FutureFive NZ - Novopay lifts performance ahead of improvements

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Novopay lifts performance ahead of improvements

Reports from the latest Novopay pay periods show that its performance is within the 0.5% acceptable steady state error rate, as defined by the Novopay technical review, says Steven Joyce, Minister Responsible for Novopay. These results, from the first two pay periods of the new financial year, compare favourably with the same periods last year.

In Pay Period 1 (paid 2 April), a total of $176.52 million was paid to 88,944 people. Complaints and notifications were reported for 0.15% of staff; 35 staff were notified as not paid, 49 were overpaid, and 51 underpaid. Staff were from 106 schools (4.38% of schools in the payroll system).

In Pay Period 2 (paid 16 April), a total of $177.07 million was paid to 89,624 people. Complaints and notifications were reported for 0.09% of staff; 13 staff were notified as not paid, 30 were overpaid, and 40 underpaid. Staff were from 76 schools (3.14% of schools in the payroll system).

“Out of the last 26 pay periods, three have been above the acceptable error rate,” Joyce says. “These three pay periods (23, 24, and 25) were part of the busy start-of-year process that has historically caused problems due to the high number of transactions that need to be processed.”

While the Novopay system settles into a more consistent and steady state performance following the start-of-the-year period, further work continues in several key areas.

“We've listened to what school payroll administrators, principals and sector leaders have been saying about the service centre and its performance – especially during the start of the year – and we’re using their feedback to shape how we improve it,” Joyce says.

Another priority is the collection of outstanding overpayments. Since Novopay was introduced there have been 17,374 overpayments worth $18.3 million. However, $9.4 million has been repaid, with around $1 million currently being repaid per month. A further $156,000 has been written off due to each debt being under $100. The Education Ministry is continuing its work with employees to recover the overpayments.

Feedback from the sector and schools is also being used to improve processes around the school accounts.

“The Ministry introduced changes this year that aimed to improve the accuracy of the data schools receive to complete their annual accounts,” Joyce says. “Last year there was some very significant Novopay-related errors.”

“We appreciate that schools have been frustrated by some delays in receiving this information. The Ministry has apologised to them and has provided additional support to help them work through this process.”

Issues with leave balances that need resolving number 3900, reduced from 5000 in November 2013. Good progress has been made on clearing bugs, with 235 outstanding bugs (two of which are Category Two), down from 613 outstanding bugs (60 Category Two) at the end of February 2013.

Improvements to the readability of payslips and regular administrative reports, and a project to reduce the complexity of the payroll system, are planned in the next few months.

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