As a user of the system, I have the following observations:
1. Information is not presented in ways that is usable. For example, most public servants are paid annual rates of pay. The pay statements from Phoenix do not show that information; rather, they show bi-weekly rates, which must be multiplied by 26.088 to figure out the annual rate.
2. Year to date information only appears on the most recent pay statement. Should you choose to access a historical pay statement, YTD information is not shown. It is odd that pay statements show different information depending on when you access them.
3. There is no explanation of transactions on your pay. One would think that a new pay rate, or the cessation or commencement of an allowance would warrant a mention or explanation on the pay statement, but there is nothing shown. The only solution is to call a pay advisors somewhere in New Brunswick, but since they do not answer calls but instead call back based on some system of triage, you're pretty much out of luck if you need an explanation of something on your pay.
4. Pay calculations are incorrect. A few examples: I have seen people paying into the wrong pension accounts; people having double pension payments charged on current service; people having acting pay rates miscalculated - even to the point of being paid rates of pay that don't exist; and people having pension contributions withheld from a retroactive payment, but then not having that retroactive payment paid out.
5. The training materials showed a different system configuration from the live system. This has been corrected somewhat, but it was initially quite disconcerting to have key links from the training materials not existing in the production system.
Any system is not merely software - it's people, processes, information and systems coming together to deliver an effect. It's clear that PSPC had a narrow focus on computer systems, and did not give a great deal of attention to other areas of the federal payroll system. Data integrity is always an issue in migrating between computer systems; again, from the public testimony, it does not appear that any particular attention or effort was made to clean up the data before going live.