Digital departmental staff transfer system could prevent 2,000 payroll errors a year

Deployment of cross-Whitehall platform is one of a number of ways the Government People Group is using technology and data to help agencies recruit staff and make working lives easier

The implementation of a new digital platform to support civil servants moving between departments could prevent more than 2,000 payroll errors each year.

Work on the rollout of the Digital Staff Transfer system is being led by the Government People Group (GPG) – an enlarged unit based in the Cabinet Office and created by the merging of Civil Service HR with Government Business Services. Work on the new platform began in earnest earlier this year with the signing of a £6.3m deal with supplier partner Fujitsu, as exclusively revealed by PublicTechnology.

The GPG believes that an annual total of between 20,000 and 30,000 officials move from one civil service job to another – a process which currently relies on spreadsheets being sent between departments or teams. About 7% are not completed in full or sufficiently promptly – leading to payroll errors. This equates to between 1,400 and 2,100 people starting a job in a new agency with incorrect pay information.


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The implementation of the staff transfer platform will not only address these issues, but could also significantly reduce the 420,000 work days each year spent on completing existing manual processes, according to Mark Thompson, director of data, platforms and interoperability at the GPG.

The system is due to be piloted this summer by the Cabinet Office, the Department for Work and Pensions, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, before being rolled out across government later in the year.

In an interview with PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World, Thompson said his team has many other ambitions for using integrated tech and data systems to speed up recruitment and on-boarding – including the automating the issuing of building passes and reducing timescales for security and vetting checks.

His team’s ultimate goal is to support civil servants to work together more easily and effectively.

“You should be able to take any group of people from anywhere – any employer – and bring them together to solve a problem for government,” he said.

Civil Service World’s full interview with Thompson can be read here.

PublicTechnology staff

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