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Schools payout $560k to cover Novopay mistakes

Published: 8:33PM Monday January 07, 2013 Source: ONE News

Schools have paid out $560,000 in advances to staff as a result of mistakes made by Novopay, new figures show.

Labour's Acting Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins received the figures from Education Minister Craig Foss after Speaker Lockwood Smith asked the Minister to give "informative replies" to written questions.

Hipkins says 581 people have been paid on behalf of schools they did not work at, and a further $560,000 has been advanced by schools themselves to cover mistakes made by Novopay.

"Furthermore, since Novopay started, 7899 people have been underpaid or not paid at all, over 6000 people have been overpaid and only 281 manual payments to correct faults have been processed."

He said teachers and school staff had been given assurances that any wrong payments would be corrected manually.

"People trying to get through to the Novopay service centre were waiting up to an hour and a half with 15,000 calls going unanswered or being abandoned altogether," he said.

He claims the figures probably under-state the problem.

"Novopay was signed off by Education Minister Hekia Parata and Craig Foss before it was ready. The botched system is expected to cost tax payers $189.5 million over 10 years. For that kind of coin Kiwis expect excellence."

Foss earlier said that it was clear the service provided so far has been unsatisfactory and that there would be a review.