Govt spent more than $1m on consultants for Novopay system

It has been revealed that the Government has spent over $1 million on the Novopay system. Photo / APN
It has been revealed that the Government has spent over $1 million on the Novopay system. Photo / APN

The Government has spent more than $1 million on consultants as part of the switch over to Novopay including $650,000 on testing of the payroll system; but ignored the results, Labour says.

Information obtained by the Labour Party shows the Ministry of Education spent $650,000 on "user acceptance testing," which showed nearly half of 731 trial-users felt they were ready for the system to go live.

Labour's acting education spokesman Chris Hipkins said teachers had put up with four months of botched paydays with the Novopay payroll, and today's end-of-year pay was expected to have more errors and failures.

He said it was crazy for the ministry to request testing and then ignore the results.

"The Government has poured $30 million into Novopay so far. That's a hell of a lot of taxpayer's money. You would have thought that the ministers in charge might have taken their responsibilities more seriously, and at least looked at the testing they shelled out more than half-a-million dollars on."

Mr Hipkins said Novopay had been an embarrassing and expensive failure.

News of the shock resignation of secretary for education Lesley Longstone came yesterday and calls for Education Minister Hekia Parata to also stand down have come from opposition parties.

In November Ms Longstone admitted she would have rolled out the Novopay school payroll system differently if she could turn back the clock.

"If I were to do it again, I would probably do it completely and totally differently," she told the education and science select committee.

Ms Longstone announced in November that Novopay would be independently reviewed after ongoing errors in paying school staff.

The review, be carried out next year, would look at why there were problems with Novopay when it went live, why Talent2 and the ministry weren't ready for the problems, and what could be done differently.

- APNZ

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