Novopay overpayments tough to reclaim

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 05:00 21/12/2012

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Schools face an impossible task recovering money the botched Novopay system has paid to staff who are no longer on their books, the Principals' Federation says.

The Education Ministry released its final report for the year yesterday, telling schools what payments will be arriving in staff accounts today.

A spokeswoman said there would be fewer problems than in the last pay cycle - a claim that was disputed by federation president Paul Drummond.

He said school budgets were being put under pressure by repeated botched payments, and some schools faced being unable to recover overpayments from staff who had not worked for them in months, and were no longer in contact.

Mr Dummond also questioned how schools would be compensated for tax paid on each wrong payment. He urged the ministry to consider either reinstating the past provider, Datacom, or introducing a new one.

There was no indication that Novopay was getting better, and 97 per cent of principals lacked confidence in the system, he said.

The ministry spokeswoman said financial penalties had already been applied to contractor Talent 2. She refused to say if there was a threshold for the number of targets that could be missed before another provider was sought.

"We can confirm that there are fewer issues than the last pay cycle. However, there are some overpayments we are dealing with."

Sacred Heart principal Lisl Prendergast had spotted new errors in this week's pay cycle, but it was slightly better than in the past.

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- The Dominion Post

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