ARCHIVED CD 1998-011

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April 7, 1998

Ottawa, Canada
K1A 0S5

SUBJECT: Regional Pay System Conversion to the Standard Payment System


1.1 This directive is to advise clients of a change to the method by which Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) produces payments on behalf of its clients serviced by the Regional Pay System (RPS).


2.1 As the Receiver General for Canada, PWGSC issues payments on behalf of many products administered by government departments. Historically, each one of these products had their own payment system administered and maintained by PWGSC.

2.2 In an effort to reduce costs and become more efficient, PWGSC developed a Standard Payment System (SPS) from which all payments can be made. To date Revenue Canada refunds, Goods and Services Tax rebates, Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security payments are all issued through the SPS.

2.3 From the perspective of the compensation community, conversion of the RPS payment process to SPS results in a number of advantages. Once the first phase of SPS is implemented successfully, PWGSC will look to utilize laser technology to move towards the production of other output such as statements of remuneration (T4s). In addition, more automated features would be made available to clients, such as on-line payment enquiry history and on-site urgent cheque issue. The timing of these enhancements is anticipated after Year 2000 activity.


3.1 It is anticipated that during June 1998, all payroll payments, including Direct Deposit payments, will be issued through the SPS. A Directive will be issued highlighting the actual conversion date shortly before implementation.

3.2 In conjunction with this new process a new payment numbering system will be established. The new Payment Reference Number (PRN) will replace the old Regional Pay Cheque Form Number (CFN). The structure of the number will remain unchanged in terms of length; however, the breakdown of the fields will be as follows:

  • Position 1-2 will reflect the Pay Office Number,
  • Position 3-4 will reflect the Product Code Number,
  • Position 5-12 will reflect a sequential number.

EXAMPLE: PRN 083100000001 breaks down as follows:

  • 08 - corresponds to Pay Office Halifax,
  • 31 - corresponds to the Pay Product (always 31),
  • 00000001 - corresponds to the first payment processed by pay office.

A single digit number will also appear after the sequence number which will identify the payment attempt status. This number is for SPS purposes only and does not form part of the PRN for Regional Pay purposes. The payment attempt status is defined based on the different changes a payment may go through in its life cycle. For example, if a Direct Deposit is changed to a paper cheque, the attempt status will change from a "1" (first attempt, Direct Deposit) to a "2"(second attempt, cheque or to a "3" third attempt, duplicate).

3.3 Upon implementation of the SPS all payments for a specific pay master file will commence with the same four digits followed by a sequential number. Unique cheque series numbers previously appearing on cheques, Direct Deposit payments, zero balance payments and manual cheque issue will no longer be in effect. The identifiers and sequential numbers for specific pay master files will be as follows:

  • 0831-00000001 - Halifax (Atlantic)
  • 2531-00000001 - Montreal (Quebec)
  • 3631-00000001 - COD (National Capital Region)
  • 3431-00000001 - Toronto (Ontario)
  • 2231-00000001 - House of Commons (National Capital Region)
  • 6231-00000001 - Edmonton (Western)
  • 6631-00000001 - Vancouver (Pacific)


4.1. Regular Payment Process

Currently, the department/paylist information appear together on the face of the payment directly across from the name of the individual. However, the SPS has pre-established locations for certain types of data. For cheques the department, pay office and paylist identifier will continue to appear on the cheque and remain visible in the window of the envelope. The location will now float and appear to the right of the last line of the name tag or/to the right of the last line of the address. For Direct Deposits and zero balance payments, the department/pay office/paylist identifier will always appear at the bottom right corner of the statement within the window of the envelope.

The new payment instruments will now be laser printed which will ensure that printing will be clearer. The statements themselves will have the same look as today in terms of format. However, the stub information will appear at the top of the form for cheques and the bottom of the form for Direct Deposit and zero balance vouchers. The Regional Pay System will utilize the SPS's ability to print on the back of statements. This will have the effect of reducing the number of overflow stub situations which occur when all of the information concerning a payment is too great to be incorporated on only one stub.

4.2. Payment Cancellation (PAC19)

The Regional Pay System will be changed to eliminate the facility to cancel payments. The PAC 19 will no longer exist as a transaction vehicle available to Compensation Specialists. As per current procedures today, departments will return cheques directly to the Payroll Accounting Office of PWGSC, who in turn, will cancel the payment on-line through SPS once the cheque is received.

Upon cancellation within SPS the Regional Pay System will issue an on-line message via Free Form Text advising the department that the cancellation action has been received from the SPS and that the payment will be cancelled automatically in the next regular update (currently every second night). At this point, should subsequent transactions be required, they can be input.

It is critical that Financial and Administrative Officers be advised that the timeliness of the return of cheques to the Payroll Accounting Office will now directly affect the Compensation Specialists'ability to process the finalization of an account. If a PAC 13 or a PAC 02 is processed before the cheque is cancelled through SPS, the Regional Pay System will generate an overpayment and collect the outstanding funds from the next available monies.

Additionally, all returned payments (including "Zero Balance" payments) which are forwarded to the Payroll Accounting Office must be batched via Transmittal Note (GC44). The reason for the return must be clearly noted on the form.

4.3. Intercepts/Recalls (Direct Deposit)

Direct Deposit payments will be handled by the SPS. This conversion will be transparent to the employee and Compensation Specialist. Current procedures dictate that when an intercept or a recall is required the pay office is to be contacted to take action on behalf of the department. This will not change.

Under the SPS, facilities to automatically action payments containing wrong financial institution data exist. After implementation, if a financial institution number is no longer valid, the SPS will automatically convert the payment to a cheque in time for distribution on the next regular pay date. The Regional Pay System will turn off the direct deposit indicator and cheques will be issued until the Compensation Specialist re-enters the correct financial institution data. A message will be sent through RPS to the departments advising that this action has been taken allowing departments to advise employees accordingly.

With the SPS, the period of time to intercept a payment will now be extended to five working days from the current two day window. If a payment cannot be intercepted within the timeframe noted above, a recall request is made by the pay office on the department's behalf. The timeline for resolution of recall actions will remain the same and under the control of the financial institution affected.

4.4. General Information

Departments will continue to request duplicate payments as per current procedures. Employees will be requested to complete the appropriate forms and departments must send these forms to the applicable PWGSC pay office. The pay office will initiate investigative action and arrange for the duplicate payment to be produced.

Departments and Agencies are reminded that current termination procedures must be adhered to once implementation of the SPS takes place. PWGSC payroll and downline systems are programmed to react according to the input received. Clients are therefore instructed to ensure that if employees move between employers (e.g. Treasury Board to Separate Employer and vice versa), termination transactions and not transfer transactions are to be input. If not processed correctly, PWGSC will not be in a position to action final payments such as severance pay. In addition, PWGSC pay offices will no longer be in a position to manually type cheques. Departments must request urgent payments through the Accounts Payable System.

If employees move between pay cycles (7C to 7B/7A), clients are reminded to turn off the direct deposit indicator in the Regional Pay System prior to processing the transfer.


5.1 Any request for information regarding the foregoing should be addressed to your (PWGSC) Compensation Services Office.

Original Signed by
P. Charko

P. Charko
Director General
Compensation Sector
Government Operational Service

Reference : CJA 2075-4