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POLITICS

Teachers' pay for Ministers' risk taking

Monday 4 February 2013, 6:46PM
By Labour Party
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Documentation released today clearly shows that Ministers must have been made aware of the extensive problems with the Novopay payroll system before they signed off its implementation, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“The relationship between the Ministry of Education and Novopay provider Talent2 was clearly dysfunctional. Extensive problems were known to exist and yet Ministers signed it off anyway.

“Only two weeks before the implementation was signed off Ministry officials were writing to Talent2 expressing serious concerns about the Novopay system.

“Why on earth it was signed off only two weeks later beggars belief.

“In 2011 the Ministry of Education went back to the previous payroll provider Datacom and investigated a contingency option. Someone needs to explain why that contingency wasn’t left in place given the high likelihood Novopay wasn’t going to work.

“The main focus now must be on ensuring a reliable payroll system can be put in place as soon as possible.

“Teachers and support staff have waited long enough to be paid what they are owed.

“The buck stops with the Ministers that signed off this system. They didn’t ask the right questions, they didn’t ensure that adequate contingencies were in place and therefore they must accept ultimate responsibility for the debacle that has followed,” Chris Hipkins said.