web analytics
The Standard

NRT: Absolute insanity

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, November 16th, 2012 - 36 comments
Categories: accountability, wages - Tags: , ,

No Right Turn on Novopay and the sacking of payroll staff.


Absolute insanity

The government’s contracting out of the education payroll to Novopay has been a disaster, with hundreds of people going unpaid, often for months. The Ministry of Education’s payroll office has been working hard to try and clean up the mess its contractors had made. or at least it was – because now the government is sacking them:

The Ministry of Education is planning to cut nine jobs from its payroll unit as staff struggle to deal with the Novopay teachers’ pay debacle.

PSA national secretary Brenda Pilott said a restructuring proposal would reduce the number of positions from 23 to 14.

“It claims the staff will not be needed once Novopay is operating smoothly. The timing of this beggar’s belief,” she said.

“Everyone knows that the Novopay system has been a debacle and with the magnitude of the problems, who knows when it will be properly up and running.”

To do this now, when the new system is still not functioning, is absolute insanity. And it just makes the government look callous and utterly divorced from reality.

36 comments on “NRT: Absolute insanity”

  1. Dv 1

    Just a point.
    Are the staff they are talking about associated with the pay ‘system’ Novapay?

  2. BM 2

    Public service,once again, what a fucking joke.
    I realise this post is an attempt to make National look bad but all is does is reinforces the public perception of governmental departments as completely incompetent.

    • McFlock 2.1

      Yes, because it’s the private contractor coming in to fix the mess caused by incompetent public servants. Oh, wait, it’s Opposite Day today…

      • BM 2.1.1

        OK, not the I’ve followed this Novapay debacle particularity closely.
        But it seems to be a complete fuck up.
        There needs to be questions asked like.
        1.Why did the MOE go with Nova pay
        2.What was wrong with the previous system.
        3.Why did it cost $30 million dollars.

        My beef is not with the average public servant, but with the clowns who make the decisions.

        • Macro 2.1.1.1

          “…..but with the clowns who make the decisions”

          Oh! You mean the Minister!
          Ministers are responsible for the decisions of their departments – the buck stops there – supposedly. Oh yes were are talking about a National govt! Silly me! they are different. No accountability what-so-ever.

        • McFlock 2.1.1.2

          1. tender (almost certainly – I think that’s in the rules)
          2. probably nothing, but I expect the newer system was supposed to be cheaper and more efficient.
          3. see 1.

          As to who your beef is with, if you’d said “perception of Maori as completely incompetent”, then later on said “my beef is with some Maori who fucked up in this instance”, you’d still have shown your inherent bias for all to see.
                  

           

          • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.2.1

            BM is trying failing to lay the blame on the previous government, since the choice to go with Talent2 was made during their term.

            The entire four years of asleep at the wheel non-oversight of the project isn’t up for discussion.

            • BM 2.1.1.2.1.1

              So the decision was made by Labour.
              I didn’t realise that, explains a lot though.
              Surprised Labour didn’t support New Zealand business.

              • One Tāne Huna

                Bullshit. Your weasel bad faith was transparent from the start.

                What a sad joke your “personal responsibility” turns about to be: four years of right wing incompetence and you’re still bawling about the previous government. So we can add hypocrite to weasel.

              • Macro

                Oh! Too droll!

                Such apparent idiocy must be hard to maintain BM

                • BM

                  I can’t see how you can pin any blame on National.
                  Labour chose Nova pay, all blame rests with Labour

                  Nova pay must be one of those dead rats Cullen was talking about.

                  • McFlock

                    maybe the cockup happened because National fired the people who were handling Talent2 and their overworked replacements had far too many other responsibilities in addition to systems development oversight.
                           
                    In which case it’s squarely and directly National’s fault. 

                  • felix

                    Actually BM it’s National’s fault because they’re the fucking government.

                    Doesn’t matter when the contract was tendered or who accepted it – National have been overseeing this contract for four years. (Or failing to, as it happens).

                    If the system isn’t up to scratch it’s the current government’s job to know, and to not fucking launch it until it is good enough. Or to do something else instead.

                    They failed to do so, and they are solely responsible for this failure.

          • Georgy 2.1.1.2.2

            No 2 – Datacom were providing payroll services and hteir system was ready to collapse after some considerable time patching up when Novopay kept delaying the start up of their system. Apparently Datacom delivered an ultimatum – the final date of their services, so the MoE had to go with the new, ready or not. And not is the big operative word. Datacom tendered but missed out.

    • Te Reo Putake 2.2

      Eh? The pay process has been outsourced to a private company which has munted it from day one and that is somehow the public service’s fault?

      • Lanthanide 2.2.1

        “that is somehow the public service’s fault?”

        Evidently they didn’t do due diligence on the company they outsourced to, or that the actual product was working as intended before rolling it out. They also had no backup plan, and didn’t appear to try a phased introduction to iron out the bugs.

        The ministry is not blameless in this.

        • McFlock 2.2.1.1

          The question, though, is why wasn’t Ministry project supervision up to scratch? 
               
          It would be a shame if this became a case of “fire half the staff because they’re bloat, then fire the other half because they seem incapable of handling the new workload” (actual proportions may vary from those seen here). 

        • Te Reo Putake 2.2.1.2

          Lanth, the company doing the work is Talent2. They are a leading payroll, HR and recruitment firm, primarily operating in Asia. They should know what they are doing. However, the problem is actually outsourcing. Private companies doing public service work are notoriously unreliable. Remember G4S, of Olympic games stuff up notoriety? And their parent company G4, who are equally hopeless at running prisons. Firms like C(r)apita and SERCO have an awful reputation in the UK for exactly this kind of profit driven underperformance.

          Outsourcing is the problem, not the firm chosen to undertake the work. Public services should be provided by public servants because they are cheaper, more efficient and committed to delivering for all of us, not just the shareholders.

          • ropata 2.2.1.2.1

            Outsourcing is the problem

            Yes TRP, the public service should follow the example of the USAF and build its own ERP system from scratch :eyeroll:

            As I see it, the State Services Commission would normally audit these kinds of projects, but probably National’s chaotic re-ordering and cuts to the public service allowed little things like “checking the software actually works” to fall thru the cracks.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Yes TRP, the public service should follow the example of the USAF and build its own ERP system from scratch :eyeroll:

              ???

              The system dates back to 2005, when Oracle won an $88.5 million software contract, securing the deal over rival SAP and other vendors.

              And that’s from you’re own link. It seems that outsourcing is still the problem.

              Oh, and probably having 200 legacy systems to replace.

        • weka 2.2.1.3

          “The ministry is not blameless in this.”
           
          Do you know this for a fact Lanth, or are you surmising? Is overseeing the contracting out of such services part of normal business for govt departments? Do they have adequate processes in place to manage this successfully? Are they given adequate directives and support from the Minister? What has been happening at WINZ suggests otherwise.

    • Dr Terry 2.3

      I cannot accept that this government is guilty of “absolute insanity”. Insane people would not behave in this way. Moreover, let’s not give them “insanity” as though that is an excuse for dreadful behaviour.
      What I do accept is that the government is (not looks) “callous and utterly divorced from reality” on very much more than this solitary issue.

      • KJT 2.3.1

        They are not divorced from reality at all.

        The transfer of wealth from New Zealanders to Nationals backers is proceeding nicely.

  3. KJT 3

    Private firms always do it better than the State!

    And. You need to pay millions to get good people!

    Yeah right!

    Should have asked the guy who made my business accounting software. $120. And capable of being scaled to any size firm.

    • BM 3.1

      Shame Labour didn’t go with him would have saved the taxpayer 30+ million.

      • One Tāne Huna 3.1.1

        Another wing-nut advert for post-natal abortion.

        “Personal responsibility” means it’s always someone else’s fault.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Labour signed the contract, since then it’s been in Nationals hands. It is, therefore, National who is at fault for not making sure the firm was doing it’s job and ensuring that it worked before it was rolled out.

        • BM 3.1.2.1

          Until it went live the government would have no idea if the software was up to scratch or not.

          When you take on a company to do work there’s a lot of trust involved.
          To help minimize the risk though, you do some back ground checks to make sure the company who’s doing the work is up to scratch and can deliver on what they promise.

          Did labour do those background checks, who knows.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1

            Until it went live the government would have no idea if the software was up to scratch or not.

            And the only reason for that would be because they’re not doing their job of ensuring that these contracts return value for money.

            Did labour do those background checks, who knows.

            It would be part of the tendering process. If you really want to know though, ask. Although I suspect you’ll just continue to slag off Labour and defend National no matter what.

  4. joe90 4

    They’ve got a marvellous That, we need a That…That’s the system we need….now… if we use This, which looks something like That, and add one of Those…. and use These….we’ll end up with This….. which is cheaper than That and given a little more time will actually be as good as That….with more money we’ll be able to use Them…who’ll be able to make This as good as That…. if ….fuck….INCIS!.

    • ropata 4.1

      When a project turns into an omnishambles like this, nobody looks good.
      The client (MoE) is probably guilty of chopping and changing requirements, rushing the deployment, and going for the cheapest option.
      And people suggesting that a payroll solution for thousands of people is anything like a $120 desktop program have no idea of the technical complexity behind enterprise level software

      • AsleepWhileWalking 4.1.1

        All true.

        I don’t understand why they didn’t use something like SmartPayroll unless they just couldn’t handle the numbers (??)

        • ropata 4.1.1.1

          I don’t know but for $30 mill you could probably have got a decent SAP implementation in a year or so. (SAP is expensive and forces painful process changes, but also the industry standard)

  5. irascible 5

    If I recall the process re the Novopay decision – the tender was called during the KeY regime with all decisions to go with the program and provider signed off by Foss. This is a typical KeY omnishambles and remains with him and his minions.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    11 hours ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    12 hours ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    12 hours ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    13 hours ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    16 hours ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    1 day ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    2 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    4 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    4 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    4 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    4 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    5 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    5 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    5 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    5 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    5 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    5 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    6 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    6 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    7 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    1 week ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    1 week ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    1 week ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere