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NEWS | Aug. 5, 2015

NRL Payroll Office Receives Excellence in Mission Support Award

By Daniel Parry

The Payroll Office at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has been recognized with the Laboratory's Excellence in Mission Support Award. This award recognizes significant contributions of the NRL support community and is the highest NRL award bestowed for the laboratory's mission support contributions. The Payroll Office received the award at a ceremony held at NRL on July 15th.

The Payroll Office is recognized for their exemplary mission support to the NRL community in the implementation of self-timekeeping for the entire NRL workforce. The NRL Payroll Office quickly and accurately created and mapped accounts for over 2,400 NRL employees to ensure that all time and attendance data could be properly entered and certified. The Payroll Office created flexible solutions to address each division's unique implementation requirements and provided detailed training to all NRL employees. While implementing this extensive new process, the Payroll Office also continued to provide exemplary customer service for daily payroll issues.

Prior to the new self-timekeeping system, NRL primarily used paper timesheets to record critical time and attendance data, an inefficient process that required multiple employees to review, sign and process paper timesheets, and then a timekeeper to enter time and attendance data into the Standard Labor Data Collection and Distribution Application (SLDCADA). Depending on the size of the division, the biweekly timesheet process took between three and five business days and numerous employees to complete.

With the new self-timekeeping, employees can directly enter time and attendance data into SLDCADA, and supervisors can electronically certify that data. This standardizes the timekeeping process across the lab, electronically collects time and attendance data to allow for improved data analysis and review, improves efficiency by eliminating a lengthy paper timesheet process in the divisions, reduces data entry errors by timekeepers, removes the need to maintain extensive paper files of timesheets, and fulfills audit readiness program requirements. The audit readiness program requires a standard timekeeping process across the lab, clear delineation of certifying officials and their authority to certify, and retention of all data related to time and attendance indefinitely. NRL is now able to meet these requirements because of the group's diligent work. The Payroll Office was able to implement this large-scale initiative in less than one year, from November 2013 to August 2014.

The Payroll Office employees recognized with this award are Linsey Bowie, head of Financial Services Section; Jean Jones, Accountant; Tonya Napier, Lead Financial Technician; Mia Allen-Hall, Financial Technician; and Brenda Datcher, Financial Technician.

Ms. Bowie had the daunting task of serving as the leader of the implementation; setting up the implementation schedule, developing implementation options to support division needs, providing management information briefs with each division's administrative and management staff, and then providing the detailed training to all employees and certifiers.

Ms. Jones provided expertise on the systems administration in setting up the supervisory assignment structures, gathering required Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) information for all users and granting SLDCADA access and monitoring/auditing data entry and performance as each division transitioned to self-timekeeping.

Ms. Napier covered most of the day-to-day business operations, lending her assistance to self-timekeeping as needed. She resolved common payroll issues not related to the implementation and researched pay discrepancies.

Ms. Allen-Hall assisted Ms. Bowie in presenting all the training briefs. She also set up the employees in SLDCADA, granting access and ensuring employees were properly mapped.

Ms. Datcher, along with Ms. Napier, covered the day-to-day payroll operations, assisting the timekeepers with their many functions. She researched questions and provided advice to the Administrative Officers in regards to labor issues as related to employee leave and earnings.

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