Auditor-general asked to investigate Novopay problems

The Office of the Auditor-general has been asked to conduct an independent investigation into Novopay to identify ''the inherent technological problems'' which are plaguing the payroll system.

A letter, sent by New Zealand Principals' Federation president Paul Drummond, said school principals were very concerned about the continual and compounding issues surrounding the Novopay system, and despite repeated assurances by the Ministry of Education and the contractor, Talent2, they were increasingly sceptical the system could deliver an efficient and reliable system for the education sector.

''Many of the historical errors from previous pay periods cannot be reconciled until the system itself is stable and working,'' the letter said.

''We believe that the magnitude of Novopay's problems is not fully understood; nor is the extent of the consequences which impact on staff and schools.

"The New Zealand Principals' Federation calls on you to conduct an independent investigation into the Novopay payroll system to identify the inherent technological problems which are constantly creating over-payments, underpayments and no-payments for school staff throughout the country.''

The letter said the random nature of so many of the errors was some indication of the seriousness of the system's inherent dysfunction.

''A review of Novopay has been indicated for the future, but there is now urgency as the Novopay problems are escalating and old issues compounding.''

Enclosed with the letter was one school's report of its issues with Novopay.

The federation also sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key, asking him to support its call for an independent investigation.

Neither Mr Key, the Office of the Auditor-general or the Ministry of Education were available for comment.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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