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Minister provides update on Novopay

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister with responsibility for Novopay
13 February 2013 Media Statement
Minister provides update on Novopay

Minister with responsibility for Novopay Steven Joyce today provided an update on Novopay and the measures the Government is taking to address its issues.

Mr Joyce says Cabinet has agreed to put aside $5 million under the Remediation Plan for the payroll system. This funding will cover work on bug fixes and boosting the number of call centre and data processing staff. Details on the Remediation Plan and timings will be publicly released shortly.

“The final responsibility for the remediation costs – whether Talent2, the Ministry of Education, or other parties – will be determined later, and the Ministry continues to reserve its contractual position,” Mr Joyce says.

The Minister today released the terms of reference for the technical review and the draft terms of reference for the Ministerial Inquiry.

“Both of these inquiries are a critical part of the remediation process. In particular, the Technical Review will be used to determine the final path forward in terms of restoring the pay system,” Mr Joyce says.

The Technical Review is expected to report back to the Minister by 28 February and the Ministerial Inquiry by the end of May.

“In regards to Pay Period 23 last week, as you are aware there were many significant issues and the Ministry of Education has to date made 129 direct payments to school staff.

“I have sought a full and accurate breakdown of the issues that occurred in Pay Period 23.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers is reviewing both Talent2’s and the Ministry’s records and providing an audit of the pay period, the total number of issues with it, a breakdown of those issues and the causes. That report will be released after I have received it.

“The next pay period – Pay Period 24 – is next week and we fully expect the difficulties to continue. Each pay period is faced with the work that is for that period, and the backlog of corrections and changes from previous pay periods.

“A concerted effort is being made to catch-up on some of the backlog of issues, with the Ministry setting up an additional data processing centre of 30 to 40 additional people working yesterday, last night and today – alongside Talent2’s call centre to process additional transactions.

“However there will be many transactions that aren’t completed when the draft staff usage and expenditure report goes out to schools tomorrow morning. I am advised there will be emails going out to schools again tomorrow that will identify which of their transactions are still being processed.

“The Acting Secretary has arranged for the Ministry call centre to proactively call schools to update them on progress with their payroll tomorrow and Friday. Transactions will continue to be processed through until the final cut-off on Monday night, before the next pay round next Wednesday.

“The system bugs and backlog of issues mean that we should expect more issues with unpaid, overpaid and underpaid staff in coming weeks while the Remediation Plan takes effect.”

“In addition, this morning I authorised the Ministry to send formal notices to Talent2 of material breaches of contract. As well as that, the Ministry continues to formally notify Talent2 of breaches of key performance indicators.
“With regards to working on a contingency plan, last night I met with Datacom. It is clear that any alternative to Novopay would be challenging to roll out and could take anywhere between three to 12 months to be fully implemented.
“I appreciate the on-going issues with Novopay are hugely frustrating for the school sector. While there is no quick fix here, I can assure school staff that everything is being done to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.”

ENDS

Attached: Terms of Reference for Technical Inquiry Novopay_Technical_Review__Terms_of_Reference.pdf
Draft Terms of Reference for Ministerial Inquiry Novopay_Ministerial__Inquiry__draft_terms_of_reference.pdf

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