Home Life ‘Hacking’ paralyzes payments of salaries, appointments and disabilities of educators

‘Hacking’ paralyzes payments of salaries, appointments and disabilities of educators

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99% of the vacation requests of the officials of the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) have not been processed nor have they been included for salary payments 926 movements of personnel for teaching positions, janitors, security, administrative or others. Nor have they been able to name 543 vacant places in educational centers.

These are all just some consequences of the hack that affected the payments and payroll system of the Ministry of Finance called Integra II, through which the 86,000 MEP officials are paid. Because of this cyber attack, all the essential processes of the institution have been paralyzed since April 18.

That is also the reason why the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) cannot pay the subsidy to teachers and other disabled personnel since the institution requests certifications from the MEP that they cannot currently issue. Meanwhile, newly admitted people are without insurance and without payment, since they cannot be included in the forms of the CCSS and the National Insurance Institute (INS).

This is just a brushstroke of the dozens of problems that all public institutions must have but that in the MEP, are multiplied by having the largest payroll in the country-

To understand the dimension of the impact, the head of Education, Steven González, asked the director of Human Resources, Yaxinia Díaz, for a report on the effects and actions against the disabling of the Integra II system.

The result was a 17-page official letter (DVM-A-DRH-2367-2022) that Díaz sent on April 29, in which he includes a long list of affectations, since the last data available for payments is that of payrolls. prior to the attack.

salaries and staff

Currently, people who changed their bank account between March 27 and the beginning of April and have the previous account closed are without salary (178 cases processed in spreadsheets plus those processed in regional).

The officials whose appointment was entered by the end of April 1, nor the employees who, as of March, had unpaid leave or licenses for the care of people in the terminal phase and who recently returned to their job, do not receive remuneration either.

“Since there is no clarity regarding the solution of the problem, it is difficult to inform the official of the situation generated and that the date on which the payment problems will be solved is not known,” reads the official letter DVM-A-DRH -2367-2022.

The official added that, with the eventual change of government, as of May 8, the appointments of the new officials who will come to assume functions to the MEP must be processed, “so the administrative act could not be concluded with the action of personnel in Integra II until the system is enabled”.

Díaz said that there is no contingency plan informed by the Ministry of Finance for the presentation of the form to the CCSS and the INS. He explained that, having paid the second fortnight of April using the payroll for the second fortnight of March as a base, discounts from third parties that came in March are applied again, a situation that is not 100% real and that causes claims of sums drawn from more or less.

“In the event that there are incomplete payments (less than what must be canceled) in this fortnight or earlier, unless the Treasury rectify it when there is a system, it cannot be resolved by us until next year (2023), which may Generate an increase in pending administrative claims

He stressed that until the system is duly enabled, the salary components that were paid as of April 8, 2022 will continue to be considered for the payment of future salaries.

overpayments

The report states that there are officials who have formalities carried out for job termination with the MEP, who were already admitted to Integra II before the attack, such as pensioners, deceased, termination of duties, dismissals, resignations, reduction of lessons, suppression of surcharges, among others, to which they would be paid again, each time the Treasury uses the March forms as a basis to pay, which will generate excess amounts drawn.

There is currently a high influx of administrative claims, e-mails, amparo appeals, which enter daily due to the impact on the payment to the MEP servers or which request evidence of the administrative act and which cannot be resolved due to the lack of the system. Integra II.

“According to information provided by the Financial Directorate, since the SIGAF System is disabled, it is not possible to draw or pay travel expenses, which is why the tours are suspended,” it is explained.

Díaz expressed his concern that, when Integra II is enabled again, the systems will have a considerable lag due to all the personnel actions that have not been able to be included in the system.

“It is not clear how the Treasury will include in the system, once the accesses have been recovered, all the payments that are being made in an emergency. It is not clear whether the system will be able to generate the amounts drawn in excess automatically, if not, the unit would have no way of doing this process entirely manually, the amount to be recovered for sums drawn from more accumulated for the period 2022, it will have a considerable increase”, is explained in the official letter.

As reported by the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR), as of December 31, 2021, the MEP had yet to review whether it had paid more than at least ¢2,018 million for late processing of personnel actions.

Other problems

The MEP reported total impact on the management of all types of licenses and permits presented by officials, since a fundamental part of the procedure is the review that must be carried out in the Integra II system to complete the analysis of each request and be able to provide response to users.

Nor can responses be issued to court orders or information certifications requested by entities such as the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, the Attorney General’s Office or Labor Courts, since it is necessary to consult the information in the databases of the Integra II System.

There is a suspension in the service for the generation of personnel actions, salary certificates, various certifications (VISA, FCL, tax shield and others), and documents related to embargoes.

It is not possible to verify personnel actions and therefore whether or not the person has interruptions in the employment relationship, disabilities, permits and licenses, likewise, the last personnel action that terminated the employment relationship must be verified. , no extension, dismissal or others. Therefore, calculations of legal benefits cannot be made.