TransparentBusiness platform was designated by Citigroup as the "Top People Management Solution”.
TransparentBusiness is an official partner of Google, Microsoft, SAP, Cisco, Facebook and ADP.
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
This Act may be cited as the “Secure Transparent Overview Process for Reducing Abuse, Underutilization and Deficit Act” (“STOP FRAUD Act”) Chapter … of the General Laws entitled … is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
Verification of hours worked on computers.
(a) This section shall apply only to a contract by or on behalf of any department, agency, the executive or subdivision of the state, for professional or technical services in excess of one hundred thousand dollars.
(b) A contract subject to this section must require a contractor to use software to verify that hours billed for work under the contract that are performed on a computer are legitimate. The contract must specify that the agency will not pay for hours worked on a computer unless those hours are verifiable by the software or by data collected by the software. The software must do the following:
(1) Permit the agency or an auditor of the agency to have real-time or retroactive access to data collected or provided by the software;
(2) Automatically gather verification data of state-funded activity by tracking total keystroke and mouse event frequency and taking a screenshot at least once every three minutes;
(3) Provide to the agency or an auditor of the agency automated real-time cost status of each task;
(4) Provide to the agency professional biographical information that is not private or confidential on individuals performing state-funded work;
(5) Must not capture any data that is private or confidential on individuals; and
(6) Permit the agency to provide immediate feedback to the contractor on work in progress.
(c) The data collected by the software shall be considered accounting records belonging to the contractor. The contractor must store, or contract with another to store, the data collected by the software for a period of seven years and provide the access to the contracting agency or state auditors on their request.
(d) The contractor must not charge the agency or an auditor of the agency for access to or use of the work verification software, or for access to or retrievals of data collected by the software.
SECTION 2. This Act shall take effect upon passage.
We all know that a 100-hour workday is impossible. Yet a Pentagon Inspector General’s report found that one Department of Defense subcontractor’s timesheet reported 1,208 work hours over a 12-day period!
Other Inspector General reports have similarly found contractors overbilling or padding invoices with hundreds of hours on work outside the scope of contracts. In one case, two subcontractors were caught padding timesheets with more than 1,500 hours for non-work related activities, including running a “horse saddle padding” business. In another, a contractor employee billed more than 200 hours for out-of-scope activities that included writing a novel.
Such over billing has also been a problem in state and municipal contracting. Just a few years ago, a software contractor over billed New York City more than $500 million dollars on a single municipal project.
Given that Rhode Island spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually on large, complex professional service contracts, I am concerned the state is vulnerable to similar examples of time sheet fraud. That’s why I have introduced legislation (H-7788) that requires the transparent verification of billable activity.
In the absence of such verification, our agency auditors cannot verify the accuracy of contractual billing, so the state essentially pays contractors on the honor system, leaving open the possibility for fraud, waste and abuse. Further, state officials cannot efficiently monitor the status of ongoing, complex contracts, one of the major reasons we have seen some projects go far over budget and past deadlines.
To remedy the situation, my legislation would require that state contractors use newly available transparency and accountability tools to ensure that they are staying on task toward delivering contractually promised system functionalities.
By requiring vendors to use software that periodically takes screenshots of work being performed and provides automated real-time cost status of key tasks, we can significantly increase our capacity to manage complex projects, while protecting the state from padded invoices andm time sheet fraud.
These software tools, such as TransparentBusiness from leading payroll and human services provider ADP, are already in use in the private sector, and Rhode Island can take advantage of these best practices in managing its state contractors.
Upgrading legacy information systems and other complex projects will always be a challenge, but let’s strengthen our state’s overall information technology project management capacity with powerful new transparency and billing verification tools designed to prevent time sheet fraud.
By Brian Patrick Kennedy, the Speaker pro tempore of the House of Representatives of Rhode Island.