The Australian company that provided the troubled Novopay teachers’ payroll system, Talent2, says in a media statement that it is confident the next payment period, paid on November 28, “will be delivered on time and within the standard expectations”.
“We acknowledge there will still be outstanding issues but we are committed to and seeing continuous improvement,” says group CEO John Rawlinson.
In what is essentially a lengthy mea culpa, Talent2 apologises for what it terms the inconvenience that payment disruptions and inaccuracies have had.
“Talent2, together with the ministry, have been working around the clock to resolve the issues surrounding this complex transaction, and we are both dedicated to providing extra support as required,” Rawlinson says.
All schools were being contacted from last Monday, and a specialist team from the ministry and Talent2 was calling every school to ensure they are supported at the year end and to get a full understanding of any other issues.
The solution pays around 100,000 education staff, and is managed by more than 150 Talent2 staff, supported by five local organisations, out of two delivery centres, in Christchurch and Wellington.
Rawlinson says that given the size and complexity of the implementation, there were inevitable teething issues during the transition period.
“For a payroll of this complexity, it is not unusual for a very small percentage of those being paid to have issues with their pay,” he says. “Nevertheless, Talent2 is confident the project is on track to efficiently and securely process future transactions and ensure staff are paid correctly, on time and with their personal details protected.”
He says Talent2 will provide further updates through the release of statements when appropriate.
In a Q and A attachment to the media statement, Talent2 responds to “what exactly are the errors and what caused them?”
The answer: “This is a complex implementation, certainly the largest payroll project in New Zealand, so it is natural for there to be some transition issues. The problems have come from some human errors in the pay centres, some technical problems and what would be considered normal change-related difficulties for users.
“There was significant training and support for the transition, and we are re-examining some of the content with the ministry to improve the effectiveness.
“For a payroll of this complexity, it is not unusual for a very small percentage of those being paid to have issues with their pay as per standard industry benchmarks.”
Talent2 says it has been silent about the issues till now because it was legally constrained by a contractual clause from making any public comment on the project’s status. This clause has been revoked.