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A solution to the Novopay fiasco

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, November 30th, 2012 - 33 comments
Categories: national, schools, wages - Tags: ,

Here’s a solution to the Novopay fiasco. Move all National MP’s pay on to that system. Let them go for months with random pay, if they get paid at all. Then you’ll see it fixed real fast…

33 comments on “A solution to the Novopay fiasco”

  1. higherstandard 1

    A few OIAs should be sent through by NRT to see what was signed up to, I suspect that if they could they’d throw out Novopay and go back to datacom in a flash.

    Does anyone know why the system was switched across in the first place ?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      I do know that the total contract to TalentTwo amounts to some $100m for running the system for something like 8 years. Initial development cost was $30m. Apparently they can be fined up to $50,000 per pay cycle for underperformance – hopefully the government will ping them for the full amount for each cycle, so as to recoup the overtime costs now being invoiced to the government.

      • tc 1.1.1

        Oh so a max/cycle fine, easy to factor that into the bottom line then when you cut the deal.

        Should be % or rate based on number of errors to link performance to penalty.

      • Mary 1.1.2

        The only immediate fix for teachers is for government to give each school an amount of cash for the purpose of topping up each individual underpayment at each individual school so that operation grants aren’t cut into. When Novopay finally sort it out, if they sort it out, each school gives back to government what’s left over. It beggars belief that government hasn’t done this already, but it’s a classic example of blind adherence to ideology (in this case slavish adherence to hands-off government) regardless of the circumstances or who’s responsible. Instead we have the banks stepping up to fill the void. We can question the banks’ motive for doing so and I don’t think for a second it’s wholly or even moderately altruistic, but the point is that government doesn’t see itself as in any way responsible so just sits on its hands and does nothing until someone like the banks, which have no responsibility or duty to act in any way whatsoever, step in and provide what is essentially private charity. In other words, it’s business as usual on Planet Key.

    • insider 1.2

      Apparently novo pay would give a 21st century pay system. Apparently the model for getting paid in the 21 st century will be more like school raffles – everyone’s a winner but most are winning second hand McDonald’s toys.

      Actually data com I think was people and so cost intensive. Novo pay is more web based so pushes a lot of the management back onto users.

    • tc 1.3

      Look at the board of talent2 (now and before) it’s ‘connections’/shareholding and see how this deal came about then take a step back and look at the type of objective fact based stuff that IT Pro’s do like….

      1. Talent2’s existing track record with it’s large customers and what they think of the service, ability to rectify/engage, general competancy stuff

      2. Planning, migration, testing strategy, scripts, load testing, parralel runs and the type of hardcore data that must be provided before any large system is allowed to wander into production.

      3. The Tender process and why Talent2 and not many other established proven players in this space. Penalties on them for non performance in the contract etc etc

      4. CBA on why outsourcing V in house as payroll is a mission critical application…..unless you don’t value your workforce being paid accurately and promptly.

      In Oz this would see sackings on masse and an immediate rolback to the legacy system so why hasn’t that happened, this is the big business gov’t that’s got all the answers on transparency, value for the public service $ and accountability…..waiting !

      P.S. 2 would also have a contingency and roll back plan in case it went pear shaped and a Prod move is signed off by Operations normally who vouch that it works and they can support it.

      • ropata 1.3.1

        $100 million is wayyyy over the top.

        A friend of mine rolled out SAP payroll solution for 2500 staff, in 6 months, total cost of $500K
        NovoPay should maybe cost ten times that.. not 200 times!

        $100 million over 10 years, paying out 20000 teachers = $500 per year per teacher
        hell of an admin cost

        • insider 1.3.1.1

          if it was a SAP system, wouldn’t that mean you need a SAP platform first? That is notoriously expensive. Buying an add on is not the same as a completely new system. Did the 500k include all the ongoing operating support and management for 10 years?

          • ropata 1.3.1.1.1

            Ahh you’re probably right. I think 500k was just the project budget. But 100 mill is still a crapload of taxpayer $$$ :(

    • David H 1.4

      Because the Nacts can’t stand to have something that works properly, so they have to fuck with it.

      To say nothing of the Huge amounts of money that can be diverted to rich bank accounts.

      • higherstandard 1.4.1

        Up until your comment and apart from Rob’s obvious dogwhistle I was enjoying the non partisan and useful nature of the comments.

  2. infused 2

    I guess because datacoms is old. I believe novapay allows easier login and updating of details. Like I’ve said before, having designed a website (didn’t actually design, was involved in the process) for teachers to buy learning material off, I know a little how they work.

    Even though it’s all web based, many teachers sent orders by fax. That leads me to believe that Talent2 has ‘some’ credit if what they were saying about details being entered incorrectly because of so many people faxing stuff in.

    It’s still shit either way, just saying.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      “Even though it’s all web based, many teachers sent orders by fax.”

      This was addressed by a Radio NZ interview with principals and support staff. They said that Novopay advised them to send corrections via fax or email. Often they wouldn’t get replies for a couple of days, and sometimes the ‘correction’ would be lost and they’d have to re-fax or email the correction again.

      Other times, they were aware of specific errors they had made, but after the pay-roll run went through they would find dozens of other problems that Novopay had created.

      I would very giving TalentTwo very little slack when it comes to the problems in the system. It quite clearly was not ready for prime time.

    • insider 2.2

      I’ve heard there is no quality checking of data input by novo pay staff and no checking/reconciliation of payroll output, which is why people are being paid stupid amounts. It also sounds like there is no internal program that flags significant changes in an individuals pay between pay cycles.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.3

      Most fax communication ends up in a email type file anyway for higher volume recipients.

      Same as you can send a fax directly from a document if you have the dial up connection

      No paper required

      • insider 2.3.1

        Bt someone still has to copy the fields from the fax to the payroll system…prone to error. I’ve heard of telephone numbers being typed into employee number fields etc.

  3. vto 3

    As I understand it one can still insist on payment in cash. Wouldn’t that be nice. And so much quicker than silly electronic. Ever waited in line for eggs in front to pay by eftpos? So ridiculously slow, and getting slower.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      When they moved to chip credit cards, the improved security on these cards put more processing effort on the eftpos terminals. Old terminals have slower CPUs (that were perfectly adequite for swipe cards) that aren’t very fast at the calculations required, so it takes longer.

      A local small grocery chain near me has got new eftpos terminals that are the fastest I’ve ever seen – they’re faster at processing a chip card than the old ones ever were at processing swipe cards. Another local farmers market type store has got the slowest ones I’ve ever seen.

      • vto 3.1.1

        hmmmm.

        Sometimes people have a look of surprise when the notes start being folded out in payment, particularly when the sum is larger. Then they start to look sideways as if the cash is a sign of naughty behaviour.

        funny times funny times

        • tc 3.1.1.1

          yup however some cultures and groups will alway use cash as they either distrust the e-system or it’s ingrained historic behaviour.

          read a book called Kingpin and see why on my first point.

  4. ianmac 4

    Put MPs on Novapay but each will be on an individual contract with appraisals done by independent committees set up in each electorate. Solved over night.

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    Great Idea Rob

    Although I have feeling that filthy rich thieving Prime Minister of our would get by without a few pay days.

    Makes you sick doesn’t it.

    While he laughs and jokes creaming interest off the workers, the children of teachers are going without.

  6. Herodotus 6

    Does anyone know the time line when Talent2 was placed on the short list, when the coy was awarded the contract and the delivery date for implementation ?? From these comments I suggest some have forgotten that National has not been in power forever… But then in 84 and 99 there was little to differentiate what parties were representing the worker to those benefiting from the Neolib philosophy.
    This is one that the MOE should be held totally responsible …. unless that there are no penalties applied for poor performance.
    This household like 10,000’s of others are greatly concerned for the holiday payroll, should things not work out, any corrections would not be paid until the next payroll run a the earliest. and who are teachers to make contact with? To any involved in the union I would be working towards a strategy should your members not be paid in full and on time as what to do (As I have not heard anything from Talentless2)

  7. Ennui in Requiem 7

    Here in Purgatory we do 10,000 pays once a fortnight……hmmm our pay clerks manually check / load / administer one devils pay every 3 minutes on a paper based system (which keeps catching fire but then so do the $s). They do 20 per hour. 160 per day, 1600 per fortnight (forever)…Satan correctly reckoned a team of 8 if prodded right could do the lot…

    Lucifer has got his eyes on the contract ($100 million for 8 years is the contract plus $30 mlln for development….$16.25 million per annum for the wizz bang crappy system), he reckons it is an “evil” deal, and wonders how he was beaten to it, and by whom? He is offering to commit 8 purgatorial inmates on $80K pa. (which he will pocket as “rent”), so $640 k per annum to manually do the whole thing (correctly)…. that’s over $15 million p.a Lucifer (or the current contract holders) intend to take from the teaching of children. The Devil is indeed in the detail.

  8. Roflcopter 8

    The labour MP’s who ok’d the awarding of the Novopay contract to Talent2 should be sacked.

  9. infused 9

    So, did Labour approve this? Was this approved after the disaster that was NZPosts system? Who approved that?

    Genuine question.

    • lprent 9.1

      Wasn’t the NZ Posts system something to do with an SOE? And didn’t require any government input? In other words it was a typical corporate style system.

      You’d be better comparing this to something like INCIS.

      And I believe that the 5th Labour Government did approve this – it was signed a few months before the 2008 eleection. However as anyone knows who has been even near one of these projects, the issue is typically in the implementation phase rather than signing the contract.

    • Fortran 9.2

      infused

      Understand Chris Carter signed this off as Minister opf Education.

  10. tracey 10

    Labour approved it. National oversaw the implementation. Why was it rushed without proper testing?

    • Glg 10.1

      I think the first contract was for software only. Somewhere along the line it got expanded, but don’t know when.
      2 years late – obviously it was way outside Talent2’s expertise.
      Rushed implementation – when several parts of the system still not functional, no pilot program, no one in their right mind would opt to go live in that situation. It HAD to be a political decision.

      • Lanthanide 10.1.1

        Apparently there was a pilot programme (must have been fairly narrow), for which a survey was done and only 37% of respondents thought it was ready to be rolled out. I also get the impression that the pilot was probably just a simulation, or we would have heard about teachers not being paid properly before the full roll out.

  11. Robert 11

    Have any of these organisations ever heard, read and understood the concept of diseconomies of scale? Or is it that they see the opportunities to charge large contract prices for systems that are never going to work. To blame human error is to admit they have ignored that the system has to work with and for people, not the other way around!
    It is about time management within large organisations displayed some real understanding of the responsibilities and their lack of technical understanding. Bigger is not always better.
    This is a great case study for not adopting an outsourcing solution for business processes.

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