Appendix: RCMP HR-to-Pay: Phoenix stabilization activities
From Public Services and Procurement Canada
Current Phoenix Stabilization Activities
- Create an HR-to-Pay team at the RCMP
- Created a timekeeper unit to process pay actions for PSEs who report to non-PSE section 34 managers (for example Regular and Civilian Members), a situation that is unique to the RCMP.
- Created an authentication unit that is a trusted source that validates all section 34 signatures and submits required documents to the Pay Centre for processing.
- Created a team within National Compensation Services to work solely on resolving Phoenix pay issues for RCMP PSEs and Reservists. The team currently has 5 FTEs working at the RCMP Headquarters, 1 FTE working at the Public Service Pay Centre, and 3 FTE working at the Gatineau Satellite Office. As well, the team maintains a mailbox where PSEs and Reservists can escalate their pay issues if they have not received a timely response from the Pay Centre.
- Dedicated 2 FTE within Workplace Programs and Services to respond to emails from staffing advisors and to provide troubleshooting support for pay issues relating to data entry.
- Corporate Management engaged a dedicated resource (contractor) to perform a Phoenix Coordination Support role. Phoenix has introduced the need for close coordination between various branches\teams within the RCMP (for example National Compensation Services, National Pay Operations, HR-Staffing, Finance-section 33, Internal Control, Corporate Management Systems, Chief Information Officer Branch, etc.) and external to the RCMP (PSPC Pay Centre, PSPC Phoenix, PSPC My GCHR/8.9 Program Centre, OCHRO, etc.).
- Actively participates in a variety of formal interdepartmental working groups addressing Phoenix issues, such as the DG HR-to-Pay Coordination Committee, Pay Centre Integration Organisations - In-Service Support (ISS) calls (both PSPC Phoenix and PSPC Pay Centre calls), HR-to-Pay Stabilization Training Coordination calls, PSPC Departmental Liaison Officer (DLO) calls, Phoenix Root Cause Analysis working group, and the HR Pay Process Implementation working group.
- Actively participates in informal, ad hoc interdepartmental working groups to discuss Phoenix issues and brainstorm solutions (for example Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Agriculture, Department of National Defence).
- Reporting on HR-to-Pay stabilization progress
- The RCMP has responded to requests from the HR-to-Pay Integration team on our Phoenix stabilization efforts, such as the resources (FTEs) working on Phoenix issues as well as the costs incurred by fiscal year and projected in future years. The RCMP Financial Management group has created an Internal Order (IO) in the SAP financial system to allocate and track costs related to Phoenix stabilization.
- The RCMP is one of the departments identified in the Office of the Auditor General’s (OAG) audit of the Phoenix pay system, including the audit of post-implementation stabilization. The RCMP has been able to provide supporting documents to respond to the OAG’s inquiries.
- Managers and employees are informed of HR-to-Pay developments
- Regularly communicating changes and updates to Phoenix pay processes to all stakeholders within the RCMP. For example, the “Phoenix Comms” generic mailbox was created to quickly disseminate information on Phoenix changes, issues and deadlines across the department. The “Phoenix PSE” generic mailbox is used to communicate with staffing advisors to identify common or recurring errors and to provide reference material to assist with their activities.
- Compensation personnel are responding to inquiries from divisional town hall meetings where HR-to-Pay issues are being raised.
- Outcomes from governance meetings are communicated to all RCMP stakeholders.
- Managers and employees understand their roles and responsibilities vis-à-vis HR-to-Pay
- Encouraged RCMP managers and employees to take Phoenix training courses offered by PSPC. Note that PSPC/TBS did not make these courses mandatory.
- Updated internal RCMP webpages (Infoweb) to reflect Phoenix pay processes and to provide step-by-step instructions to managers and employees.
- Created a streamlined process for PSEs to request Emergency Salary Advances (ESA) and Priority Payments (PP) if they experience pay interruptions, including the timely approval of s.33 of the Financial Administration Act and issuance of payments.
- Developed and delivered training and information sessions to staffing advisors who are primarily responsible for entering HRMIS transactions affecting pay. This training included highlighting common data entry issues that resulted in Phoenix pay problems, updating the User Productivity Kit (UPK) in HRMIS that is the online help and training facility, and providing contacts for data integrity issues.
- Facilitated daily and weekly support calls between the Human Resources Management Information Centre and the Staffing advisors who were entering data in the Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS).
- Developed a Phoenix / HRMIS “error message toolkit” to assist HR Staffing with managing integration messages. Tool was later provided to PSPC and was later adopted as a Government-wide tool for integration error messages.
- Managers add solid HR-to-Pay practices to their regular activities
- Spearheaded a cross-functional data alignment and clean-up exercise within the department to ensure data in the RCMP Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) matched the data in Phoenix to reduce errors when processing salary revisions for collective bargaining implementation.
- Regularly review reports from PSPC on outstanding cases > 30 days old to try and prioritize oldest outstanding cases for processing.
- Corporate Accounting performs a high level variance analysis at the pay list level for on-cycle approvals as part of the s.33 pre-payment review. Individual employee payments are reviewed if there is a significant variance between pay periods that is visible at the pay list level. When situations that affect employees’ pay are found, information is communicated to the Pay Centre for resolution.
- Internal Controls performs a high level variance analysis of base (regular) pay amounts and the number of employees for each pay period based on the IO50 return file from Phoenix. This analysis identifies significant variances between pay periods, as well as the maximum payment to an employee for each pay period.
- An internal Phoenix working group was created prior to fiscal year-end to ensure the accuracy of Public Service Employee payroll reported in the departmental financial statements. The working group had representatives from Corporate Reporting, Corporate Accounting, Internal Controls, Salary Forecasting Tool (SFT) Policy Centre, Corporate Management Systems and National Compensation Services. The group discussed how to account for over/underpayments, advances and secondments.
- Employees ensure their coordinates are up-to-date in the HR system
- In preparation for deeming where Civilian Members (CM) will become PSEs, messages have been sent by email and posted on the Infoweb page to advise CMs to update their personal information in the HRMIS system.
Planned Phoenix Stabilization Activities
- Increase the complement of resources on the National Compensation Services Phoenix support team by 8 FTE to continue working on RCMP PSE pay files and to address the backlog of open cases at the Pay Centre. This includes contacting former RCMP compensation advisors who were work force adjusted during pay consolidation in 2012 to see about helping.
- Ensuring employees, managers, staffing advisors and compensation advisors take the updated Phoenix training currently being developed by TBS-OCHRO and PSPC.
- Send an email to all PSEs at the RCMP and create an Infoweb message to inform them of the importance of keeping their HRMIS personal information up-to-date and to ensure their home address and postal code are current, to ensure tax slips and tax deductions are processed correctly.
- Transfer pay administration for Reservists back to the RCMP to ease the burden on the Pay Centre, as the files are time-consuming and complicated and the RCMP has the expertise and resources to manage these files.
- RCMP Internal Controls will perform walkthroughs and update the PSE payroll business process documentation in order to identify all controls that are within the control of the RCMP, as well as re-introduce quarterly post-payment verification of key controls over PSE payroll. The Internal Controls group will assess any new information, such as the upcoming revisions to the TBS Pay Administration Framework and further changes to the division of roles and responsibilities between departments and the PS Pay Centre, to identify any new controls or deficiencies that need to be addressed.
- A new working group is being created with representatives from Corporate Accounting, Internal Controls, National Accounting Services, Corporate Management Systems and National Compensation Services to review the departure process for employees leaving the RCMP or the Public Service in general to understand how it affects recoveries of overpayments. The working group will use data analytics to identify potential overpayments to former employees and try to address the root cause of these situations. The working group will work closely with PSPC and the Pay Centre, as required.