Payroll Data Quality - North Middlesex University Hospital

D Spratt made this Freedom of Information request to NHS Business Services Authority

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by NHS Business Services Authority.

Dear NHS Business Services Authority,

Please provide copies of all correspondence, communications, emails, telephone notes, documents, and on-line data, between the NHSBSA and the North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust (NMUH) between April 2013 and March 2016, in respect of payroll errors and corrections, problems with data quality, incomplete/inaccurate information or late submission of data, and any other payroll matters which NHSBSA had to take corrective action or educate NMUH over.

Please provide the same categories of information as detailed above that were shared between NHSBA and NMUH’s payroll provider, Equiniti.

This is not a request for any confidential information on individual employees. I simply require non confidential (if necessary, anonymised) information regarding:-
• Payroll errors
• Payroll corrections
• Problems with data quality
• Incomplete information
• Inaccurate information
• Late submission of data
• Other payroll matters which NHSBSA had to take corrective action on or educate NMUH over.

Yours faithfully,

D Spratt

FOIREQUESTS, Nhsbsa (NHS BUSINESS SERVICES AUTHORITY), NHS Business Services Authority

Thank you for your email

If your request relates to:

·         Your own personal information, or someone you legally
represent,then this will be processed as a Data Protection Subject Access
Request.  The request will be processed as detailed at
[1]http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/DataProtection....

·         ‘Business as usual’ then this will be forwarded to the relevant
team who will contact you.  For example, you require an application form
or an NHS Pension estimate

·         You exercising a legal power relating to your organisation or
legal role then this will be responded to under the terms of that
legislation.

·         Anything else. This will be dealt with under the Freedom of
Information Act.  The request will be processed as shown at
[2]http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/FreedomOfInform...

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/DataProtection....
2. http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/FreedomOfInform...

FOIREQUESTS, Nhsbsa (NHS BUSINESS SERVICES AUTHORITY), NHS Business Services Authority

2 Attachments

Dear D Spratt

 

Please find attached a final letter regarding your recent Freedom of
Information request.

 

We would also value your feedback regarding the way in which your request
was handled. You can provide us with direct feedback on our website at the
following address:

 

[1]https://www.ppa.org.uk/FOI_survey_form/d...

 

Any feedback you provide will be strictly anonymous and much appreciated.

 

Summary of Response

 

Number of Late/Non-Payments

 

The NHSBSA’s finance team has confirmed that for the time period quoted in
your request, the particular trust in question did not have any late or
non-payments.

 

Correspondence

 

Enquiries could be sent to North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
(NMUH) from any team within NHS Pensions if information was required for
any transaction.

 

E-mails or communications are not held centrally or by employer. Any
communication with NMUH to query inaccurate or incomplete data (or other
relevant information) would be held on the individual member EDM record.

 

This would mean that to respond to this FOI we would need to visit the
individual record for all members with a period of employment with NMUH
between April 2013 and March 2016 and review all communication to assess
if this was with NMUH and if the reason for the query was within the remit
requested above. We would then have to collate and anonymise the data.

 

We have run a query and identified 4384 members with an employment between
1 April 2013 & 31 March 2016. I estimate the time that this would take as
follows;

 

Average time per member Hours required
10 minutes 730
15 minutes 1096
20 minutes 1461

 

As you can see, even with a conservative estimate of 10 minutes per
member, it would greatly exceed 18 hours to determine if we hold the
information, then locate, retrieve and extract the information if it is
held.

 

Data errors and non-updated records are reported to employers through
employer error handling in Pensions Online and employers are expected to
monitor and resolve the data errors allocated to them. The Management
Information available on data is limited and we only have the volume of
errors on hand at any given point in time, by employer (i.e. errors on
hand at 07/04/13 = 181, at 06/04/14 = 212 ) but we do not know how many
have been cleared and how many are new errors created in the period.  We
can also give the split between employer allocated and NHS allocated
however, not all data errors reported are due to incorrect data, they may
just require a check on member status, eligibility etc or be something the
employer could not have avoided such as an overlap with another employer.

 

Again, the only way to identify communication with NMUH over data errors
is through the individual EDM records.

 

Therefore, I estimate that the cost of complying with your request would
exceed the non-central Government limit of £450. The limit has been
specified in [2]The Freedom of Information and Data Protection
(Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 and represents the estimated
cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether the NHSBSA
holds the information, and locating, retrieving and extracting the
information.  Under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act, the
NHSBSA is not obliged to comply with your request and I will not be
processing your request further.

You may wish to request this information directly from NMUH, who will only
hold pension information about its own staff. They can be contacted at the
following e-mail address:

 

[3][email address]

 

Please note that your request and our decision will be published on our
Freedom of Information disclosure log at:

 

[4]https://apps.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/FOI/foiReques...

  

Your personal details will be removed from the published response.

 

 

Regards

 

Chris Dunn

Information Governance Assistant

Corporate Governance
 

Tel: 0191 203 5352

Internal tel: 500 5352

Fax: 0191 264 5281

[5]www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk
 
[6]Description: Description: NHSBSA Header 2
Stella House, Goldcrest Way, Newburn Riverside Business Park, Newcastle
upon Tyne NE15 8NY
Please read our email disclaimer online at:
[7]http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/email.

To reduce our environmental footprint, please only print when necessary.

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. https://www.ppa.org.uk/FOI_survey_form/d...
2. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://apps.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/FOI/foiReques...
5. http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/
7. http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/email

Dear FOIREQUESTS, Nhsbsa (NHS BUSINESS SERVICES AUTHORITY),

Thank you for your response of 16th December 2016.

It is apparent that NHSBSA/NHS Pensions’ IT systems are not fit for purpose if you cannot readily extract such simple data far more quickly and efficiently than you claim to be able to.

Please explain why there is a difference in the “time per member Hours required” as quoted in your response , i.e –
“10 minutes 730
15 minutes 1096
20 minutes 1461”

What are these 3 time difference based on?

NHSBSA/NHS Pensions information management systems are not fit for purpose if NHSBSA/NHS Pensions is unable to easily review historic and live data for error rates. This is evidenced by your comment - “but we do not know how many have been cleared and how many are new errors created in the period”. It is extremely worrying that NHSBSA/NHS Pensions has no handle whatsoever on error rates on either a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis, with no opportunity therefore for monitoring, reviewing, and addressing error rates. This is a serious failure of corporate governance.

You conclude by stating “Therefore, I estimate that the cost of complying with your request would exceed the non-central Government limit of £450”. This is a standard phrase that NHSBSA/NHS Pensions frequently uses in response to Freedom of Information requests. NHSBA/NHS Pensions’ outdated IT systems and outdated working methods are a very convenient excuse that is frequently used to refuse Freedom of Information requests.

It is regrettable that NHSBSA/NHS Pensions claims to be unable to respond positively to this straightforward Freedom of Information request and thus “ipso facto” has refused this Freedom of Information request.

Yours sincerely,

D Spratt

FOIREQUESTS, Nhsbsa (NHS BUSINESS SERVICES AUTHORITY), NHS Business Services Authority

1 Attachment

Dear D Spratt

 

Thank you for your e-mail. The response simply shows the time it would
take based on 3 possible estimates. This shows that even based on the most
conservative estimate of 10 minutes per case, would take 730 hours to
locate, retrieve and extract the information by manually interrogating the
members' records. I apologise if this was not made clear in my response.

 

Regards

 

Chris Dunn

Information Governance Assistant

Corporate Governance
 

Tel: 0191 203 5352

Internal tel: 500 5352

Fax: 0191 264 5281

[1]www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk
 
[2]Description: Description: NHSBSA Header 2
Stella House, Goldcrest Way, Newburn Riverside Business Park, Newcastle
upon Tyne NE15 8NY
Please read our email disclaimer online at:
[3]http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/email.

To reduce our environmental footprint, please only print when necessary.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOIREQUESTS, Nhsbsa (NHS BUSINESS SERVICES AUTHORITY),

Dear Mr Dunn

Your further response evidences the fact that the NHSBSA information and governance systems are “not fit for purpose”, i.e. if the only way NHSBSA/NHSPA can ascertain and monitor error rates is via very labour intensive manual searches.

It is unacceptable that such a large organisation, handling highly sensitive payroll data for over a million individuals, does not routinely monitor and take action on the number of “errors” within its reporting systems; and seemingly has no intention of addressing this serious failure of governance.

Yours sincerely,

D Spratt