8 Jan 2013

Novopay omnishambles costs $500,000 - MP

7:09 pm on 8 January 2013

The Labour Party says the Government must look at alternatives to the education payroll system, Novopay, if it is ever going get school pays working properly.

Labour has released a response from the Associate Education Minister, Craig Foss, which shows thousands of people have been incorrectly paid since Novopay was introduced last year.

The Labour Party has released figures which it says show schools have paid out more than half a million dollars to cover Novopay mistakes.

The Labour Party first lodged questions in the house in October last year, but was not given a response until 21 December, after the Speaker intervened last month.

Labour's acting education spokesperson, Chris Hipkins, says the Government has been forced to release embarrassing details about the botched Novopay system following intervention from Parliament's Speaker.

The information released by associate education minister Craig Foss shows 581 people have been paid on behalf of schools - even though they don't work at those schools - and $560,000 has been advanced by schools to pay staff who weren't paid.

Mr Hipkins says the figures also show 7899 people have been underpaid or not paid at all, more than 6000 have been overpaid and only 281 manual payments to correct faults have been processed.

He says people trying to get through to the Novopay service centre are waiting up to an hour-and-a-half, with 15,000 calls going unanswered or being abandoned altogether.