Briefing

Clearing Phoenix pay backlog could take up to five years

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It could take between three to five years to resolve cases where federal public servants were improperly paid, according to internal government documents obtained by the CBC. The memo said reaching “overall stability” could take a decade or longer. As of Jan. 23, 2019, there are 275,000 outstanding cases, down from 384,000 a year previous. (CBC)

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Talking point: The costs of this project continue to add up. The final price tag for Phoenix itself could rise to $3.6 billion, according to the government’s own estimates. The Public Service Alliance of Canada, the largest public service union, has asked for a 3.75 per cent wage increase in federal contract negotiations as compensation for the mispayments. And, a team led by federal chief information officer Alex Benay has been budgeted $16 million to find a replacement for Phoenix. That’s just the finding fee, though—the winning system, which will be chosen in the fall, has not yet been costed.