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Details on Novopay Ministerial Inquiry announced

Hon Steven Joyce

Minister with responsibility for Novopay
4 February 2013 Media Statement
Details on Novopay Ministerial Inquiry announced

Minister with responsibility for Novopay Steven Joyce today announced details of the Ministerial Inquiry into the education payroll system.

The Ministerial Inquiry is one of five measures the Government announced last week to address the issues surrounding Novopay.

Minister Joyce says the Ministerial Inquiry will be undertaken by former Chief Executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Sir Maarten Wevers and Chairman of Deloitte New Zealand Murray Jack.

“The Ministerial Inquiry will be a comprehensive fact-finding investigation into all aspects of the Novopay project from the outset to the present day. Its terms of reference will enable the findings of the separate Technical Review to be incorporated into the Ministerial Inquiry,” Mr Joyce says.

“Sir Maarten is a highly experienced and well respected former member of the public service. He has wide public recognition with a strong reputation for independence, trust and integrity, which make him an ideal person to be involved in this Ministerial Inquiry.

“Murray Jack has extensive experience in reviewing and advising on issues relating to major information technology systems, including the review of security breaches in the Ministry of Social Development’s self-service kiosks. He is also leading the Technical Review of the stability of the Novopay system and the data contained in it. It makes practical sense for him to be involved in both the Technical Review and the Ministerial Inquiry.

“My expectation is the Ministerial Inquiry will report by the end of May following the completion of the technical review within the next three to four weeks.”

Costs for the Ministerial Inquiry are estimated to be around $0.5 million and will be met from Ministry of Education’s baselines. The draft terms of reference for the review will be consulted with the sector in the coming days. The inquiry incorporates the previously scheduled Post-Implementation Review.

“It is important that lessons are learned from the issues with Novopay. Following the Ministerial Inquiry I will ask the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to work with Treasury, the State Services Commission and the Government Chief Information Officer to provide Cabinet with advice about contracting arrangements in the wider State Sector,” Mr Joyce says.

Besides the Ministerial Inquiry and the Technical Review , other measures the Government is putting in place to address the issues with Novopay include a new Remediation Plan, which will accelerate software stabilisation, monitoring, enhancements and improved customer service; a Ministry of Education re-engagement plan with schools; and investigating a revised Contingency Plan with the previous payroll supplier.

“While we are putting in place new measures to address the issues with Novopay, the reality is those issues remain very complex and will take some time to resolve. I appreciate how frustrating and time consuming this is for school administrators, principals, teachers and other staff. The Government is doing everything it can to resolve the issues as quickly as possible,” Mr Joyce says.

Biographies of Ministerial Inquiry Panel

Sir Maarten Wevers KNZM

Sir Maarten is the immediate past Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He chaired the Better Public Services Advisory Group and led the implementation of the findings of the inquiry conducted into NZ’s intelligence and security agencies.

Sir Maarten is a former diplomat who served as counsellor to the New Zealand Embassy in Brussels, High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand’s Ambassador to Japan. He was Chair of the APEC Senior Officials Meeting in 1999, during New Zealand’s year as APEC host.

He is also a former Senior Manager at New Zealand Post where he gained an appreciation of the practical operational and systems issues in large organisations.

Murray Jack

Murray Jack is Chairman of Deloitte New Zealand. Prior to his current role Mr Jack was the chief Executive of Deloitte New Zealand. He joined the firm in 1976 and has been a partner in the consulting practice for 26 years, spending periods of time with the firm in London (1980-82) and Singapore (1994-99).

His focus has been on the management of technology, the development of technology-based businesses, outsourcing, and the use of technology in government, utilities and telecommunications.

He has extensive public sector consulting experience in New Zealand and abroad reviewing and advising on the issues relating to major information technology systems.

He is a current Member of the Financial Markets Authority, and a former member of the Securities Commission (2010-11), Ministerial Committee on the Development of a National Health Information Systems Strategy for NZ (2001) and the National Health Information Standards Advisory Board (2002).


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