Risks known when pay system went live

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Risks known when pay system went live
Queensland Health’s bungled payroll system cost $64.5 million
AAP (AAP) 29 June, 2010 12:21
Queensland Health’s bungled payroll system cost a whopping $64.5 million and was given
the green light by a project team that knew of its defects, a report has found.
Auditor-General Glenn Poole’s report has identified a raft of problems with the system’s
rollout in March that has seen thousands of health workers incorrectly paid.
The report, tabled in parliament on Tuesday, found the system was not properly tested and
there was no back-up plan to deal with failures.
Responsibility for implementing the system was also unclear, leading to confusion in the
public works and health departments, which worked together on the project.
It found the project board decided to go live with the system, despite risks being pointed
out to them.
Among the board’s decisions was to change the definition of severity one and severity two defects so the project could pass exit criteria.
During testing, the board decided not to undertake a full parallel pay run test because of the size and complexity of the task.
In January, the testing company suggested either the rollout be delayed until a full system and integration test was done, or the board
accept that untested scenarios might not go to plan.
The board chose to accept that risk over delaying the rollout.
The report laid out the $64.5 million cost of implementing the system, which was initially supposed to cost $40 million.
The report made several recommendations that should be followed in future payroll changes.
They included clear lines of accountability and contingency plans to deal with unexpected issues.
It also recommended that award structures be simplified prior to new payroll systems to remove complexities that affect efficient pay
processes.
Queensland Health workers come under 13 awards and multiple industrial agreements that provide for 200 different allowances.
“To mitigate the risk of payroll inaccuracies, simplification of award structures and pay rules need to be considered,” the report said.
Mr Poole also recommended that current action to stabilise payroll and rostering systems continue but any technological changes be
properly controlled and tested.
Queensland Public Sector Union general secretary Alex Scott has joined with the Opposition in calling for Health Minister Paul Lucas’
head over the fiasco.
“Government in Queensland relies on the notion of ministerial accountability,” he said.
“We think this is an unprecedented failure of public administration and how bad does it get before a politician is held accountable?”
But Australian Medical Association president Dr Gino Pecoraro would not say whether Mr Lucas should keep his job.
Instead, he invited the government to work with the association to fix the problems.
Meanwhile, Queensland Health Director-General Michael Reid has confirmed that two senior health executives have been sacked, but
did not name them.
He said the executives, from the Corporate Services Division, had been sacked in accordance with their contracts and no further
comment would be made.
The Courier-Mail said they were deputy director-general Michael Kalimnios and corporate services executive director Adrian Shea.
Premier Anna Bligh and Mr Lucas are due to give a media conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Risks known when pay system went live – system failure, queensland health, payroll, … Page 1 of 1
http://www.cio.com.au/article/print/351489/risks_known_when_pay_system_went_li… 11/08/2011

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