Health payroll system still bleeding

Health Minister Cameron Dick said the majority of overpayments were recovered within three months. Picture: Liam Kidston

QUEENSLAND Health’s notoriously flawed payroll system is still overpaying employees up to $770,000 a fortnight – adding up to $20 million a year.

Figures reveal that more than six years after implementation of the controversial IBM system, thousands of employees are still being over and under paid in every fortnightly pay run, despite repeated State Government assurances that the issue would be fixed.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said about 15 per cent of overpayments took about nine months to recover.

Queensland Nurses Union secretary Beth Mohle says it has been calling for a real-time payment processing system to avoid complications with shift changes. Picture: Claudia Baxter

Implemented by the Bligh government in 2010 without sufficient testing, the controversial system has been plagued by issues, with the Newman government even taking the manufacturer to court, unsuccessfully, in an effort to recover costs.

Queensland Health defended the embattled SAP-Workbrain system delivering the overpayments, saying it was a “normal occurrence in any large complex rostered environment” due to the nature of a 24/7 workplace and constantly changing awards and shifts.

Queensland Health payroll executive director Phillip Hood, said that every fortnight, the system paid more than 103,000 employees a total of $190 million.

“The majority of overpayments arise from prior period adjustments, where rostered shifts may be paid but not worked as planned due to unplanned leave such as sick leave, shift changes or other circumstances,” he said.

“Total overpayments each fortnight for the last financial year account for less than 0.4 per cent of the net fortnightly pay run.”

Opposition Health spokesman John-Paul Langbroek has criticised the State Government’s ability to manage budgets, health and IT systems. Picture: Josh Woning

Mr Dick said the majority of “identified overpayments” were recovered within three months.

However it is believed that the employee is not obliged to pay the amount back in full immediately, with the option of a payment plan available.

Queensland Nurses Union secretary Beth Mohle said the union had been calling for a real-time processing system to avoid complications with shift changes.

Opposition Health spokesman John-Paul Langbroek said the continuing blowout of the payroll system demonstrated the Labor Government’s inability to manage budgets, health and IT systems.

[Source:-THE COURIER & MAIL]

Related posts