Section 508, an amendment
to the Rehabilitation Act, was enacted to eliminate
barriers in information technology, to make available
new opportunities for people with disabilities, and
to encourage development of technologies that will help
achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal
agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use
electronic and information technology. Under Section
508, agencies must give disabled employees and members
of the public access to information that is comparable
to the access available to others.
United States Postal Service (USPS)
MITEM developed two payroll applications for the USPS,
both of which had had to be in compliance with Section
508 of the Rehabilitation Act, federal guidelines
that help ensure the universal accessibility of applications
for people with disabilities.
applications were developed as a part of a Postal Service
"Shared Services" initiative which was aimed at cost
reduction and containment. This reengineering effort
includes technology upgrades of approximately 53 inter-facility
processes to provide enhanced service to USPS employees,
without adding more staff. With more than 800,000 employees,
the USPS is the third largest employer in the U.S.
has a single data processing center for all payroll
and human resources systems. It's Accounting Services
Center (ASC) processes various types of payroll adjustments
for all employees. This operation uses multiple mainframe
systems with a variety of payroll and human resources
new payroll adjustment processing applications were
needed to upgrade older technology and streamline payroll
needed to renovate its Involuntary Deduction Unit (IDU)
application used by 25 specialized data entry staff
to process IDU requests. Its traditional 16-bit screenscraper.
that accessed mainframe data needed for IDUs, could
no longer accommodate the usability features USPS wanted
second project involved a Web application to handle
USPS' payroll adjustment processing. With the traditional
method, each of the thousands of USPS supervisors manually
filled out a form, sent them via postal mail to a specialized
payroll department, and they were keyed in and processed.
If the form had an error, it bounced back, by postal
mail, causing significant delays in employees' pay adjustments.
The department handles 30,000 requests every two weeks
and USPS wanted to leverage Internet technology to automate
and streamline this process.
selected MITEM's integration platform, MitemView,
as a key component in developing and deploying both
applications. It easily provides a seamless interface
with the USPS mainframe payroll system, an IBM OS/390
the IDU application, MITEM rewrote the GUI in Visual
Basic, to provide a more adaptable, flexible programming
environment for future growth. MITEM also added advanced
usability features to enhance USPS' business processes
such as a cleaner, more intuitive user interface and
MITEM's Web-based payroll adjustment application, supervisors
fill out the complex forms in a secure browser, submit
them, and maintain a feedback loop with the processing
department to ensure timeliness and accuracy. MITEM
not only duplicated, online, the complex process of
accurately completing the form, but also built in an
advanced communications layer so that if supervisors
need assistance they can communicate with the payroll
department to get the issue resolved before an inaccurate
paycheck is issued.
USPS' IDU application has been live since mid-October
2001 and users report tremendous gains in processing
speed. Tasks that used to take 30 seconds, now take
less than one second.
payroll adjustment application is going live at the
end of February 2002. The USPS expects it will greatly
diminish the need for extensive manpower to manually
process 30,000 forms every two weeks. USPS expects cost
savings as well as greater efficiency in the payroll