Report on the Cost Estimate of Phoenix Pay System

Following a recommendation from the Auditor General in his Fall 2017 report, the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) has released a report on the estimated costs of resolving pay problems and implementing a sustainable pay solution for federal public service employees.

This report provides the government, parliamentarians, and Canadians with additional insights into ongoing pay issues while work to resolve them continues.

The report looks at three categories of costs: historical costs, the projected investments needed to stabilize the Phoenix system, and operating costs. It also provides a breakdown of these numbers into planned (expected) and unplanned (unforeseen) costs and provides a model for tracking and reporting on costs going forward. This cost estimate was conducted by a team of costing experts under the leadership of the Comptroller General of Canada using approaches aligned with international best practices.

It should be noted that this report offers a snapshot-in-time of the available data, meaning that as we solve problems within the Phoenix pay system, and as the backlog of pay centre transactions goes down, the data and assumptions upon which this estimate is based will change.

The Government of Canada understands the severity of the impact of pay issues on federal public service employees and takes its responsibility to pay its employees accurately and promptly very seriously. The Government will continue to take action on all fronts to resolve pay issues.

Through Budget 2018, the Government also announced its intention to eventually move away from Phoenix and begin development of the next generation of the federal government’s pay system, one that is better aligned with the complexity of the federal government pay structure. To this end, the Government is investing $16 million over two years, beginning in 2018-19, to work with experts, federal public sector unions and technology providers on a way forward for a new pay system.

Read the Government of Canada’s report on the Phoenix Cost Estimate.

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