Chapter 12-1, Time and Attendance Reporting (August 26, 2002)
Prepared by: JMD Finance Staff
| Time and Attendance Reporting Handbook (does not apply to the FBI)
(Available on DOJ Intranet)
- Scope. This chapter applies to all employees of the U.S. Department of Justice, except the FBI.
- It is the policy of the Department of Justice that accurate, timely, detailed, and verifiable time and attendance data be made available to management, employees whose time and attendance has been reported, and those offices responsible for payroll obligations, accounting, and employee records.
- Normally, employees responsible for the collection, compiling or reporting of timekeeping data must not have access to personnel, payroll or leave updates. In extraordinary cases, where such segregation of access is administratively impractical, management must have adequate controls in place to prevent fraud.
- The timekeeper must maintain the original signed Time and Attendance (T&A) Report (hard-copy, if there is no electronic signature in place).
- T&A Coordinator and Security Officer Responsibilities. Each component head or designee must designate a primary and secondary (back-up) T&A Coordinator and T&A Security Officer. These individuals will be responsible for ensuring that time and attendance reporting is accomplished each pay period in accordance with rules and regulations, and that all necessary T&As have been received timely by the National Finance Center (NFC, the Department's Payroll Office).
- Supervisor Responsibilities. Supervisors must designate capable employees as timekeepers and oversee the timekeeping function. They are responsible for:
- Ensuring compliance with the applicable pay and leave laws, regulations, and Department orders, as well as the Time and Attendance Reporting Handbook.
- Ensuring that overtime work is ordered or approved in writing.
- Certifying the accuracy of T&A Reports before and after the T&A data is transmitted to the Payroll Office (NFC) and ensuring that timekeeping controls are in place.
- Initiating the completion of appropriate forms for changes in work schedules, extended leave without pay, or traumatic injury on the job.
- Conveying the timekeeper and employee responsibilities to the appropriate individuals, and discussing questionable and frequent leave usage requests with employees, when warranted.
- Timekeeper Responsibilities and Duties. Timekeepers are responsible for keeping track of the presence or absence of the employees whose T&A Reports they prepare. They are responsible for:
- Preparing the T&A data, tracking various types of leave and overtime, and maintaining and disposing of T&A Reports and supporting documents in accordance with procedures outlined in the Department's Time and Attendance Reporting Handbook and T&A procedures/instructions on the Payroll Offices's available T&A application(s).
- Reconciling employee leave balance differences.
- Providing employees with a copy of signed T&A Reports, and reminding employees to review both their T&A Reports and Earnings and Leave Statements for accuracy.
- Acknowledging responsibility for the accuracy of the recorded data by initialing the T&A Report and obtaining the signature of an authorized official before the T&A data is transmitted to the Payroll Office (NFC).
- Employee Responsibilities. Employees are responsible for:
- Confirming leave taken consistent with staff policy.
- Furnishing supporting leave documents (doctors' certificates, military orders, certificates of attendance at jury duty, etc.) in a timely manner as requested by an authorized official.
- Reviewing pay and leave documents for accuracy, and notifying the supervisor and timekeeper of any discrepancies.
- Timekeeping Controls. In order to ensure the proper administration of T&A reporting by supervisors, timekeepers, authorized approving officials, data transmitters, T&A coordinators and T&A security officers, internal control measures must be established.
- Timekeeper Training. Prior to being given responsibility for T&A Report preparation and maintenance, timekeepers are required to receive sufficient training (formal or on-the-job training). Where it is impractical for timekeepers to attend formal training offered by the Department, NFC, or the timekeeper's component, they should complete on-the-job training and be thoroughly instructed in the use of available reference resources for preparing T&A Reports.
- Supervisory Controls. Internal procedures must be established to ensure that T&A data is not altered, once certified; such as comparing an audit trail report to signed T&A Reports (transmitted data must match signed T&A Report). In addition, supervisors may consider designating different individuals for T&A transmission than for T&A reporting.
- Pay and T&A Systems Edits. To the extent practicable, necessary payroll and T&A systems edits must be in place to ensure the accuracy of pay and leave calculations, with minimal manual intervention. If the payroll or T&A system necessitates any manual intervention or tracking, procedures must be well-documented in the Department's Time and Attendance Reporting Handbook or NFC's Time and Attendance procedures/instructions.
- Specific T&A Application System Controls. The T&A application being used must be able to identify the individual responsible for recording the data. In automated T&A systems where electronic signature is available, the signature should be linked to the data in such a way to prevent unauthorized changes.
- Preventing the Use of Erroneous Pay Codes. Where possible, reporting tables, within any T&A reporting application, should be customized by a component to delete pay transaction codes that are not applicable to that component.
Safeguarding Employee Information. Time and Attendance records are confidential records protected from public disclosure by the Privacy Act, but must be made accessible to those about whom such records are maintained.
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