Debt collectors could return for school staff

  • 12/11/2015
Minister responsible for Novoypay, Steven Joyce (File)
Minister responsible for Novoypay, Steven Joyce (File)

The Government is preparing to again call in debt collectors to chase school staff who were overpaid during the Novopay crisis.

The minister responsible for the system, Steven Joyce, says $1.8 million is still owed by 1960 people who haven't made any arrangements to pay it back.

The use of debt collectors was suspended in March 2013 and Mr Joyce says the vast majority of those who had been overpaid were happy to work out repayment arrangements.

He says more than 80 percent of overpayments have been fully repaid, $22.7m, and arrangements for repayments cover $1.9m.

"The payroll system has been working properly for some time," he said today.

"It's now sensible to look at how we're managing outstanding overpayments where there is no arrangement to repay in place."

He says people with outstanding debts will be given the opportunity to make repayment arrangements and ask questions before they're referred to a collection agency.

The new payment system, designed by an Australian company, was introduced in August 2012 and created huge problems.

Thousands of school staff were underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all.

The chaos continued for many months, and in October last year the Ministry of Education took it over.

Mr Joyce says the error rate is now below 0.25 percent, less than half the 0.5 percent acceptable error rate.