to employees) will be quite minimal.