Secret pay fix reveals glitch

19:00, Nov 09 2012

Action being taken to prevent a repeat of Novopay's security breach is being welcomed by a Manawatu principal.

Opiki School's Bede Gilmore was left fuming earlier this week when he discovered a staff member at another school had changed the pay details of one of his teachers.

The Opiki staff member was regularly receiving the incorrect pay, and complaints to the troubled Novopay payroll system had not fixed the issue so they contacted their former employer, who was able to change their pay details at her new job.

Novopay business owner Rebecca Elvy said the error should not have been allowed to happen.

"The incident was not a security breach in the sense that no individual's privacy was breached. The incident did not involve, for example, someone having access to another person's pay details.

"It was, however, a security breach in the sense that only a school's authorised payroll administrator should authorise transactions for that school. This didn't happen in this case.


"We are following this up with the schools concerned. Payroll administrators should only ever authorise transactions for the school or schools where they are employed as administrators, and should never do so on behalf of other schools.

Ms Elvy said the Ministry of Education would make sure stronger checks on this were in place at the Novopay service centre.

"We'll also make sure that administrators themselves are clear that they cannot authorise transactions for schools other than their own."

Mr Gilmore said it from conversations he had had with Novopay and the ministry it sounded like the matter had been resolved. He said he was satisfied with the outcome.

"Someone's made a mistake and it's been fixed up."

Mr Gilmore said it appeared some requests sent to Novopay were not being double checked. "It's resolved, if it doesn't happen again, that's good."

The Novopay system has been plagued with issues across the country. In Manawatu several schools have raised concerns that staff were being overpaid, underpaid and, in some cases, not paid at all.

Earlier this month it was revealed an Apiti School teacher who had returned the $39,000 she was overpaid in August had not been paid since.

A principal at another Manawatu school went unpaid for two months.

Manawatu Standard