The move appears to be more in relation to compliance with federal law, however, as Hasty and Thurston noted the county was currently failing in that area.

The government of Camden County is preparing to publish a Request For Qualifications looking for companies to outsource employee payroll services, a move officials say will save the county thousands.

On Thursday, Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty and Second District Commissioner Don Williams met with Pat Thurston and Melissa Peters, employees in the Human Resources department, to discuss the RFQ approved to run from Oct. 2 to Oct. 17, 2017.

Thurston said the county is seeking bids to handle payroll, retirement, banking and other services to streamline the process which currently draws resources and budgetary funds from approximately four offices.

The clerk’s office had previously handled human resources and payroll services before a human resources department was created by the commissioner’s office. The new HR was assigned human resources responsibilities, but payroll services were left with the clerk’s office.

The arrangement sparked conflict between the three departments that resulted in allegations of stolen records and incomplete work, a private law firm investigation, and then a federal lawsuit which has not yet been adjudicated.

“It’s going to help about four departments in terms of compliance, liability and time. We’re looking at tremendous savings in terms of time and manpower and money,” Thurston said. “It’s enormous what we’ve found [these companies] could do for us and it’s not going to be too expensive if you look at all of the departments this is going to save time and money from.”

The move appears to be more in relation to compliance with federal law, however, as Hasty and Thurston noted the county was currently failing in that area.

“Based on some of the information we’ve been able to acquire it seems like we’re going to actually be able to make substantial savings to the county, while coming into compliance with state and federal laws,” Hasty commented. “Regardless of who we use somebody else will have the liability and responsibility for compliance. If we have an issue, they have to take care of it. This eliminates a huge portion of county liability.”

Thurston and Peters said they’ve already inquired with three companies, including one that has been contracted for the Franklin County government since 2003 and another that has worked for hospitals. Hasty and Williams recommended a company with prior first class county government experience.

Hasty said the county was spending $2,500 alone on 10-94 and 10-95 tax form services, as well as an additional contract for W-2 forms. The proposal seeks a company that will handle all tax forms, CERF and LAGERS retirement funds and any other payroll issues.

“We have a preliminary cost estimate right now that would be less than the cost of one employee to do it on a yearly basis,” Hasty said. “So, we’re not only coming into compliance, but when you combine all the different departments paying for payroll — what it took us under our current system of 29 hours will take us two minutes.”

Williams was also on board with the proposal, stating that the new service would allow for real-time monitoring of payroll services and immediate access to information that has never been readily available by the click of a mouse.

“It’s going to save money way beyond the initial cost, which is already a savings,” Williams said before making a motion to approve the RFQ which was seconded and duly passed by Hasty.

It is unclear how this move would affect county employees currently handling payroll responsibilities.