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Govt chief digital officer targets payroll system investment and risks

Govt chief digital officer targets payroll system investment and risks

An expansive programme is being deployed to ensure government payroll system investment is sound

Paul James (Department of Internal Affairs, government chief digital officer)

Paul James (Department of Internal Affairs, government chief digital officer)

Credit: Supplied

The government chief digital officer is embarking on a programme to ensure agency and crown entity payroll system investment is warranted and fit for purpose.

Payroll has been a bugbear in government over recent years as central and local government agencies, as well as many private sector organisations, discovered they had been miscalculating holiday pay for years.

In May's Budget, the government voted $82.3 million to fix the issues and clearly wants to ensure that money is spent effectively.

In June, the Department of Internal Affairs released its digital workplan through 2020, which included plans to achieve a consistent approach for agency remediation, reduce cost and risk through cutting the number of bespoke payroll system implementations, and future-proof systems ahead of further changes to the law.

Now, working with the State Services Commission and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the GCDO, Paul James, is working to ensure expenditure on payroll systems is warranted, payroll project risks are managed and payroll systems are fit-for-purpose and are provided at a reasonable cost.

The programme team will start contacting government agencies this month to collate their interpretations of the Holidays Act 2003 and adopt a common payroll process that reflects good practice.

The project also aims to avoid development of bespoke payroll processes and simplify procurement for payroll systems to deliver cost savings.

The programme has three workstreams: Overseeing payroll projects; improving payroll practices, and; coordinating payroll procurement.

Oversight will include investment plans and providing advice to agencies on their business cases. It will also involve reviewing agency payroll projects and providing advice to agencies on their assurance planning and reporting.

It will aim to deliver what the GCDO calls a a "system-wide view" of the investment and delivery risk profile for payroll systems.

Improvement will cover ensuring good practice for Holidays Act 2003 calculations are shared and opportunities to standardise employment terms and conditions are sought and shared.

Coordination will cover collaboration with agencies and suppliers of payroll systems and services to review the payroll process model and ensure it is suitable.

Suppliers of payroll systems and services will be invited to demonstrate how they align with the model and government's other requirements.

The GCDO and its partners will also support government agencies to select suitable suppliers.

The programme team will contact agencies by email this month and next to confirm with each agency the accuracy of the investment data it holds and then follow up with bilateral discussions about specific business cases and the status of delivery projects.

Further discussions will occur as agencies progress their investment cases and delivery.

The programme team will also create a Marketplace category for payroll systems, payroll business process outsourcing services, and payroll consulting services and invite suppliers to demonstrate how their systems and services align with the government's requirements and its terms and conditions.




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