Novopay: government threatens penalties
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Prime Minister John Key says ongoing mistakes in the new teacher pay system are unacceptable and the company responsible will face financial penalties if they aren't fixed.
Novopay has been plagued with problems since it was introduced in August with errors in more than 8000 teachers' pay.
Yesterday it was revealed personal information and bank account details for hundreds of teachers had accidentally been made available to staff at Auckland's Marshall Laing Primary School.
Responsibility for the $30 million new system, provided by Talent 2, has been handed from Education Minister Hekia Parata to Associate Education Minister Craig Foss.
As of Saturday there were 1500 outstanding errors and the Education Ministry has ordered Talent 2 to fix the problems by Wednesday.
Labour has called on Parata to take over oversight for Novopay, saying Foss is "clearly out of his depth".
But Key this morning backed the associate minister.
"The issue isn't with the associate minister in this case, Craig Foss is doing a good job," he told TVNZ's Breakfast programme.
"The issue is with the provider."
Key said there were 60,000 teachers and their payroll system was complex, with three layers of rates teachers could be paid at.
However, he said the mistakes were not good enough.
"Talent 2 worked on that for a long time, it's a big project. The government's paid them a lot of money and they should have got that all right.
"A lot has been fixed up but not enough. So to those teachers who haven't been paid and are owed back-pay, that is unacceptable because people rely on their pay to pay their bills."
Although the prime minister said he couldn't comment on the government's contract with Talent 2 for commercial reasons, the company was likely to face a financial penalty if errors weren't resolved.
"The pressure has to come on there and there is all sorts of ways we can hold them to account. They are under no illusions from the government, and from the minister, what is expected of them."
Talent 2 is an international human resources and payroll systems company with offices all over the world. No one from the company was immediately available for comment.
I have noticed a trend in many big organisations - new "managers" come in, want to re-invent the wheel - so: out with the old, in with the latest. And, of course, the bigger the latest toy ( sorry, system) is the better - justifies having higher managerial salaries. Also, it looks good on their CVs - "successfully implemented a major system". Yeah right !
Posted by Anonymous at 15:01:59 on November 16, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 9:43:36 on November 15, 2012
Posted by Ministry of Deadwood at 7:43:06 on November 15, 2012
We need jobs in the productive sector of NZ not in talkfests.
There needs to be more emphasis on getting it right first time and not having commissions of inquiry after the fact.
There is high unemployment in the common sense sector. So, employ some common sense up front.
You will note with all these inquiries that no-one ever gets fired anyway.
Common sense would have avoided leaky homes.
Common sense would have questioned the complexity of the teacher's payroll system.
Break it down then build it back up - offline.
People that don't get it right need to be fired.
Pre-1986, public servants did not get fired and earned below average incomes. Since then they get above average - the proportion of above $300k salaries are mostly public sector/SOE/CCO yet they are less than 40% of employment. This was because their roles have been deemed more risky. So with them at risk, kick some out on the street. Don't employ more of them on inquiries.
Posted by Mike D at 10:27:21 on November 15, 2012
Posted by Donald at 12:01:40 on November 15, 2012
It is time to be more supportive of NZ industry. The Aussies are at all levels: Federal, State and business.
It would be nice to see Wellington drive a bit more patriotism but unlikely. Right now the Wellington dudes are preparing to give the institute of accountants away to the Aussies.
Posted by Steve at 10:17:15 on November 15, 2012
Article indicated this project is years late and it's still a debacle.
Posted by Anonymous at 21:07:54 on November 14, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 21:03:31 on November 14, 2012
Clearly there was no ownership lines established from the start.
Good comments above.
Penalties should have been in place prior to sign off.
There was ample time for parallel runs and a live subset.
I would suspect as I have seen before- the comment was made the prior system was tweaked gradually over time and when it comes to a wholesale change the sheer degree of complexity is not understood or remains as the elepahant in the room as people adjust to a tight budget.
Sure the pay system may be complex and could have been made less so prior to changeover. Obviously it was not, so that was the beast that had to be culled and cooked. If one looks for blame among stakeholders then maybe the unions need to look at themselves as to how they have pursued these complexities over time. Not union bashing, just saying there are multiple stakeholders that need to work on a clean solution. It actually sounds less complex in reality than INCIS as that was attempting so much against a rapidly changing technology background.
Public servants and MPs are very adept at bullet dodging - maybe they could be stunt doubles on Arnie movies.
Posted by SteveC at 11:46:22 on November 13, 2012
Posted by henareho at 10:33:19 on November 13, 2012