Novopay upgrade due this weekend

The first software upgrade of the troubled Novopay system will be rolled out this weekend.

It comes as the first report from external auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) shows payments to school staff on February 6 attracted complaints or notifications from 2.2 per cent of all staff across the country.

Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce asked PWC to look into pay round 23 after acknowledging he could not rely on the the Ministry of Education's information.

The first PWC report, released today, shows 74,373 school staff were paid a total of $143.87 million.

Of those, 552 staff were not paid, 521 were overpaid and 589 underpaid. The affected staff were from 628 schools around the country.

Mr Joyce said all complaints received had been resolved or were being worked through.

PWC is preparing a similar report for pay period 24, which was paid on Wednesday, to be released next week.

The period was a larger payroll than the previous period, with 78,351 staff paid a total of $160.3m.

Mr Joyce said early indications showed there was a similar level of issues to that of the previous period.

Meanwhile, Novopay developer Talent2 will release the first of three planned software upgrades this weekend.

The upgrade comes after Cabinet agreed to set aside $5m for a remediation plan for the troubled payroll system, in addition to the $200,000 price tag for a technical audit and $500,000 for a ministerial inquiry.

The $5m would cover work on fixing bugs in Novopay and boosting the numbers of call centre and data processing staff.

"This is the first of three planned releases in February, March, and April as part of the remediation plan which are designed to address the most significant bugs in the system," Mr Joyce said.

"The first will address some of the known calculation errors as well as some of the reports that are necessary for end of year audits."

Mr Joyce met lead technical reviewer Murray Jack yesterday and was expecting a draft technical report on the system later next week.

Further updates on the remediation work were also expected next week.

Ministry of Education officials yesterday met with a range of sector groups to discuss issues including extra support for schools while the pay system is remediated, or moving to a backup option if necessary.

Mr Joyce said he intended to finalise arrangements and decisions on progressing the pay system so there was a clear path forward.

"I appreciate the ongoing issues with Novopay are hugely frustrating for the school sector and I want to thank administrators and other staff for their patience and hard work.

"I want to assure them that everything is being done to remedy the situation as quickly as possible but the reality is the issues remain complex and will take some time to resolve."

 

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