The government has failed in addressing the fallout of the recent Phoenix payroll. Auditor General Michael Ferguson foresees that it will take several years still before the government can fix its mess. The budget it would require is also predicted to cost more than $540M. As of now thousands of employees are not paid, underpaid, or overpaid.
In an attempt to provide a lasting solution for the current problem, the government has called on the Treasury Board of Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada. The Board is expected to track and report publicly the plan a solution deemed to be precise and efficient by the government.
Ferguson said the government is lowballing both the three-year timeline and the $540 million price tag for a long-term, efficient solution, and called on the Treasury Board of Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada to track and publicly report on the plan.
Despite the major problems, however, Ferguson still claims it would be a mistake to scrap the Phoenix system at this time, with the implementation of the system lasting over seven years. It would be difficult, he claims, for the government to seek a better alternative, and that at this point, the best thing to do is to fix the problem they are facing now.
With the Phoenix system costing over $300 million with creation and implementation, the overall cost to fix the program threatens a $1 billion budget.
The Phoenix system already cost $310 million to create and implement, which means the overall cost to build and fix the program is edging toward $1 billion.
The Phoenix System fallout
National executive vice-president of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union, Crystal Warner expressed her own frustrations upon the Phoenix mess, as she deals with the current overpayments and underpayments.
The government employees themselves have been considering steps for the government to act against the Phoenix mess and Warner urges the public to remain understanding and patient as they do so. She told the CBC News to consider what the effect would be to their own families if they resort to escalating tactics, encouraging the public to be more empathetic as they seek new options.
Public Services Minister Carla Qualtrough, in turn, has issued a public apology in the form of a letter to the public, expressing her concerns and troubles of the fallout.
265,000 files exhibit that public servants have been erroneous incomes like underpaid, overpaid or the lack of it at all. Qualtrough assures the public that the government rules nothing out when it comes to finding a long-lasting solution to this problem, and even considers, at this time, the removal of the system. Upon stabilization of the problems, Qualtrough blames the previous Conservative government for going through with the system to save money.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer deflected, and insists that it was the Trudeau government who rushed the Phoenix system despite warnings of its prematurity. The system, as he said, has worsened over the past two years under the watch of the Liberal party.