Novopay inquiry head named

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 16:27 04/02/2013
Sir Maarten Wevers
ROSS GIBLIN/ Fairfax NZ
MAN FOR THE JOB: Sir Maarten Wevers will head the inquiry into the Novopay debacle.

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Sir Maarten Wevers, the former boss of the Department of the Prime Minister is to head a Ministerial Inquiry into the botched handling of Novopay education payroll system.

Steven Joyce, who now has ministerial responsibility for Novopay announced that Sir Martin would head the $500,000 inquiry along with Murray Jack, chairman of Deloitte in New Zealand.

“Sir Maarten is a highly experienced and well respected former member of the public service.

‘‘He has wide public recognition with a strong reputation for independence, trust and integrity, which make him an ideal person to be involved in this Ministerial Inquiry,’’ Joyce said in a statement.

Jack is also involved in a technical audit of Novopay, which has been hit by a string of technical errors and was almost abandoned before its launch.

He recently headed the review of security breaches in the Ministry of Social Development’s self-service kiosks.

‘‘It makes practical sense for him to be involved in both the Technical Review and the Ministerial Inquiry,’’ Joyce said.

Joyce estimated the inquiry would cost around $500,000 and would be funded within existing Education Ministry budgets.

“The Ministerial Inquiry will be a comprehensive fact-finding investigation into all aspects of the Novopay project from the outset to the present day,’’ Joyce said.

The technical review is set to be completed within a month while the inquiry should be completed before the end of May.

“It is important that lessons are learned from the issues with Novopay. Following the Ministerial Inquiry I will ask the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to work with Treasury, the State Services Commission and the Government Chief Information Officer to provide Cabinet with advice about contracting arrangements in the wider State Sector,” Joyce said.

“While we are putting in place new measures to address the issues with Novopay, the reality is those issues remain very complex and will take some time to resolve.

‘‘I appreciate how frustrating and time consuming this is for school administrators, principals, teachers and other staff. The Government is doing everything it can to resolve the issues as quickly as possible,” Joyce said.

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