Schools still beset by Novopay problems

  • Breaking
  • 28/11/2012

By Tova O’Brien

It could take more than a year to iron out all the kinks in the error-ridden Novopay payroll system.

Last night teachers and education staff were paid for the eighth time under the new system, and although things seem to have gone smoother there are still hundreds, and possibly thousands, of problems.

Belmont Intermediate principal Justin Sommerville is feeling swamped by the Novopay errors. He was told things would be better by now – but after last night's pay cycle he's still dealing with nine problems.

“The reality is it hasn't been sorted out, things are not changing, we still have unresolved issues and we have new issues,” says Mr Sommerville.

The system was adopted under the watch of Ministry of Education boss Lesley Longstone, who admitted to MPs today that she should've done better.

“If I were to do it again I would probably do it completely and totally differently,” she says.

What exactly she would do differently she couldn't say, but that will be the subject of an independent review next year.

In the meantime, Associate Education Minister Craig Foss says work will continue.

“Progress is still being made, we're still not there yet, and the heat’s still on everyone involved,” he says.

Calls to education unions haven't dropped off, and there are still 800 queries or complaints unanswered by the ministry.

Teachers and staff should brace themselves for more glitches as with three months down, Ms Longstone says there are still nine to go until all parts of the system are put to the test.

“There are different bits of the system that are used at different parts of the year so it will take a full year to go through the different parts of the system,” she says.

Novopay operator Talent2 will be fined by the ministry for failing to live up to expectations.

The amount of the fine is confidential but the money will just be fed back into the system, which is already set to cost the Government $100 million.

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