Payroll system glitch tripled pay for some CT state workers, officials say

An apparent glitch in a computer program resulted in some state employees receiving as much as three times their normal pay on Wednesday, officials said.

State workers with direct-deposit accounts at smaller banks were apparently the beneficiaries of the now-recalled hikes in their twice-a-month paychecks that usually arrive on Thursdays. Some banks, however, credit their customers’ accounts on Wednesdays, the comptroller’s office said.

The Bank of America, which is the intermediary institution for the state comptroller’s office, recalled the tainted checks and were sending out new ones Wednesday, as Comptroller Kevin Lembo’s office investigated what went wrong. State employees were notified of the over payments on Wednesday, but officials did not say how many people were affected.

“This morning, an error in the data file generating direct-deposit amounts for state employee payroll resulted in some employees seeing duplicate payment amounts in their bank accounts,” Tyler Van Buren, spokesperson for the comptroller’s office, said Wednesday. “A new file was issued this afternoon correcting the error and employees should have access to their funds as normal when payroll posts on Thursday.”

Van Buren said some employees might see transaction activity showing duplicate deposits, followed by identical debits to reverse the error.

“Another transaction will then deposit the correct direct deposit amount as normal,” he said. “We apologize to any affected employees for the confusion and inconvenience, but want to stress that everyone will receive their correct direct deposit amounts, as they would for any other pay cycle. We are investigating the root cause of the error and will engage in a thorough review to make sure that any possible anomalies are addressed, and the issue will be resolved for future pay cycles.”

Van Buren said there is no estimate of the number of employees among the 50,000-member state workforce who received the additional funds. The computer fix was across the entire system, Van Buren said.

“Most large banks don’t post the amounts until state payroll posts on Thursday, but everyone does it a bit differently,” Van Buren said. “So the banks that hadn’t posted amounts yet will only display one deposit, but any that had posted today will show deposits, matching debits, and then one correct deposit when payroll posts tomorrow.”

On Thursday, the comptroller’s office sent out emails to state employees asking them to be patient.

“The correction to the data error was sent to every necessary financial institution, but we want to emphasize that each bank has their own internal processes and may reflect changes differently, or at different times today,” the statement said. Every bank should ultimately process the correct payments today. Employees should give their banks some time to correct the account displays, but if any errors or anomalies appear as of this afternoon, employees should contact their bank directly.”