Over­pay­ments to civil ser­vants noth­ing new: DM

Money will be re­paid, Le­may says

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA -

The fed­eral govern­ment will get back all of the money it has over­paid civil ser­vants through its prob­lem-plagued pay­roll sys­tem, the deputy min­is­ter in charge of oversee­ing the sys­tem vowed Wed­nes­day, adding that over­pay­ments to govern­ment em­ploy­ees are com­mon­place.

A num­ber of govern­ment em­ploy­ees who have left their jobs or moved on to other po­si­tions are still be­ing paid too much, Pub­lic Ser­vices and Pro­cure­ment Canada deputy min­is­ter Marie Le­may ac­knowl­edged.

But any­one who re­ceived too much pay will even­tu­ally be re­quired to return the money, she said.

“All over­pay­ments will be re­cov­ered once we process th­ese out­stand­ing trans­ac­tions,” Le­may told a news con­fer­ence.

The CBC re­ported this week the govern­ment has over­paid more than $68-mil­lion to thou­sands of its work­ers and has so far reached agree­ments to re­cover only about one third of the money.

While that may ap­pear to some to be a big num­ber, Le­may said the govern­ment was fre­quently forced to re­cover even larger amounts be­fore the trou­bled Phoenix elec­tronic pay sys­tem was brought on­line last spring.

In 2015, for ex­am­ple, more than $78 mil­lion in ex­tra pay was doled out, she noted.

Since launch­ing its new elec­tronic pay sys­tem, more than 82,000 govern­ment work­ers have com­plained of be­ing un­der­paid, over­paid or not paid at all.

That back­log has since been pared down to less than 7,000 files, al­though deal­ing with them has sig­nif­i­cantly slowed the pro­cess­ing of new pay­roll changes that have been filed over the last few months.

Judy Foote, who heads the depart­ment, said Tues­day she’s more con­cerned about pay­ing em­ploy­ees who haven’t re­ceived what they’re owed than she is about re­coup­ing money that’s been over­paid.


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