The issues around the new teacher salary payment system, Novopay, are well known.

Minister with responsibility for Novopay Steven Joyce said last week that Cabinet agreed to put aside $5 million under the Remediation Plan for the payroll system. This funding will cover work on bug fixes and boosting the number of call centre and data processing staff. Details on the Remediation Plan and timings will be publicly released shortly.

The final responsibility for the remediation costs – whether it is the Novopay provider Talent2, the Ministry of Education, or other parties – will be determined later.

Mr Joyce has also started a technical review and Ministerial Inquiry into Novopay. The Technical Review, due this week,  ill be used to determine the final path forward in terms of restoring the pay system.

It has been a mess and an unfortunate worry for those teachers affected by the bugs in the system.

Novopay was appointed as the new payroll provider in 2008, by then Labour Party Education Minister Chris Carter.

Labour signed a contract that was supposed to cost $80 million over 10 years.  Labour also missed a contractual loophole, in that Novopay was able to delay implementation by two years while collecting $12.5 million per annum…meaning the contract will now cost $105 million.

Not content with leaving the government’s books in a mess, the Labour Government also signed up to a poorly-worded contractual arrangement for an application that does not work, despite two years of testing.

The biggest critic of Novopay, Labour MP Chris Hipkins, was advising Chris Carter at the time the contract was signed.  Another critic, New Zealand Principals’ Federation president Phil Harding, sat on the Ministry’s Novopay Reference Group for two years and not once reported a problem back to his colleagues.

The National Government inherited yet another problem from teachers.  We are trying to fix it, so hard-working teachers get the pay they are entitled to, and school administrators can concentrate on their job, rather than having to hang on waiting for Novopay to answer help desk calls.

While we are putting in place new measures to address the issues with Novopay, the reality is those issues remain very complex and will take some time to resolve. I appreciate how frustrating and time consuming this is for school administrators, principals, teachers and other staff. The Government is doing everything it can to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.