Friday, November 7, 2008

My apologies..

to county administrator Steve Howard. Steve e-mailed me this copy of his letter to employees on November 3rd. Somehow, I missed it until just five minutes ago. Board of County Commissioners 200 East 4th Street / P.O. Box 99 • Woodbine, GA 31569 Phone: (912) 576.5601 • Fax: (912) 576.5647 • Office of the County Administrator “Leadership that Listens” November 3, 2008 TRANSMITTED VIA EMAIL, FAX, & WEBPAGE HARD COPY TO FOLLOW Dear Team Member: Due to Friday’s direct deposit issue, I felt it was important to communicate with each of you the chronological order of events. The following is a timeline that illustrates the chain of events: • Thursday, October 30, 2008, – Due to phone calls from several employees who could not confirm their pending direct deposit (as is typical of some banks/credit unions) the Finance Department placed two separate phone calls to Southeastern Bank to confirm the direct deposit was in transit. Southeastern Bank representatives from both the Woodbine Branch and the home office in Darien confirmed that the direct deposit file had been successfully sent. • Friday, October 31, 2008, approximately 8:00 a.m. – The Finance Department became aware that the direct deposit was unsuccessful. Several employees called and came by in person to notify the Finance Department that their paychecks had not been deposited into their accounts. • Friday, October 31, 2008, shortly after 8:00 a.m. – Upon being notified of the situation the Finance Department immediately contacted both the local branch manager, Marcus Lanier, and the Southeastern Bank Chairman & CEO, Cornelius Holland. At that point the Finance Department was informed that the direct deposit originally sent to the Federal Reserve by Southeastern Bank had been rejected by the Federal Reserve in Atlanta on Tuesday, October 28th and was redirected back to Southeastern Bank. Southeastern Bank should have resubmitted the direct deposit file to the Federal Reserve Wednesday morning, but did not. • Friday, October 31, 2008, approximately 10:00 a.m. – After exchanging several phone calls with Mike Fender, Mr. Holland, Southeastern Bank Chairman & CEO, assured the Finance Department that all direct deposits would be resent as a wire transfer and updated no later than 2:00 p.m. • Friday, October 31, 2008, approximately 11:15 a.m. – The Finance Department sent out an email to all County employees advising them of the situation and assuring them that the Finance Department was working diligently to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. • Friday, October 31, 2008, approximately 2:30 p.m. – The Finance Department received confirmation from Southeastern Bank that approximately 50% of the direct deposits had been Direct Deposit – November 3, 2008 resent. A follow up email was sent by the Finance Department to update all County employees at 3:07 p.m. • Friday, October 31, 2008, between 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Numerous phone calls to County employees were made at random attempting to verify whether or not funds had been deposited into their accounts. In an attempt to stay in continuous communication with our employees a message was placed on the Employees Only webpage at 4:00 p.m. • Friday, October 31, 2008, approximately 6:00 p.m. – An all-page was sent out to Public Safety employees, individual phone calls were made to BOCC Board Members, Directors, and Constitutional Officers to inform them of the current status. They were asked to follow up with their employees and to let them know that the Finance Department would be available Saturday morning (November 1st) to cut manual checks. The Finance Department made arrangements with Southeastern Bank to have the Woodbine Branch open Saturday, November 1st 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. so that employees could cash or deposit their manual checks. This information was disseminated via the Employees Only webpage and the Employee Hotline 576-3796. • Saturday, November 1, 2008, approximately 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – The Finance Department and Support Services were available to cut manual checks and clarify and answer questions for all County employees. • Monday, November 3, 2008 – Camden County has requested that Southeastern Bank conduct a review of their internal systems to prevent this from happening in the future. The Finance Department stands ready to assist any employee that has been affected. To this end I’m also providing a copy of the letter of apology from Southeastern Bank Chairman & CEO, Cornelius Holland. As you can see the Finance Department was at no time at fault and in fact worked diligently to correct a crisis caused by Southeastern Bank. In the event that you incur any bank charges in the form of returned check fees, wire transfer fees, or other rejected payments please contact the Finance Department at 576-7125. Again, I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and your family. Thanks againfor your understanding and continued support. Sincerely, Steve L. Howard, CPM, CPPO County Administrator Attachment(s): Letter of Apology from Southeastern Bank “Leadership that Listens” STEVE L. HOWARD O. BRENT GREEN 2 County Administrator County Attorney PRESTON RHODES – Chair KATHERINE NISI ZELL – Vice Chair STEPHEN L. BERRY Commissioner, District 1 Commissioner, District 2 Commissioner, District 3 CHARLENE SEARS DAVID L. RAINER Commissioner, District 4 Commissioner, District 5

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