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Phoenix Pay Problems Case Study

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CMIS4450 – Managing IT Portfolio

Section: A02

Student: Adriana Trifan

Phoenix Pay Problems Case

Instructor: Dong Ye

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

February 22, 2018

Table of Contents

Executive Summary        1

Current Situation Analysis        2

SWOT Conclusion        4

Problem Statements        4

The first problem: positions eliminated        5

The second problem: more expensive than expected        5

The third problem: technical.        5

Criteria / Measures        6

Alternatives and Evaluation of the Alternatives        6

Alternative #1        6

Alternative #2        6

Alternative #3        6

Alternative #4        7

Alternative #5        7

Recommendations        7

Appendices        9

Exhibit #1        9

References        10

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Executive Summary

The Government of Canada faced major financial weaknesses for using the Phoenix pay system.  They tried to cut costs by modernizing the forty-year-old system, which “had many manual processes and were completed by pay advisors ”(Report 1-Phoenix Pay Problems, 2017). The initiative was to move all 101 departments and agencies into one centralized system located in Miramichi, New Brunswick. By modernizing the current pay system, which needed manual inputs from approximatively 2,000 pay advisors across all 101 departments and agencies, the Public Services and Procurement Canada projected to save “about $70 million a year, starting in the 2016-17 fiscal year” (Report 1-Phoenix Pay Problems, 2017).  The implementation of Phoenix Pay System was complex and disastrous to the public sector. Government employees have been overpaid, underpaid, or not paid at all. The number of outstanding pay requests raised by five times, from 95,600 when Phoenix launched to 494,500 in 2017. Employees on leave, employees who had received promotions, employees who transferred from one department to another, new employees had issues being paid correctly by the Government of Canada (Report 1-Phoenix Pay Problems, 2017).

The new system’s insecure nature joined with 80,000 pay rules and 105 collective agreements has left the Government of Canada desperate, as they spent lots of money in trying to stabilize the issues.

From my perspective, The Government of Canada should try to fix the Phoenix Pay System even if there are no improvements and more and more money are going to be spent to stabilize the electronic payment system.

Current Situation Analysis

In order to cut costs associated with public services the Government of Canada decided that there is need to transform the way of paying its 290,000 employees. In consequence, the Public Services and Procurement Canada chose to use a PeopleSoft commercial pay system, which was called by them Phoenix. The new modernized system eliminated nearly 1,200 pay advisor’s positions who were responsible for entering the manual processes and hire 460 pay advisors and 90 support staff at the Miramichi Pay Centre. Once the modernized system implemented it was estimated to theoretically save the government more than $70 million dollars annually, starting in the 2016-17 fiscal year (Report1-Phoenix Pay Problems, 2017).

Conservatives cut cost of training of the complex Phoenix Pay System and it had released a stunning fiasco causing serious problems and concerns with an outstanding number of underpaid, overpaid, or not paid at all employees. “A year and a half after the Phoenix Pay System was launched, the number of public servants in departments and agencies using the Miramichi Pay Centre  who had an outstanding pay request quadrupled to more than 150,000” (Report 1-Phoenix Pay Problems, 2017).

Despite concerns from officials that the Phoenix Pay System was not ready to handle more than 80,000 pay rules across all types of pay issues, the government excluded over 1.200 pay advisors and employed only 460 pay advisors and 90 support staff at the Miramichi Pay Centre. Even though the number of employees decreased considerably the government did not offer proper training for the new staff.

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