Chaos as ONGC introduces digital staff checks

Vol 22, PW 25 (03 Oct 19) People & Policy

Five years after it came up with the idea ONGC has started rolling out an electronic surveillance system to ensure its 33,500 employees across India turn up for work on time.

In an August 30 order, ONGC executive director (employee relations) Alok Misra announced a 'clocking-in' and 'clocking-out' Enterprise Wide Access Control System (EACS) at all ONGC office entry/exit points, work centres and installations beginning September 1. Entitled, "Maintenance of punctuality and recording of attendance at ONGC’ the three-page directive envisages the use of electronic chip cards for all employees so their movements in and out of work can be monitored as never before.

Under the new scheme anyone turning up for work 15-30 minutes late will be forced to make up the 30 minutes on the same day; turn up between 30 minutes to one hour late and half a day leave is deducted; turn up more than an hour late and a full day's leave is deducted. Only if you are late by less than 15 minutes is no action taken.

Habitual latecomers and early leavers face stringent disciplinary action. As expected, the new office order has resulted in chaos at several ONGC installations.

At the Ankleshwar asset in Gujarat, eyewitnesses report vehicle bottle-necks building up at the entry gate with long lines of Mahindra Bolero jeeps (a favourite among ONGC employees) jostling for position as staff try to clock-in on time.