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RAW DATA: Steven Joyce statement - Novopay focus shifts to recovering overpayments

RAW DATA: Steven Joyce statement - Novopay focus shifts to recovering overpayments

The entire backlog of around 15,000 outstanding overpayments since Novopay went live last year has been calculated and the focus is now on recovering that money."

“Completing the calculation and processing of overpayments is a significant step in the remediation work underway to clear the backlog of issues with Novopay,” Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce says.

“The 15,149 overpayments are worth a total of $13.6 million. This compares with about $2.5 million of overpayments per year pre-Novopay. Of the $13.6 million, $3.1 million has so far been repaid and $62,000 has been written off.

“That means there is still around $10.4 million that needs to be recovered. Of that, $3.4 million is for amounts owing in which around 6000 school staff have already been notified, and 6500 letters seeking repayment for the remaining $7 million are in the process of being sent out.

“There are another 954 payments that were initially notified as ‘overpayments’ that are still being investigated as to their status.

“We realise this is an inconvenience for thousands of people through no fault of their own. While the money was overpaid in error; it does need to be repaid.

“Earlier this year the Government made a decision to write off overpayments less than $100 which are currently worth a total of $62,000 and suspended the use of debt collection agencies. At this stage there are no plans to lift that suspension.”

While the backlog of outstanding overpayments has been calculated, clearing the backlog of leave, which consists of approximately 5000 leave balances, also remains a priority.

“Leave tickets are complex and often have multiple issues which make them harder to resolve quickly. The Education Ministry and Talent2 have put in significant additional resources to ensure all outstanding leave issues are resolved before end of year processing begins,” Mr Joyce says.

“Substantial effort and resources are also going into ensuring the challenging end of year/start of year process, which caused a large number of the issues for schools last year and earlier this year, runs smoothly.”

As part of that, the Government is putting an extra $6 million into technical support and training for Novopay support staff and school payroll administrators. This includes online training, or ‘webinars’, for Novopay users and providing guidance for the end of the year process.

A total of 65 bugs are scheduled to be cleared next month in preparation for the end of year process. This includes three category two or ‘very serious’ bugs; 42 category three or ‘serious’ bugs; 18 category four or ‘moderate’ bugs; and two category five or ‘cosmetic’ bugs.

Summary of overpayments:

Comments and questions

Are we to assume from this statement that all the miscalculations and underpayments that were reported have been remedied? Quite an achievement or is of less urgency to the Ministry?