Bureaucrat responsible for Phoenix pay system shuffled into new role

The bureaucrat responsible for the Phoenix pay system has been shuffled into another role at Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Rosanna Di Paola, the department’s associate assistant deputy minister of the accounting, banking and compensation branch, has accepted a new role as a special advisor.

“This new role will see her focus on several important projects related to pay modernization that require extensive pay and benefits expertise,” wrote department spokeswoman Me’shel Gulliver Bélanger in an email statement.

The move comes as the government’s Oct. 31 deadline nears to clear a backlog of tens of thousands of cases of public servants who have experienced problems with their pay since the system rolled out earlier this year.

During a tribunal hearing on the Phoenix pay system’s problems last month, Di Paola testified that the problems were due to a lack of training, not the software.

“To do it over again, I would have made training absolutely mandatory,” she told the hearing in September. “We underestimated the time it took people to adapt to the new technology. The learning curve just seemed to be much longer than we expected.

“The information is not being entered into the departmental HR system in a timely way or correct way. The second root cause we found is the processing time in Miramichi has been slower than expected.”

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