Novopay to stay – for now

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.

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