The Government provided an update on aspects related to Government payroll, which was affected due to the cyber-attack last month, noting that the process of ‘withholding funds from employees who were overpaid’ has commenced.
A Government spokesperson said, “The September 20 cyber-attack impacted the Government’s ability to process its weekly and monthly payrolls from September 17 to October 8. The Government extends its sincere thanks to the banking community that worked to assist in facilitating payments using bank records.
“However, it should be known that these bank records were not able to be modified to account for any changes, including overpayments, underpayments and or terminations.
“The Public Treasury [Administration and Payment] Act 1969, Section 12 addresses the matter of overpayments, specifically, “…the Accountant-General may withhold from the person to whom the overpayment was made the payment in whole or in part of any sums falling to be paid to that person out of public funds until the amount of the payments withheld equals the amount originally overpaid to that person, and if such overpayment has not earlier been corrected by way of refund or otherwise..”.
“Accordingly, the process of withholding funds from employees who were overpaid as a result of the use of historical bank records for four consecutive weekly pay periods commenced last week, and many weekly paid employees did not receive a paycheck.
“Notwithstanding the overpayment, and to ease the burden on some employees, the Government committed to partial or full payroll payments this week. However, weekly paid employees have been notified that they must either repay the overpayment by Monday, October 30th or forego weekly payments until the matter is corrected.
“Monthly paid employees will also have funds withheld in the event of overpayment at month’s end against the October payroll, where applicable.”
Premier David Burt said, “We’ve made significant progress and can now successfully reconcile our payroll system. I’m deeply appreciative of everyone who contributed to resolving the issues.
“We want to reassure public officers that we fully appreciate the significance of your ability to fulfil your financial commitments and responsibilities, and in good faith, the Government has ensured that all Public Officers are paid this week, including those that may have been overpaid.
“As the Government has previously shared, while some areas still face some service disruptions, the vast of the Government’s IT systems are operational. I’d like to express once more my appreciation for the dedication of our Public Officers, who have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to restore our services.”