Back-patting from Novopay minister

Last updated 17:33 17/01/2014

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Backs are being patted all round as the Novopay school payroll service starts 2014 in much better shape than it was in a year ago.

Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce said improvements in the system were "tributes to the hard work done by school administrators and Novopay staff and contractors".

As signs of progress, he pointed to a low error rate for the end-of-year process, and the fact that 100 per cent of school payroll administrators entered their data within the required time frame for the process.

For pay period 20, paid on December 21, complaints and notifications were received regarding 0.34 per cent of staff across the country - 25 staff were notified as not paid, 99 were overpaid, and 138 underpaid. Affected staff were from 166 schools or 6.77 per cent of schools in the payroll system.

For pay period 21, paid on January 8, complaints and notifications were received regarding 0.25 per cent of staff across the country - 32 staff were notified as not paid, 54 were overpaid, and 61 underpaid. Affected staff were from 92 schools or 3.71 per cent of schools in the payroll system.

"End of year is a very busy time with considerable administrative changes needing to be made," Joyce said.

"The education payroll is like no other in the country in terms of the complexity of this work and the 2012/13 end-of-year process was when many errors occurred and problems with the new system were highlighted."

Schools and the Novopay team were also making good progress with the start-of-year process. Two-thirds of schools completed their start-of-year process before Christmas, and that number had since increased to 95 per cent, Joyce said.

"While Novopay has passed one of its biggest tests, more work needs to be done and is being done. This includes completing the start-of-year process, upgrading parts of the system that record length of service and completing outstanding work on leave balances.

"Meanwhile, work to collect past overpayments continues."

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- Fairfax Media

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