The petitioners in the biometric attendance recorder case against the Margao municipal council (MMC), the Green Goa Foundation (GGF), has threatened to seek further legal recourse if the biometric attendance system is not implemented by next week.
At the joint meeting held by the MMC on Wednesday, it was decided that employees would file their written suggestions regarding their grievances against the use of the systems by Friday, following which, by Tuesday, the biometric finger scan systems would be implemented.
"We are monitoring the situation. From 2008, the MMC has not been firm in implementing the system even though they had purchased a unit then using public exchequer money. Most of the government offices use biometric systems and only the Margao MMC employees seem to have an issue with it. We will approach the court again if they do not implement the biometric systems," said Raison Almeida, chairman of GGF.
MMC chairperson Arthur D'Silva said that the MMC will go ahead with its implementation.
"There is no question about it; we are going to be very firm with our decision to implement the biometric system," said MMC chairperson Arthur D'Silva. Both D'silva and MMC acting chief officer Deepali Naik, who had held the meeting with the office bearers of the Goa municipal employees association, led by Keshav Prabhu, on Wednesday, used the argument that the biometric finger scans were universally accepted and even implemented in each and every municipal body.
While Prabhu has stated that if the MMC can satisfy them regarding their grievances, they would have no objection, he said that the employees should not be forced to accept any system without the addressal of their grievances.
A member of the Margao municipal employees association, Anil Shirodkar, while explaining to TOI what the grievances, were said that biometric attendance recorder, instead of serving the desired purpose, would only result in inconvenience to employees.
"There are 60 employees working in the MMC. Considering that the biometric machine takes 30 seconds to record the attendance of one person, the last person in the queue will have to wait for more than half an hour to register his attendance. The MMC authorities need to answer whether time thus lost will be considered. Will he be compensated with overtime payment if considerable time is lost in queuing up while exiting? There are several issues that need explanation," Shirodkar said.
MMC wanted to implement it…
…because there were repeated complaints from the citizens of Margao that MMC employees were often not found in the office during duty hours. Thus, a decision was taken to install two biometric machines to bring in work discipline and monitor attendance with the aim that this will also improve efficiency of the civic body. The biometric system of attendance has been introduced with an aim to monitor attendance and leave record of the civic staff.
The employees refused to use it…
…as they said it was time consuming, and that the matter was sub-judice during the months in which it was implemented. Thus, they refused to use it. They further pointed out that given that each employee would have to wait till the other employee used it and that they were being marked attendance from the time they entered, the system was not conducive. They said that the machine takes 15 -30 seconds per employee for a fingerprint scan and that 15-30 minutes would just be wasted in recording the attendance of all employees, if not more. [TOI]