Government wants NovoPay overpayments back

The Government is shifting its focus in the Novopay payroll debacle to recovering more than $10m in overpayments to about 12,500 school staff.

The Government is also kicking in another $6m to pay for technical support and training for Novopay support staff and school payroll administrators. 

The Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce said the entire backlog of about 15,000 outstanding overpayments since Novopay went live last year had been calculated.

"Completing the calculation and processing of overpayments is a significant step in the remediation work underway to clear the backlog of issues with Novopay," he said.

"The 15,149 overpayments are worth a total of $13.6m. This compares with about $2.5m of overpayments per year pre-Novopay. Of the $13.6m, $3.1m has so far been repaid and $62,000 has been written off." 

The write-offs cover overpayments worth less than $100.

That left about $10.4m that needs to be recovered. 

"Of that, $3.4m is for amounts owing in which around 6000 school staff have already been notified, and 6500 letters seeking repayment for the remaining $7m are in the process of being sent out," Joyce said.

Another 954 initially notified as overpayments were still being investigated.

"We realise this is an inconvenience for thousands of people through no fault of their own. While the money was overpaid in error; it does need to be repaid," Joyce said.

Joyce said there was no plan at this stage to lift a suspension on using debt collectors.

While the backlog of outstanding overpayments had been calculated, clearing the backlog of leave, which consisted of about 5000 leave balances, also remained a priority.

The Education Ministry and Talent2 had put in significant extra resources to ensure all outstanding leave issues were resolved before end of year processing began.

"Substantial effort and resources are also going into ensuring the challenging end of year/start of year process, which caused a large number of the issues for schools last year and earlier this year, runs smoothly."

Joyce also released reports on complaints and notifications covering pay periods 13, 14 and 15.

In pay period 13 complaints and notifications were received regarding 0.15 per cent of staff across the country from 108 schools.

Pay period 14 saw notices regarding 0.18 per cent of staff rom 133 schools and pay period 15 0.21 per cent of staff from 118 schools.

The Dominion Post