$560,000 to cover Novopay errors

KATE CHAPMAN
Last updated 18:47 07/01/2013

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Schools have paid out more than $560,000 to cover mistakes made by the embattled Novopay system, new figures reveal.

More than 580 people were paid by schools they did not work for, 7899 people were underpaid or not paid at all and 6000 people were overpaid.

Schools advanced $560,000 to cover mistakes.

Labour MP Chris Hipkins received the figures after complaining to Speaker Lockwood Smith.

Hipkins said the numbers were likely higher but many schools were too busy teaching kids to report faults to the Education Ministry.

"Novopay was signed off by Education Minister Hekia Parata and [Associate Education Minister] Craig Foss before it was ready.  The botched system is expected to cost tax payers $189.5 million over 10 years. For that kind of coin Kiwis expect excellence."

Those trying to contact the Novopay service centre to report mistakes were forced to wait up to an hour and a half and 15,000 calls were unanswered or abandoned.

A Ministry of Education spokesperson said they were listening carefully to feedback on the system.

‘‘We understand the frustration being expressed by some principals and their staff and we thank them for all the work they have been doing and ask them to continue working with us to make sure we get this right.’’

The vast majority of staff were being paid correctly, but the Ministry was working with the system’s provider, Talent2, to address any issues.

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