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State rolls out upgrades to BEACON payroll system

Posted September 24, 2009

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— The state controller's office says it has rolled out a second of three rounds of improvements to its human resources and payroll system that should make it more efficient and easier to use.

The BEACON system has been associated with a number of problems since its launch in 2007, mostly having to do with paycheck errors, including wages coming up short and being overpaid.

The Office of the State Controller said those issues were linked to errors dealing with benefits, overtime and differential pay because of data and encoding problems, as well as input errors.

Those issues have since been worked out.

The 28 improvements launched this week include fixes and new features, such as new reporting capabilities and new reports.

A third round of enhancements is expected to be launched in November.


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  • kuzin11 Sep 24, 2009

    It has been a year since I started losing leave in BEACON, which has not been resolved. It has been acknowledged as an error but HR does not know when it will be corrected. Therefore, I have to maintain my time using a spreadsheet because this multimillion dollar system cannot do simple addition or subtraction. The state will spend millions more before the ones responsible for buying this broken program say they made a mistake. This is our new and improved accountable government.

    I cannot understand why WRAL or the News & Observer do not ask state employees how great this system is working. It seems like it takes a few state workers being threatened with arrest for trying to ask the secretary why the pay and time is wrong before the news groups get interested. I guess when the costs get to a billion dollars they may take notice. Or will it take a trillion dollars?

  • lroyal10900 Sep 24, 2009

    When you call for assistance, the people answering the phone have no clue! It's the least user-friendly website I've ever seen! For that kind of money, it shouldn't be THAT difficult for the state employee to use, and they should have IT people that know how to operate it!

  • nic Sep 24, 2009

    Just when my check gotten straightned out from a year ago, now more changes. This better not mess up our pay again otherwise it will take me another year to get it figured out.

  • Glass Half Full Sep 24, 2009

    The State signed a contract in 2006 for 2 years at $28 million. Three years later the cost has ballooned to $71 million, the State has had to provide hotlines that have handled over 64,000 questions and complaints at an unknown cost, a WRAL article from 1/30/09 stated all the problems with the system were fixed, when anyone who deals with the system knows that is far from the truth. It still can't perform basic time keeping functions. The two year initial contract time is over. WRAL - please report how much this has cost to date. Maybe State Employees paychecks wouldn't have needed to be cut for two months in order to help balance the budget if this money hadn't been totally wasted. The two companies who provided this faulty system should pay the State back every penny.

  • WHEEL Sep 24, 2009

    Two years, and no one knows how many million $ later and they are still working to get the system back to where the old system was. If a private industry payroll was this messed up the State Labor Dept would have put someone in jail.

  • x7 Sep 24, 2009

    Thank you for the few extra zeros at the end of my paycheck last night.

  • ConcernedNCC Sep 24, 2009

    Ant bets that it works correctly this time? They shouldn't have to pay for use of the software while it's not working correctly. I'll bet the programmers would get it right the first time, then.

  • smiley1637 Sep 24, 2009

    how much did these upgrades cost?

  • Sidekick Sep 24, 2009

    Maybe this time the state hired a programmer that can do math.

  • Weaker Pelosi Sep 24, 2009

    Not again. Hope the upgrade wasn't too expensive. As soon as u get used to it, they make more changes. When will it all end?