Big push on for end of year/start of year in Novopay

Press Release – New Zealand Government

The Government is putting an extra $6 million into technical support and training to ensure the end of year/start of year process in the school payroll runs smoothly.Hon Steven Joyce

Minister Responsible for Novopay

18 September 2013 Media Statement       

Big push on for end of year/start of year in Novopay

The Government is putting an extra $6 million into technical support and training to ensure the end of year/start of year process in the school payroll runs smoothly.

“The end of year/start of year is the most complex annual process in the school payroll and will be a significant test of the improved performance of Novopay,” Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce says.

“The end of year/start of year caused a large number of the issues for schools in December last year and January and February this year. To ensure a much better result this year, Ministers have agreed to put in an additional $5 million towards fixing outstanding technical issues plus $1 million for comprehensive end of year/start of year system training for Novopay support staff and school payroll administrators.

“The $5 million is being used to resolve a further 90 key bugs plus complete other software improvements that relate to both the end of year/start of year processes and the recording of leave balances.

“Meanwhile 85 regional payroll specialists and nine payroll advisors that have been put in place to assist administrators with the end of year/start of year process, and additional face to face training is available for those schools that need it.”

The extra end of year/start of year funding comes from the $8 million contingency set aside in Budget 2013 to ensure the stability of the payroll system. The $6 million in extra funding will be included in the contractual discussions the Education Ministry will have with Talent2 once the system is stable, on payments for additional costs that have been incurred since Novopay went live a year ago.

Mr Joyce says while fortnight to fortnight pay has now been stable for the last six months, work to clear the remaining backlog of overpayments, leave balances issues and system bugs continues.

“We have largely cleared the backlog of 12,000 pay instructions; reduced the number of ‘very serious’ system bugs from 60 to six; and, earlier this month, completed the first full software system upgrade to correct remaining tax issues,” Mr Joyce says.

“However, while outstanding overpayments have fallen from around 15,000 to 2600 and between 800-1000 are now being cleared each week,  there are still around 5000 leave balances that need to be recorded correctly in the system and a total of around 325 outstanding bugs logged in the system.

“Leave tickets are complex and often have multiple issues which make them harder to resolve quickly. The Education Ministry and Talent 2 are shifting in additional resources to speed up the resolution of outstanding leave issues.”

Mr Joyce says longer term, and following on from the recommendation of the Ministerial Inquiry, work also needed to be done to examine the school payroll service delivery model to make sure it was sustainable and affordable.

“While good progress has been made in remediating Novopay, there is still a lot to do in the months ahead to maintain the stability that has been achieved and ensure the payroll system performs to expectations,” Mr Joyce says.

ENDS

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