Going paperless, if approved in February, will become a policy for the Webster Parish School Board instead of just a procedure.
After some discussion, board member Ronnie Broughton made a motion in Monday’s meeting to bring the issue before the board for approval. The motion was seconded by board member Penny Long and carried unanimously.
The proposed policy will contain much of what Finance Director Crevonne Odom presented to the board in December – paying employees electronically (direct deposit or debit card) and all other paperwork will be electronic rather than paper.
So why make it a policy if it’s already a procedure?
Odom said procedures do not have to be approved by the board.
“Procedures don’t have to be approved, but we brought it before the board for you to know and have your support in it, but it’s not a policy,” she said. “It’s a procedure the accounting department is going to, to save $50,000 (per fiscal year). It’s not a policy.”
The procedure is set to go into effect March 1. It will be the same if it is approved in February as a policy.
Newly elected board member Ronnie Rhymes voiced concerns about security of employees’ personal information, and Odom explained safeguards have been put in place.
“We’ve been transmitting (electronically) W2s, which have a lot of personal information in it, for about five years,” she said. “We have the security set up in our technology and our accounting system to keep that safeguard. Each (person) will have to put in their own password to get it. Even when they get it on email, they will have to put in their password.”
Odom explained the procedure in December, saying paychecks will be submitted via email, so there will no longer be paper checks. If a school employee chooses to continue to receive paper checks, she said there would be a $3 fee for every paper check or paper check stub printed. The employee will have to come to Central Office to pick it up, and the fee will only be accepted by cash or money order.
Employees are paid the 20th of every month.
Webster Parish is one of the last parishes in its consortium to go paperless, she said. Odom said all five parishes share the same programmer who designed the accounting system in use. The five parishes include Webster, Desoto, Lincoln, Avoyelles and Sabine.