Minister Responsible for Novopay 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 Novopay Remediation plan has a long way to run – in particular the level of the backlog and the slower than targeted progress in clearing it to date. This is something that remains very frustrating for schools and for staff who have unresolved issues. However, it is important to note that this work has to be done regardless, and a further change in system would definitely divert staff from the backlog clearance task.
“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.
“At that point we will reassess progress and start assessing what further changes may be needed to the delivery of school payroll in the medium term. These are likely to include alterations to the service delivery model and options to revise the business processes of the school payroll to reduce the complexity in the system,” Mr Joyce says.
“The focus of the Government is to make sure school payroll returns to business as usual as quickly as possible. Progress is being made but there is still more work to be done to ensure the on-going stability of the system.”
The Datacom payroll proposal is available at: