(59 Questions & Answers)
Q1. What is webTA?
A. WebTA is the web-based time and attendance program that the Department of Commerce purchased, modified and enhanced to replace the DOS Time & Attendance software program. It was developed to interface with our payroll/personnel service provider, the National Finance Center (NFC). Deployment throughout the Department, including all NOAA offices, is currently in progress.
Q2. How does webTA work?
A. WebTA allows employees or timekeepers to enter and validate the bi-weekly timekeeping data regarding hours worked and leave taken by accessing a secure website. For employees entering their own data, webTA also contains a Leave and Premium Pay module which allows employees to request leave and various premium pays (overtime and compensatory time, for example) electronically. Managers certify all time and attendance records, and approve leave and premium pay requests, online prior to the payroll deadline. The approved records are then transmitted by an automatic Build process to the NFC for salary processing, and the record rolls to the next pay period. There is no timekeeper transmission process with webTA.
Q3. Where is webTA located?
A. The webTA server is hosted at the Office of
Computer Services in
Q4. What are the hardware and software requirements?
A. WebTA works with both Macintosh and Personal Computers. As webTA is a web-based program, you must be able to access the World Wide Web to use it. Acceptable browsers include Internet Explorer (5.5 or higher), Netscape (7.1 or higher), Firefox, and Safari.
Q5. How do I access webTA?
A. Once you have been issued an initial password and User ID, you may log in to webTA at the URL address https://docwebta.eas.commerce.gov/webta/. If you do not remember this URL address, you can access webTA from links on various websites, including NOAA, the Department of Commerce, or search for it on Google.
WebTA is accessible from any location where the Internet is available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only exception is if the system is taken down for general maintenance or system upgrades. The NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office or the Help Desk Staff usually notify webTA users when the system is unavailable.
Q6. I have tried numerous times to log in to webTA and have been unsuccessful. What do I do?
A. As a security precaution, you will be locked out of webTA after three unsuccessful login attempts. You may receive a pop-up message stating that you have an “Invalid User ID/Password”, and that you should contact your Administrator. While someone who has been given Administrator rights can unlock your account, it is usually far more efficient to contact either your primary timekeeper or a delegated timekeeper (backup) to unlock your account and/or give you a new temporary password. If neither your primary nor your backup timekeeper is available, contact the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office for assistance.
Q7. HELP! I forgot my password!
A. No one can see your password, but there are several people who can solve this issue by resetting your password to a new temporary password. Your primary timekeeper, a delegated timekeeper (backup), or an Administrator will be able to reset your password. Immediately upon logging into webTA with the new password, you must change your password to something known only to you. All passwords must comply with Departmental policy (be a minimum of 8 characters in length, contain a mix of letters, numbers and special characters, e.g., *, #, $, !, %, etc.). Passwords cannot be reused for 10 times or within 365 days, whichever is sooner.
When changing your password, here are some tips on choosing a password that's DoC-compliant and easy to remember:
Q8. Are the User ID and password case sensitive?
A. The User ID is NOT case-sensitive but the password IS case-sensitive.
Q9. I have logged into webTA and noticed that there are multiple buttons at the bottom of the screen. What do they represent?
A. The buttons represent different roles within webTA. Roles include: employee, timekeeper, supervisor, HR Administrator, and Administrator.
Your access level/role assignment was established by a webTA Administrator based on your job function. If you have been assigned more than one role within webTA, you can move between roles by clicking on the buttons at the bottom of the webTA screens. The button reflecting the role you are currently using will be grayed out.
Q10. What resources are available should I need help?
A. There are many resources for assistance, including:
Within webTA, there is an online help menu which can be accessed in any screen by clicking on the blue “Help” in the upper right corner.
Review these FAQ’s. (CTRL-F) will let you scan quickly.
Review the E-Learning classes that will be available beginning FY06.
Contact the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office.
Francie Crosswhite (303) 497-4150 Civilian Pay Technician
Chong Glade (303) 497-4148 Civilian Pay Technician
Rod Jeske (303) 497-4477 Civilian Pay Technician
Sue Sassano (303) 497-4155 Civilian Pay Technician
Joy Carrier (303) 497-4869 Pay/Leave Specialist
Amy Townsend (303) 497-4478 Payroll Program Manager/webTA Administrator
Q11. When I click on the login button I get a pop up window which states “This page cannot be displayed”. What does this mean? Is the system down?
A. As is the case with all applications, sometimes webTA is not available. There are many reasons why the system may not be available. It could be a problem with your local server or the server on which webTA resides. If the problem is system-wide, there will usually be an e-mail message sent by the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office or the Help Desk notifying users of the problem and projected unavailability of the system. You can also check the webTA operational status by going to the Department of Commerce website at http://ohrm.os.doc.gov/HR_Applications/PROD01_001077.html.
Q12. How often does my password need to be changed?
A. WebTA requires a new password every 90 days. A warning message will be given within 7 days of expiration. If you do not change your password before it expires, you will be locked out of webTA and will need to contact your primary or backup timekeeper to gain access.
Q13. Can the forward and backward buttons on my browser be used while logged into webTA?
A. No, do NOT use your forward or backward browser buttons to navigate within webTA or you may be logged out of the system. Instead, use the appropriate button on the bottom of the screen (e.g., Return, Cancel, Save, etc.) to return to the previous screen and otherwise navigate within webTA.
Q14. Can I take a phone call or a short break while logged into webTA?
A. WebTA has a security setting that will time the user out after approximately ten minutes of non-use.
Q15. How do I print a copy of my current Time & Attendance record?
A. To print a copy of the record for the current pay period in either the Employee or Timekeeper module, click on Summary and then click on the Printer icon. To print a copy of the record for the current pay period in the Supervisor module, select “View/Certify Record” and then click on the printer icon. In all cases, the printed copy will display the status of the current pay period’s record at the time of printing (Not Validated, Validated or Certified).
Q16. Can past certified Time & Attendance records be viewed and printed?
A. WebTA maintains a history of all records previously certified and submitted through webTA. These records are available to the Employee, Timekeeper and/or Supervisor as long as the employee is an active employee. To view a previously certified record, click on the button labeled “Certified T&A’s” for the selected employee, select the pay period you wish to print by clicking on the radio button to the left of the pay period, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on “View Certified Record.” If you wish to print the record, right click your mouse while in the view-only pop-up box, and select the print command. If the browser you are using doesn’t have a print option when you right click your mouse, you can print by depressing the Control key at the same time you depress the letter P key (CTRL-P).
Any previously certified record printed this way will have “Validated” listed as the status, even though it is actually the certified record. In order to have the record status listed as “Certified” the record must be printed (via the Summary screen) after it is certified by the supervisor but before it is sent to the NFC.
Q17. Why do some Line Offices have timekeeper entry of timecards while others have employee entry?
A. Most Line Offices will continue to opt for timekeeper entry. However, some employees use Activity Based Costing and must track the multiple projects on which they spend their time. In these cases, employees may have been instructed to enter their data directly into webTA as it can accommodate multiple accounting codes such as is required with Activity Based Accounting. At the time of your conversion to webTA, you will be instructed which method to use.
Q18. How do I enter my time if I am not in the office on the day it is due?
A. Each employee has the responsibility of providing his/her hours worked and leave taken each pay period. If you use the Employee module to enter your time into webTA, you must either complete your entries and validation before the deadline (from any computer that has access to the Internet) or arrange for your timekeeper to act as your backup if you will be out on leave or otherwise not able to access the system. For those whose timekeepers will still enter all timekeeping data, you must pre-arrange the mode of providing the necessary information in advance of the deadline or you may not be paid on time. Please be aware that except in emergency situations, if you do not provide the information to your timekeeper prior to the payroll deadline, you will not automatically be paid your standard tour of duty.
Q19. How do corrections get made to my timecard, for instance if I asked for annual leave and it was recorded as sick leave or if I worked additional hours over the weekend?
A. All corrections must be created and validated by your timekeeper, and certified by your supervisor. If you need a correction made to any of the previous 25 pay periods, contact your timekeeper with the details so that a corrected timesheet can be submitted. If you have a correction that is needed to a pay period of more than one year ago your timekeeper will need to contact the staff in the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office for assistance.
Q20. Is the use of the Leave and Premium Pay module required?
A. At this time, the use of the Leave and Premium Pay module is optional. As with the current paper requests, all supporting documentation (military orders, medical documentation, court summons, etc.) is still required to be submitted to the timekeeper for retention with the timekeeping records for six years.
Q21. If my Line Office doesn’t use the Leave module for requesting leave, or I don’t have access to it since we use the Timekeeper to enter data, how do I request leave and premium pay such as overtime?
A. If you do not have access to the Leave and Premium Pay module, or your work unit does not yet use this electronic method, then you request leave and/or premium pay (overtime, compensatory time, compensatory time for travel) using the same procedures you used with the DOS Time & Attendance program. If you need clarification as to the procedures to request leave and premium pay, please contact your supervisor, your Human Resources Advisor, or the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office.
Q22. I do use the Leave module in webTA for requesting leave, but I have had to change my plans since my original request was approved. How can I edit my request?
A. In the current version of webTA, you will need to request that your supervisor deny the previously approved request so that you can submit a new request, accurately reflecting the leave taken. In the next release of webTA, employees will be able to modify leave requests.
Q23. What if my timekeeper or my supervisor is out of the office when timesheets are due? Will I still be paid?
A. WebTA is designed such that every timekeeper and every supervisor can have one or more delegates. When an individual is listed as a delegate by a timekeeper or supervisor, he/she has all the necessary access under his/her own User ID/password to perform the functions of the person who delegated duties to them.
Q24. How many delegates should a timekeeper or supervisor have?
A. At least one delegate should be named at all times, but there is no limit to how many can be named. Keep in mind, however, that all individuals named as delegates will receive all system-generated emails for the group of employees involved.
Q25. Can a supervisor delegate that function to a timekeeper?
A. Absolutely not. Department of Commerce and NOAA policies strictly prohibit Timekeepers from performing the role of the supervisor.
Q26. I have been delegated a role within webTA and now find that I too will be unable to perform the functions for which I have been delegated. May I re-delegate my role to another individual?
A. No, you may not re-delegate roles that have been delegated to you. If no other person has already been delegated and you will not be able to perform the delegated functions by the payroll deadline, please inform someone in your supervisory chain and have them contact the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office so that appropriate delegates can be named.
Q27. As an employee, I enter my own time into webTA. Do I have the ability to delegate someone to perform this duty for me?
A. No, employees cannot delegate their access to anyone. The timekeeper is always the default back-up for the employee role.
Q28. An employee forgot his/her password and has called for assistance. How can the account be unlocked and the password reset?
A. The primary or delegated timekeeper or an administrator can unlock the account and/or assign a new temporary password by accessing the Employee Profile for the affected employee.
If the employee does not need a new password but merely needs the account unlocked, scroll down to the red box at the bottom of the screen, click on the Reset box to unlock the account, and click Save. CAUTION: When unlocking accounts, be very careful not to click on the Active Employee box for if you do, you will be inactivating the employee rather than unlocking the account. If you make this mistake, you will need to contact the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office for assistance.
If the employee also needs to have the password reset in addition to having the account unlocked, before saving the record delete the row of dots in the two password fields at the top of the Employee profile screen, and then enter the new password twice, once in each of the two fields marked “Password” and “Re-enter Password.” Now click on Save and the password will be reset, and the account will be unlocked.
You will need to give the new temporary password to the employee, with the instruction to enter a new password known only to the employee immediately upon logging into webTA.
Q29. When a new employee joins a work unit, how can the timekeeper determine if they already have an account in webTA or if they need to be added?
A. It is imperative that duplicate employee records not be entered into webTA as that will create validation problems. When an employee joins a work unit, it is prudent to check with the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office to determine if the subject employee has an assigned User ID, or if a previous record needs to be reactivated.
Q30. If the new employee has never had a webTA record and needs to be added, what steps must be taken?
A. The timekeeper needs to click on the New button on the Timekeeper Main Menu screen to add an employee. This will bring up a blank Employee Profile screen to be completed, including the assignment of a User ID and password. Additionally, the timekeeper will need to complete the T&A Profile, Leave and Locator screens.
Q31. What should be done when a timekeeper or supervisor changes jobs, leaves or retires?
A. Contact the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office so that changes to the role assignments may be made and employees may be globally reassigned.
Q32. In the Edit T&A screen, should I delete lines of pay not used this pay period?
A. Yes, this eliminates unused lines of code and keeps the storage of data to the optimum level.
Q33. Can a record be changed after it is certified?
A. Once a record is certified, neither the employee nor the timekeeper can edit the record without the involvement of the supervisor. If changes are required to a certified record that has not yet been sent to the NFC, the supervisor can de-certify the record, and then the employee or timekeeper can make changes. Once the changes are entered, the record will need to be revalidated by the employee or timekeeper and recertified by the supervisor.
If revisions are needed to a certified record that has already been submitted to NFC, a corrected record will need to be created and validated by the timekeeper, and certified by the supervisor, in the next pay period.
Q34. What actions are necessary when an employee leaves or retires?
A. In the T&A Profile screen for the separating employee, the Timekeeper needs to check the “Final Record” box. Once the timesheet for the final pay period processes, this action will result in the record being automatically inactivated. The only exception is when the separating employee is a timekeeper or supervisor and then the record cannot be inactivated until all the assigned employees have been reassigned to another timekeeper or supervisor. If this is the case, the system will send a notification email to the Timekeeper and Administrator indicating that the assigned employees must be reassigned, and then the separating employee will need to be manually inactivated by de-selecting the Active Employee box in the Employee Profile.
If copies of the automated audits for the separating employee are desired, they should be printed prior to the inactivation of the record.
It is also wise for the timekeeper to reset the password of all separating employees so that they can no longer access the system. Remember, being a web-based system, it is accessible from any computer connected to the URL address so it is imperative that the passwords of separating employees be reset to something they will not know, particularly if the separating employee served as a timekeeper.
If the employee is separating before the last two days of the pay period, the timekeeper will also need to enter the Status Change Type (End) and the Status Change Day (select the final day of employment) on the T&A Profile screen. Likewise, the timekeeper will need to delete the accruals on the Leave screen for all full time employees who did not work their full 80 hours in the final pay period.
Q35. Can I serve as my own timekeeper in webTA?
A. Given the requirement of supervisor certification in webTA, individuals may serve as their own timekeeper but it is still recommended that where possible, someone else perform that function so as to maintain the highest level of checks and balances.
Q36. I am a supervisor or am acting on my supervisor’s behalf; can I certify my own record in webTA?
A. The Department of Commerce will soon issue a policy memorandum prohibiting self-certification of webTA records.
Q37. What is the deadline for certifying records?
A. The deadline by which all records must be entered, validated and certified is 10pm Eastern Time on the first Tuesday of the following pay period. It is critically important that payroll deadlines be met. Occasionally, an early payroll deadline will be required by NFC and notification will be made to all affected parties via email.
Q38. Can a supervisor create or edit an employee’s Time & Attendance record?
A. No, a supervisor does not have the required access to edit the Time & Attendance records directly. Supervisors requesting changes will need to direct the employee or timekeeper, depending on which role enters the data, to make the required changes.
Q39. Can a Time & Attendance record be deleted?
A. No, a regular Time & Attendance record cannot be deleted. However, edits can be made to the current record any time prior to the certified record being sent to the NFC for processing. If the record has been certified but not yet sent to the NFC, the supervisor will need to de-certify the record before changes can be entered.
Uncertified corrections can be deleted by the Timekeeper.
Q40. What does a “C” on a record mean?
A. The timekeeper has created a corrected timecard for this employee for the specified pay period.
Q41. As a timekeeper, how do I make a correction to a previous pay period when the historical record for the subject pay period is available in webTA?
A. Pull up the historical record and enter the necessary changes, following the instructions that are on the “Help” Menu. If you need additional assistance, contact the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office. The NFC system will allow you to submit a corrected timesheet for any of the previous 25 pay periods. If a correction involving a pay period of more than one year ago is needed, you will need to contact the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office for assistance. Please note that the NFC will only guarantee correct processing of corrections if they are limited to three corrections per employee per pay period.
Q42. As a timekeeper, how do I make a correction to a previous pay period when no historical record for the subject pay period is available in webTA?
A. Since no historical record for the subject pay period exists in webTA, you will need to create a record. Follow the instructions that are on the “Help” Menu, or contact the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office for assistance.
Q43. Do corrected timesheets need to be validated and certified?
A. Yes, all corrected records must be validated by the timekeeper and certified by the supervisor. Any records not certified will not proceed to the BUILD process, and will therefore not be sent to the NFC for processing.
Q44. Do the forward leave balances in the current pay period need to be manually adjusted by the Timekeeper when a correction is submitted, as was the case with the DOS Time and Attendance System?
A. If historical webTA records exist for all intervening pay periods from the corrected pay period to the current pay period, then the leave balances should not be manually adjusted as the system will automatically roll the corrections through each pay period. However, if a correction is being made to a pay period that has no prior record in webTA (i.e., it was submitted through DOS or some other means), or there is an intervening pay period that is missing in webTA, then the forward balances should be adjusted in the Leave screen for the current pay period to reflect any change to leave balances as a result of the corrected Time & Attendance record.
Q45. How does webTA know how many hours of annual leave to accrue each pay period?
A. The Service Computation Date (SCD) is maintained in the T&A Profile screen for each employee so that the system can calculate the appropriate annual leave accruals each pay period. Additionally, webTA will change the annual leave accrual rate from four hours/pay period to six hours/pay period and from six hours/pay period to eight hours/pay period in the first full pay period following the employee’s third and fifteenth anniversary, respectively.
NOTE TO TIMEKEEPERS: The annual leave accrual rate does not change until the SCD is entered and the T&A Profile is saved.
Q46. How does webTA know my annual leave ceiling?
A. In the T&A Profile that is maintained by the timekeeper for each employee, the appropriate leave ceiling is entered so that any annual leave above the ceiling that is not used before the end of the leave year is automatically cut back to the allowable ceiling. If no leave ceiling is entered, webTA uses the default ceiling of 240 hours.
Q47. How do the accounting codes to which employee time will be charged get added to the Timekeeper Account Table?
A. This function must be completed by the primary Timekeeper, not the backup or delegated Timekeeper. At the main menu, click on accounts, and add an account from the account table. The project codes listed under the employee’s primary timekeeper account list are the project codes the employee will be able to select when they enter their T&A.
Q48. I am an employee and enter my own timekeeping data. I cannot find the needed labor account on my Select Account drop down menu; what do I do?
A. Ask your primary timekeeper to add the requested account to his/her Timekeeper Account Table, which will make the account available to you on the drop down menu.
Q49. I am the primary timekeeper and cannot find the needed labor account in the list of existing accounts, to add to my Timekeeper Account Table. What should I do?
A. Check with your Budget or Finance office to determine if the code you are seeking to use is a valid project/task code and has been entered into the master account list in webTA. If it is a valid account that has not yet been added to webTA, the Timekeeper will need to request that the Budget or Finance Office add it, or the Timekeeper will need to create the account for the entire webTA community. Follow the instructions for creating new accounts on the “Help” menu, or contact the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office for assistance.
Q50. My record is still on last pay period; how do I get the pay period to advance so I may enter my time for the current pay period?
A. Records for active employees advance to the new pay period once they have been certified and sent to the NFC for processing. If the payroll deadline was missed, the record would not have been sent to the NFC and therefore did not roll forward to the next pay period. In the current version of webTA, this will require a call to the NOAA Time & Attendance Office, before the actual pay period ends, to have the pay period reset. As webTA is a real-time system, it is critical that this adjustment be completed before the end of the actual pay period (i.e. the last Friday of the pay period).
Please note that records that have been placed on hold will advance to the next pay period during the weekend in the middle of the pay period. Therefore, when employees are returning to duty, do not take their records off hold until they have advanced to the current pay period (i.e., the second week of the pay period).
Q51. Where is advanced leave entered in webTA?
A. There is no specific code for advanced leave in the data entry screen in webTA as there was in the DOS Time & Attendance system. The used leave should be entered on the Time & Attendance record and if it results in a negative (advanced) balance, a notation will automatically be displayed in the Leave Data section of the T&A Summary, stating that advanced leave is being used. The certification process by the supervisor indicates an approval of the advanced leave.
However, in the Leave and Premium Pay module, an employee can and should request advanced leave if the appropriate number of hours have not yet been accrued.
Q52. The Timekeeper has received notification from the Leave Share Coordinator that an employee has received donations under the Voluntary Leave Transfer program. Where should the annual leave hours donated to the leave recipient be entered?
A. The Timekeeper should manually add the donated hours to the annual leave forward balance in the Leave screen for the pay period noted by the Leave Share Coordinator. Additionally, a remark such as “# hours donated annual leave received” should be added to the Time & Attendance record.
Q53. The Timekeeper has received notification from the Leave Share Coordinator that an employee has donated annual leave under the Voluntary Leave Transfer program. Whereshould the donated annual leave hours be deducted?
A. The Timekeeper must manually deduct the hours from the annual leave forward balance on the Leave screen for the pay period noted by the Leave Share Coordinator. Additionally, add a remark to the Time & Attendance record indicating “# hours annual leave donated.”
Q54. Premium pay such as overtime or regular compensatory time was reflected on the certified T&A, no error message was received during the validation process, and yet the Leave and Earnings Statement shows the NFC cut back the number of hours for which the employee was paid overtime or credited with regular compensatory time. Why?
A. WebTA is not programmed with salary information, so it does not know if someone has exceeded the bi-weekly limitation on earnings. The NFC does have the salary information and is programmed to automatically cut back earnings to the amount allowable under current law.
Q55. As a supervisor, how do I know if a record is ready for certification?
A. In the Supervisor Main Menu, click on the “Select Employee” button. On the left side of this screen there is a “Status” column. The Status column will contain a message “Tkp. Validated” for records that have been validated by the timekeeper or “Emp. Validated” for records validated by the employee. Only validated records may be certified. Once certified, the status column will reflect “Certified,” meaning the supervisor has approved the record. The status column is also reflected on the Timekeeper’s “Select Employee” screen.
Q56. One of my employees has disappeared from my Timekeeper Select Employee list, what do I do?
A. Check your email to see if you have received an automated notification that another Timekeeper has taken over the timekeeper function for the affected employee. If no email notification was received, perform the Takeover function from the Timekeeper Main Menu and the employee will reappear on your list if they are still listed in webTA as an Active employee.
If they are still missing after performing the above, contact any HR Administrator, Administrator, or the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office so that they can check to see if the employee were inadvertently inactivated. If so, once reactivated, the employee will reappear on your list.
Q57. One of my direct reports/employees has disappeared from my Supervisor Select Employee list, what do I do?
A. Ask the Timekeeper to check to see who is listed as the employee’s supervisor on the Employee Profile screen. If necessary, instruct the timekeeper to make any necessary changes.
Q58. Even though the certified record is saved electronically, is a hard copy required?
A. Currently, the CIO, Department of Commerce still mandates that a hard copy of the certified record be printed, signed by the supervisor, and filed with the timekeeping records for six years. This can easily be done by the supervisor at the time of certifying. After certifying the record, the supervisor should immediately go back into the record, click the printer icon, and then Cancel out of the record. This will result in a printed copy of the certified record without changing the certification status. If the record is printed before the certification is completed, it will be a copy of the validated record, not the required certified record.
The timekeeper can also print the certified copies by selecting the Summary screen for each employee. This must be done after the record is certified but before it is sent to the NFC for processing as part of the BUILD process. There is no Print All button.
Q59. What additional training will be available to users of webTA?
A.If you desire additional formal webTA training, please contact the NOAA Time & Attendance Services Office. Options available may include:
Audio/computer conference calls
Face-to-face onsite training
Page last edited: November 16, 2011