17 Jul 2013
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Novopay still bugging teachers

By Rebecca Wood

Positive progress has been made in resolving outstanding issues with Novopay under the Remediation Plan – but the system is not out of the woods yet, according to the minister responsible for Novopay, Steven Joyce.

The Remediation Plan was established in February this year with Cabinet agreeing to put aside up to $5 million to help deliver stable pay periods, clear the backlog of outstanding pay issues through the Backlog Clearance Unit (BCU), and resolve system bugs and defects.

Progress has been made in three areas: processing of pay; fixing bugs; and clearing the backlog of pay instructions.

Pay periods are now stable and are currently performing as expected, and the backlog of 12,000 pay instructions has been almost completely cleared.

“We have also made progress in fixing bugs,” says Joyce. “At the end of February there were 613 outstanding bugs of which 60 were classified as Category Two, or ‘very serious’. The Technical Review identified that we should have fewer than 10 Category Two bugs by the end of June and we have achieved that with eight Category Two ones remaining out of a total of around 316 bugs.”

However, despite improvements to Novopay functions that impact directly on fortnightly pay, there are three other areas that still need significant further work – leave balances, clearing overpayments, and resolving outstanding tax issues.

“There will be bug fixes and some remedial data entry to resolve the leave issues. We will step up efforts to clear the backlog of overpayments, introduce an upgrade to the Novopay software in mid-August to ensure tax on back payments is calculated correctly, and put in place more bug clearances – including those related to the end of year/start of year process.”

Joyce says alongside the remediation work, the Education Ministry is finalising the project to improve the online functionality of Novopay for schools.

“In addition, regional support initiatives are being rolled out, starting in the South Island. Recruiting has begun for a network of Education payroll advisors who will be available to offer expert advice to schools.

“While the Ministry and Talent2 have made significant progress with Novopay over the last five months, further remediation and effort is required to resolve outstanding issues. We are not out of the woods yet – there are a number of things that could still go wrong, and there continues to be issues that need to be solved. Our focus continues to be on ensuring the system performs better for school payroll administrators and staff,” Joyce says

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