Novopay to stay – for now

May 7th, 2013 at 1:35 pm by David Farrar

has announced:

Minister Responsible for Steven Joyce today announced that Talent2 will continue to administer the school payroll – but that the long-term future of the system will stay under review.

“The decision to stay with Novopay at this point was made very carefully after a great deal of consideration and weighing up of all the risks,” Mr Joyce says.

“The improvements we have seen in delivering school pay from pay period to pay period and the progress to date in clearing bugs, means it wouldn’t be sensible to make a change at this point.  Making a change now would increase the work for payroll administrators in the short-term during the cut-over from where we stand today, not decrease it.

“Three out of the last four pay periods have had a reported error rate of less than 0.5 per cent – which we have been advised by our independent technical reviewers is a reasonable error rate for a stable system. However, that is not to say that we are out of the woods yet or endorsing the current state of the pay system.

The error rate for the last pay round was 0.26%, which is well below what the previous system even had.

“The only other realistic option at this point was to switch back to the old Datacom system and then upgrade again later to a new Datacom system.  That would mean substantial additional work and two further changes for school administrators.  We would do that if required, but it is not a step to be taken lightly.

“You can’t just switch a complex $4.4 billion a year payroll that pays around 90,000 people every fortnight without creating more issues – no matter which system you are using.

“A go or no-go decision had to be made at this point because the current Datacom backup proposal is time-sensitive, and has now reached the point where it will have to be re-worked for them to be able to assist.

Datacom have made it clear they remain ready to assist if they are required at any further stage. I appreciate that, and may call on them again at any time. I thank them for all their work and assistance to date.”

Mr Joyce says the focus for the next two months will continue to be on the Novopay system remediation in which progress will continue to be monitored on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

“Staff from the Ministry, Talent 2, and schools are working hard on the remediation.  I appreciate all their efforts as we work towards a business-as-usual state,” Mr Joyce says.

The next key milestones are the Novopay Ministerial Inquiry, which is due to be presented to the Government at the end of this month, and the review of progress in the Remediation Plan at the end of June.

The report of the inquiry was be very interesting I suspect.

Tags: ,

18 Responses to “Novopay to stay – for now”

  1. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    I’ve been told that datacom want the payroll back like they want a hole in the head.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    The other factor being of course that you’ve got one provider to whom you’re charging penalties, while if you switched you’d be paying a premium since they know full well you’ve got no other options.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Harriet (4,527 comments) says:

    QLD Health have over 70,000 employees and their system overpaid staff by more than a billion dollars – and then they couldn’t work out who got what. As far as I know, next to no one has ever paid anything back. The union defends them of course.

    That WAS the last straw for QLDers and Anna Bligh’s ALP got thrown out and kept just 7 seats.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Jack5 (4,595 comments) says:

    Steven Joyce should take advice from John Key on how to cut a loss. Key didn’t make tens of millions in currency trading without being good at cutting losing positions.

    How hard is it to create a pay system? There have been successful pay software systems around for 40 or 50 years.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Cunningham (821 comments) says:

    “The error rate for the last pay round was 0.26%, which is well below what the previous system even had.”

    Why can’t the bloody MSM put this in the article? We are seriously let down by the media in this country. They can’t even put in basic relevant details such as this because it might not support their aim of skewing the story as much as they can.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Kelly (24 comments) says:

    Well Im just glad that someone has the “balls” to make a decision instead of fobbing it off. It only makes sense to stick with the system especially now that it is showing improvement. Unfortunately this should have been done long ago but hey should of, would of, could of…

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Rightandleft (638 comments) says:

    Those error rates have absolutely no basis in reality. They are only the rate of errors reported by schools to Novopay. We know that many teachers are either unaware of the errors to their pay (money was deducted for Kiwisaver etc but didn’t actually get paid into their accounts), or they don’t report the errors to their payroll officer. PPTA has found that half of the schools we surveyed had not even reported all the errors reported to them by teachers to Novopay. Our regular surveys of members are turning up much higher rates of incorrect payment than Joyce is reporting. I know at my school the midpayment rate is closer to 5%, not less than 1%. This is far worse than it ever was under Datacom. Novopay seems fatally flawed to me and I’m stunned they’re sticking with it. I really thought Joyce was the man who got things done and he’d see the sense in cutting his losses at this point. This issue will remain a thorn in the side of the Government for a long time to come.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. bringbackdemocracy (394 comments) says:

    Would the decision be different if Banks wasn’t involved with talent 2?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Sponge (147 comments) says:

    @Rightandleft

    Only because the left are trying to use it as a stick to beat the government with. This system is not far worse than Datapay – my wife never got paid correctly under Datapay ever – not once. Since Novopay she has at least had most of her pays correct.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. hmmokrightitis (1,514 comments) says:

    scrubone, completely. Datacom have been playing ball because they have so much other gubbermint work in play.

    Payroll systems are the hardest solutions to get right, bar none. Hate the fucking things.

    But what still hasn’t come out is the data quality issues from schools to NovaPay, which is now the major remaining issue. Persisted under the legacy DataCom solution, but because the support team had been around for a few years, they made the adjustments when they saw errors coming from the schools.

    NovaPay support team don’t have those relationships and can’t make those changes, hence, issues. Joyce isn’t going to come out now and tell teachers and principals and admin people that the quality ball is in their court is he?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. symgardiner (11 comments) says:

    Please get your facts straight. 0.26% is not as low as the previous system achieved.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. hmmokrightitis (1,514 comments) says:

    0.4 is the global benchmark symg, given the system isn’t 12 months old yet, it’s actually not too bad…

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. symgardiner (11 comments) says:

    Not what I am saying hmmokrightitis. I’m saying the previous system was lower than 0.26%.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. hmmokrightitis (1,514 comments) says:

    And what did it achieve in its first 12 months symg, or does that not suit your argument. Before you answer you should know I know DataCom and payroll systems reasonable well :)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. HB (288 comments) says:

    The error rate is far higher as most errors are not being included in this calculation.

    There are many teachers at the school I teach at (including myself) who haven’t had a correct pay ALL year.

    I am owed quite a lot.

    BTW stop blaming teachers for the errors. We don’t have anything to do with any of it. We aren’t even allowed to phone or email anyone about our pay. Admin staff at school do it all. The ones at school say that the data they enter is changed after being submitted. They have proof of this. So don’t blame them either.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. pidge (53 comments) says:

    I’m sceptical of the 0.26%, given the nature of the errors previously reported. Or is that 0.26% the error rate of the software, discounting GIGO due to the data entry issues from the Schools?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. symgardiner (11 comments) says:

    hmmokrightitis… in the first 12 months of the Datacom run payroll it was appalling.
    However that’s not what was said in the article nor what I said. The Datacom payroll achieved error rates lower than 0.26% in many pay periods.
    Please note… I’m not trying to start an argument. I’m just correcting a fact.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. hmmokrightitis (1,514 comments) says:

    HB, Ive heard the ‘most errors not being logged’ argument as well. Simple question: Why? If they aren’t being logged, are they an error? How can an error be corrected if its not logged?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.