GHMC corrects absenteeism by introducing biometric attendance

Wed, 2015-09-16 17:29 -- SCC India Staff

Somesh Kumar

Absenteeism, proxy attendance, late coming, early leaving, frequent walks outside the office, chatting, gossiping, sleeping and even spending additional amount of time in the office loo, are some of the reasons for drop in quality productive output.

Although the causes and reasons may vary from person-to-person or say in case-to-case, wherein certain issues like chatting, gossiping and spending extra time in look may be humanly in-correctable, but but some of the lax measures can be correctable by use of Biometric  Authentication System (BAS) in ones organization.
What is BAS?

Biometrics refers to metrics related to human characteristics, wherein computer science is used to identification and access control purpose.

A biometric time attendance system, is a biometric time clock, that tracks employee attendance, including when they clock in, when they clock out, and if they showed up when they were scheduled to work. What makes a biometric time clock one of the best time and attendance systems is that it has a biometric fingerprint scanner built in that is much more accurate in time keeping that a time card or time sheets because employees can't clock in other employees. This helps prevent time theft and saves money for the organization.

The concept

With the motive of creating discipline in the government or even private offices for the matter, as discipline is the essential perquisite for efficient functioning of any office or organization. In late 2014, the government had directed the commissioners of Central Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to adopt BAS in their respective civic bodies for all the regular, outsourcing and contract employees.

They were further directed to ensure that all the employees attend office by 1030 hrs or by 1040 hrs (with a grace time of 10 minutes) and upload their fingerprints in the BAS machine both in the morning time and evening time before leaving the office without fail.

In respect of outsourcing and contract workers, the shift timings as prescribed by the respective ULB should be followed and the work hours have to be strictly restricted to eight hours per day.

Hyderabad’s initiative

Under the same initiative, the Hyderabad state government decided to get tough with municipal, outsourcing and contract employees working in the ULBs by introducing BAS.
After increasing the salaries of the municipal contract workers who went on strike in July, the state government decided to discipline errant workers. The government was upset with municipal workers’ unions for staying off sanitation duties and leaving the city in the lurch.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) authorities decided to install hand-held biometric attendance machines for its about 20,000 sanitation workers, more than any municipality in the country, to enhance the accountability.

The GHMC introduced the biometric attendance system in August in certain circles on a pilot basis and has yielded positive results. It was found that about 30 per cent of the workers, on an average, do not attend duties.

The result

At the recent Conclave on Smart Technologies hosted by the Smart Cities Council India, the GHMC commissioner Somesh Kumar said that the BAS not only helped the Corporation yield a positive result in terms of productivity, but also helped it bring down its total monthly salary Rs 30 lakh, by about Rs 8 lakh near owing to absenteeism at work.

He further added that, the cost of BAS machines were recovered in mere 15 working days, considering the amount saved on employee wages.


Considering the success of the pilot project in the select circles under the GHMC regime, it seems like municipalities from other states too shall follow suit and reap the benefits – both in terms of productivity and costs.