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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • State reimburses county for overtime 

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  • Newton KansanHarvey County received a check from the state of Kansas — a check designed to help defray overtime costs associated with the switch of computer systems in the treasurer's office this summer.The state reimbursed the county $4,558.50 for overtime worked during the transition — a transition that not only did not go well but is not yet complete."If they reimbursed you for pain and suffering, they would be paying quite a bit more," commissioner Marge Roberson said Monday when learning the state had sent the check.However, the state did likely give Harvey County more than they would have requested. One week ago the commission started asking about the possible reimbursement, and at that time it wasn't known how much the switch had cost the county in overtime.Monday an estimate was given to the county — $4,420.94. The estimate contained more than $2,700 in overtime for the vehicle tag division, $800 for the driver's license division and $800 for the tax division.The check was issued based on a state estimate, not numbers reported by Harvey County."My people are very tired after some very long days," said treasurer Becky Fields.She told the commission that while the computer system is no longer crashing on a regular basis, there are still bugs in the system."There are many processes that are not right," Fields said. "The state and vendor have created workarounds for those That takes more time, and it doesn't always work."The change to a new system, which was a $40 million project by the state treasurer's office, started in May. The system did not perform as expected, leading to long lines at the treasurer's office and long hours for county employees.It also forced county staff to deal with the software vendor — sometimes very unsuccessfully — to resolve problems."Just the other day I called them," Fields said. "The person I got said they were not the right person to deal with the issue I had. I was transferred, and that person's voice mail message said due to high volumes, to call back later."A planned conversion of the driver's licensee stations across the state has been delayed nearly a year while the state and software vendors work to iron out the problems encountered."The switch of the driver's license offices has been pushed to next year, thank goodness," said commissioner Chip Westfall.The county office has seen an increase in traffic the past six months, as those who do not want to wait in lines at the Sedgwick County DMV offices have made their way to Harvey County.

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