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The government’s Mr Fix-it Steven Joyce may have the troubled Novopay payroll system in his sights, but so too does the Auditor-General.
Lyn Provost has confirmed she is monitoring the problems caused by the education ministry’s pay system.
Prime Minister John Key made it clear on Tuesday he needs the Novopay system sorted out and appointed economic development minister Steven Joyce to resolve the problems.
The system, responsible for paying 85,000 teaching staff fortnightly, was developed by Australian company Talent2 and introduced last September.
But since its introduction it has been plagued with problems, including paying the wrong salaries to the wrong people or missing payments all together.
Ms Provost says her priorities regarding Novopay are completing an annual audit work to ensure schools are able to sign off their payroll reports and their annual financial statements.
“We appreciate that schools may be concerned at the potential for increased audit costs as a result of the Novopay problems. We are working with the ministry to minimise the workload for schools on their 2012 financial statements, as well as minimising any additional work auditors have to carry out," she says.
She has stopped short of launching an inquiry, saying it would be premature given the ministry’s independent review into the matter.
“The agencies that are responsible for understanding and fixing the problems should be given a reasonable opportunity to do so.
“I fully appreciate that this is a difficult and stressful time for all involved, and I will be keeping a close eye on developments. If the steps that the ministry takes do not adequately address the issues I will reconsider whether there is a role for my office.”
Mr Key has also made it clear Talent2 should be “on notice” with the appointment of Mr Joyce to resolve the issues.