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It Doesn’t Work

The Harper government left a surprise for Trudeau: the new payroll system doesn’t work

Speaking to CBC’s Ontario Today, Rosanna Di Paola, the associate assistant deputy minister responsible for Phoenix explained that the problem lay not in any technical flaw with the automated system, but in the flow of data that’s being fed into it.

The problem, Di Paola explained, is procedural, not technical. “The system is working.”

But for scores of public servants, the system is not working. It’s failed them completely.

You do not go live with anything as major as your payroll system until you are absolutely certain that the people inputting the data, actually know how to do it. GIGO!

You don’t use the people who wrote the code to test a system, you get the people who are going to be using it to test the system.

The system has not produced a proper payroll for months, so the system most definitely isn’t working!

8 comments

1 Kryten42 { 07.16.16 at 10:01 pm }

LOL I should be surprised… But of course I’m not. People truly never learn! I had to repair two screwed payroll systems, one for a State Gov. in 1990 & one for a huge Company in 1994. I was invited to be project manager on a complete overhaul project for the ATO in 1999. They sent me a *scope* that was TWO pages! It wasn’t even remotely a scope, it was a wish list (at best). I laughingly declined. In 2002, after spending almost $300 million, they declared it a bust & cancelled the whole thing. Imagine my surprise.

Same old…

2 Bryan { 07.17.16 at 5:55 pm }

Government payrolls encompass every form of compensation known to a tax code but people never seem to appreciate the complexity. I started my civilian programming doing contract payroll maintenance and it can get very weird.

The individual whose job title translate to ‘the level below teaching assistant’ in academic terms, doesn’t seem to understand that ’employees not being paid’ is the definition of a broken payroll system.

3 Kryten42 { 07.19.16 at 12:48 am }

I can’t disagree with that. And, they always wait until it’s too late to even declare a problem, let alone fix it.

The job in ’94 only happened because they had changed hardware vendor from NCR/DEC to HP, where I worked at the time. They had been trying for months to fix issues & finally succeeded in completely breaking it. I was sent in 3 days before the Xmas payroll was due. The s/w company that had written the payroll s/w had no experience on HP systems and had barely contacted HP for help. The s/w company hadn’t actually done too bad a job, & the problem was a comm’s one between the data entry/retrieval terminals (PC’s running WFW 3.11) and the servers. The old system ran DEC’s TokenRing, the new was Ethernet & the company had gotten help getting the back-end working fine from HP, but were screwed because M$ wouldn’t help fix the front-end issues because they were using 3rd-party software & it wasn’t their problem! This in spite of the fact that the reason why they were using a 3rd-party network product (from FTP Software, USA) was because the M$ s/w didn’t work. The M$ solutions was the company should wait for W95 which was a magical solution to all problems, sometime in the next 12 Months!

That was actually the last straw in my complete & utter disgust with M$ & one of many reasons I despise them.

The moron who thought it would be a great idea to change hardware on a critical system without verifying that the custom s/w would work on the new system was deservedly fired, but personally, everyone up to the CTO/CFO should have been fired IMO.

4 Bryan { 07.19.16 at 8:59 pm }

They finally admitted that about 80,000 government employees are not being properly paid with the new system. They reduced the number of payroll offices to one and introduced a new system – what could go wrong?

Have you noticed that your Prime Minister looks like Claude Erskine-Browne in the Rumpole of the Bailey TV show? It has bothered me since the first time I saw a picture of Turnbull – familiar but I couldn’t place him.

5 Kryten42 { 07.22.16 at 10:41 pm }

LOL Yes, he does look somewhat like Claude Erskine-Browne… And just as arrogant & snobbish as the character. I used to enjoy watching Rumpole. 🙂

Well, our Claude sacked thousands of Government ATO, ASIC & AEC employees (among others) all the while saying that the reason why unemployment is so high is because everyone is a lazy SOB! And we still don’t know for certain who the new Government will be because of it. Still not even half of the House of Rep’s seats have been declared! It does look like the Coalition will get the nod by the fingernails (76) & ALP will get 69, so another election soonish. Then there are a couple of legal questions to be answered… so *SHRUG* F*cked if I know what is going to happen!

I truly wish I could leave tomorrow. But of course, nothing is ever simple anymore.

6 Bryan { 07.23.16 at 3:17 pm }

The belief that you can fire significant number of government employees during an economic downturn and not make matters worse just defies me. I don’t see how that can be claimed.

Every claim made by austerians is such logical bullshit …

I think there is a problem of lead in the water of all of the major capitals of the world. How else can you explain the insane political behavior. There is no ‘safe haven’ left as the oligarchs have polluted them all…

7 Kryten42 { 08.02.16 at 7:31 am }

I’m not sure there ever was such a thing as a “safe haven”. At least, not for very long. Humans pretty much destroy everything we touch. *shrug*

Here’s another fine example of Corporate greed. I really hope Highsmith win’s her suit! Apparently, she has a strong case. 🙂

Photographer Files $1 Billion Suit Against Getty for Licensing Her Public Domain Images

We can but hope! And these are the companies screaming about people being pirates and crooks! They must be looking in a mirror when they say it! Pot, meet kettle!

8 Bryan { 08.02.16 at 8:54 pm }

The people who complain the loudest about ‘pirates’ are usually only creative in the manner in which they acquire the rights that they claim are being violated. The real creative people are almost always the people who are paid last and receive the least.

I admit that making claims about public domain creations is certainly a new low. It would be really nice if a few of the groups were sued out of existence.