Novopay approved despite 147 'bugs'
Fri, 01 Feb 2013 3:48p.m.
By Lloyd Burr
The three ministers who signed off on the troubled Novopay system are under fire for ignoring red flags about problems that lay ahead.
Around 8,000 teachers have been affected to the tune of $12 million.
New documents today show Ministers Hekia Parata, Bill English and Craig Foss approved the payroll system rollout – despite warnings about 147 software errors.
Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty says it beggars belief.
“You’d think that with the number of mistakes that were identified in the tests, that some minister would actually stop and go, ‘I’m not sure if this is gonna work. Do these people actually have the capacity to do the job?’.”
The documents also catalogue a long history of problems with novopay. Two years ago provider Talent2 had a request for more Government funding turned down.
The documents were released at the request of Steven Joyce, the newly-appointed minister responsible for Novopay who launched an inquiry into the beleaguered payroll system yesterday.
Novopay launched in August last year as an all-digital replacement to the paper-oriented Datacom system.
It was meant to go live in May 2010 but numerous target and milestone failures by Talent2 delayed the introduction by more than two years.
When the system finally went live it was plagued with problems – and the total number of teachers who have been overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all stands at more than 8000.
Currently, the ministry owes teachers and education staff nearly $12 million in failed payments.
During the delays, ministry staff became increasingly frustrated at Talent2’s failure to get Novopay working.
In December 2011, the ministry refused to give Talent2 more money or de-scope the programme.
“I acknowledge that Talent2 has found it more difficult and expensive to deliver on its contractual commitments than originally estimated,” a letter from the ministry to Talent2 says.
“But this does not mean the ministry must accept a higher price or a reduced scope.
“I am very disappointed that Talent2 has failed to meet this milestone.”
The ministry put Talent2 “on notice” after they failed to meet four additional milestones and for the headache it had caused the ministry. The threat was later retracted.
When the ministry probed Talent2 about the failings, they received the answer:
“The Novopay project team had underestimated the complexity of the payroll requirements. Tasks took longer than originally anticipated.”
Other issues cited by the ministry included “significant operational, reputational and cost consequences of Talent2’s failure”.
When the Novopay system was finally tested three months before it went live, 107 software defects or “bugs” were discovered in the system.
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3/02/2013 12:50:25 p.m.
The National Party have two talents.One is to run the country on self profiting hidden agendas the other is to lie about it.
2/02/2013 11:58:15 p.m.
Incompetence, lies, and cover ups will now cost the NZ taxpayers thousands of dollars more to fix this. Another one to add on to this government's long list of costly stuff ups. When will it end?
2/02/2013 8:55:46 a.m.
The ineptitude is staggering. Signing off on the rollout, despite numerous warnings of problems, beggars belief.
This is the party that claims their business nous is why they should be trusted to run the economy. If this is how the supposed 'party of business' runs business, no wonder the economy has tanked, unemployment is at record highs, and our manufacturing sector has crashed and burned.
1/02/2013 8:17:51 p.m.
Just watched Campbell Live with the Novopay history check, followed by the Stephen Joyce interview. Looks like the ministry(or the Novopay board,whatever) got coerced by Talentless2,(threatening litigation as a 'negotiating' tactic), and they dropped the ball in May last year. Lesley Longstone recognised the Aussies were out of their depth, said so in writing and she got asked to resign late last year...? Instead of staying the decision to 'Green Light' the payroll system, the 'Govt Gonzos' in the driving seat did a 'Thelma and Louise' and drove us all over the Novopay cliff. Weak-kneed politics with devastating results. Another in a string of examples, of this admin showing a stunning lack of leadership. Save taxpayers dosh...make Talentless2 pay for the clean up,pack up and go home. Stop talking about the contingency plan and just get it happening so the teachers can go back to life the way it was before the Novopay No-brainers were ever heard of.....A S A P !
1/02/2013 7:53:52 p.m.
Just Me wrote:
Again it seems Bill English signed off a contract for the now obviously useless Novopay system.And again it seem like failing to advise JK about knowing of the GCSB on Kim Dotcom security breach he has landed himself into deep water yet again.
But still we all know this government will refuse or fail to take responsibility for its actions but will take the easy option and blame it on someone else e.g the previous Labour government.
This National government has completely lost all credibility.It has also completely destroyed the National Party as being a worthy party worth considering in any future general elections.Who would now look at this government or the National party without thinking it is has ruined itself from within by corruption and other antics?
1/02/2013 7:51:43 p.m.
One of these ministers is our deputy prime minister and head of finance. Ever wondered why our economy is not moving? These clowns never had any experience to lead a country through a bad economic patch let alone take responsibility for it. Each day there are new revelations of deceit, half truths and hidden information coming from this govt. Mr Key is quick to ask for the numbers from opposition but unable to give any numbers himself. Why does he continually get away with it reporters? One of you should have been all over this months ago.
1/02/2013 6:47:32 p.m.
Key needs to show his guts and integrity and sack the three silly bumblers, English, Parata and Floss immediately.
1/02/2013 4:59:50 p.m.
Will Ministers heads roll? I doubt it JK will have some one liner and allow these three to blunder on. I wonder if they would think it to be important if they were not getting paid correctly? How would they feel then? We have Nat Standards that are not norm referenced being touted as fantastic. This government is just incompetent and their spin doctors can make even a disaster seem fantastic.
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