11 Mar 2013

More staff for unit dealing with Novopay problems

8:29 am on 11 March 2013

The Government expects it will take about three months for a specialist team to clear the backlog of problems with the Novopay school payroll system.

Staffing has been boosted from 40 to 100 at the unit which begins work on Monday making salary assessments and correcting previous pay errors in the beleaguered system.

Severe problems have plagued Novopay since it was introduced in August 2012 with many teachers being paid the wrong amounts or not paid at all.

The minister responsible for Novopay, Steven Joyce, told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme it is not going to be an easy exercise.

He said it was likely to be three months before they reach the point where Novopay is no longer adding to administrators' workloads.

Mr Joyce said the promise of a smoothly running payroll will take significantly longer.

Datacom presents teacher payroll proposal to Govt

The Government is seriously considering a proposal from Datacom to bring back the old software system for paying teachers.

Mr Joyce said he met Datacom representatives last week and officials are now evaluating their proposal.

He told TVNZ's Q+A programme on Sunday he has a draft of a technical review of Novopay and is now waiting for a similar review of Datacom's plan.

He believes Datacom would be ready to step in if the Government decided to abandon Novopay, but this would in turn create new problems.

"The reality is they (Datacom) would still have to deal with the backlog and they'd also have to take teachers back to the old system which would then have to be upgraded down the line."

Mr Joyce said a decision will be made either this week or next week on whether to stick with Novopay, developed by Australian firm Talent2, or return to the old system.