Postponed $62 million pay project under way

Schools payroll system to be delivered by Australia's Talent2 and NZ's Fronde

Australian HR and payroll outsourcer Talent2 will this month begin implementing a $62 million, 110,000-user schools payroll system for the Ministry of Education, a system originally scheduled to be completed this year.

The project has been in the pipeline since 2005, when Fronde (then called Synergy) and Talent2 were selected to provide the system. It was to have been implemented over 2007 and 2008, replacing one currently in use and provided by Datacom.

“In 2005 a new payroll system was needed because the existing one was expected to become increasingly unsupported in the near future,” says Kevin Wilson, resourcing senior manager at the ministry.

However, in late 2005, an independent review highlighted a major change in the environment, Wilson says. It was discovered that support extensions were available on key components of the Datacom system, which meant that the ministry could continue to use it for a further four years.

“That gave us considerable breathing space,” he says.

With the support extensions in place, the system changeover was postponed until 2010.

From then, Talent2 will “provide the payroll service, with a new service desk, pay clerking service, technology systems and management processes,” according to a media release from the ministry last month.

Talent2 will establish facilities in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to deliver the new system.

Fronde will be involved with the new system, Wilson says. “Fronde will play an integral part and work with Talent2 to provide the hosting services from their Wellington facilities,” he says.

Until the new system goes live, “we are working with Datacom to increase the quality of the current service and to meet new needs”, Wilson is quoted as saying in the ministry release.

Enhancements to the current system are being actively pursued in two key areas, website information and online entry of payroll data, he says.

“Schools will receive a higher quality service over the next two years and can look forward to a significantly improved payroll from 2010,” he says.

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