Phoenix: Work on the Next Generation Human Resources and Pay System is Underway
Earlier this year, in its 2018 Budget, the federal government announced its intention to replace the catastrophic Phoenix pay system with a new, functional alternative. This is being done under the leadership of Alex Benay, the Chief Information Officer of Canada. The procurement process was launched in August and the government met with industry representatives and potential vendors in the Fall. At the same time, work continues on the ongoing “stabilisation” of Phoenix, as tens of thousands of public servants continue to experience serious pay errors under the current system.
What’s different about the proposed new system?
According to the government, the new system must integrate HR and pay services. It must be mobile, accessible and available 24/7. Users, including employees, must be involved at all stages of system design, development and implementation. Strong governance and direct accountability are to be in place to address the yawning gaps that plagued Phoenix on those fronts. The government also promises an “agile” process, and a readiness to change course when necessary.
I want to assure you that I will be holding the government to its promise of ongoing consultation with bargaining agents in all phases of the development and implementation of the Next Generation Human Resources and Pay System. Our collective membership, and Canadians as a whole, simply cannot afford another fiasco like Phoenix.
I am pleased that so far, the government has stuck to its word and has actively engaged us in this process. In this regard, in addition to my work on the Joint Union-Management Consultation Committee (UMCC) on Phoenix, I have recently taken on the role of Co-Chair of the Joint Next Generation Human Resources and Pay Technical Sub-Committee, which draws on subject matter experts from the government and the bargaining agents to work together to oversee the procurement and implementation of a new pay system.
The government has indicated that it plans to have a formal proposal in place on the successor to Phoenix by Spring 2019. We are closely monitoring the situation and I will continue to update you on the rollout of the “Next Gen” as more information becomes available in the months ahead.