Here’s what’s wrong with Phoenix

News 18 December, 2017
  • Photo Boris Proulx
    Slips, payments are issued automatically by the system, Phoenix, are illegible, have criticized the federal government officials interviewed by The Journal, this officer of the correctional Service of Canada.

    Boris Proulx and Emily Bergeron

    Monday, 18 December, 2017 01:00

    Monday, 18 December, 2017 01:00

    Look at this article

    OTTAWA | It takes into account only 2 decimal places to 3 in the payroll, goes to collect the money without warning for officials and violates the same to a federal law. The payroll system Phoenix, who will be celebrating in February his second birthday fiasco, has its fair share of secrets, listed in a document obtained by The Newspaper.

    We now know a little more about the grains of sand that stuck to the gears of the disastrous payroll system federal, that still doesn’t pay near a civil servant in two, and has already cost a half-billion dollars.

    The document, prepared by the federal ministry in charge of the payroll, the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada, reveals vivid details on the ingredients that cooked up the mess.

    “Those who have bought the system are incompetent, reacts Magali Picard, the public Service Alliance of Canada. It shows that at day one, all the ingredients of a fiasco were there. “

    Here is a selection of the best examples.

    No signal alert

    Phoenix has not been configured to alert managers by email, in a timely manner when problems arise. They do not know when they must approve of significant transactions, thereby delaying the payroll process.


    Phoenix has been customized to cover the amounts overpaid to employees without warning, and sometimes even in contradiction with the understandings reached with them. The officials were surprised to receive payroll truncated, and may suddenly find yourself without money.

    Problems dental insurance

    Phoenix was not designed to send at the same time all the relevant documents to the insurer of the officials, which is required for their registration. This leads to errors in their dental insurance coverage, and more costs to the program.

    A figure of too after the decimal point

    Phoenix has been designed to take into account only two decimal places after the decimal point in his calculations. This is a problem since the systems of human resources management use three digits after the decimal, a format that is more accurate and conforms to the requirements of the collective agreements.

    Contrary to a federal law

    The compulsory deductions of employees are not re-enabled when they come back from a leave with income averaging. This is contrary to the Act on employment insurance, which forces the employer to deduct such amounts from each payroll.

    The annual salary hidden

    Phoenix has not been configured to show the annual salary, or commutative, on the pay stubs of employees. The system assembles this information, and it was visible under the old system. Employees have difficulty to analyze their pay, and fail to validate that it does not contain errors. This makes them lose confidence in the payroll system.

    Bonuses that disappear

    Phoenix has been deliberately configured to establish remoteness premiums only for the regular position of the employee. In the case of assignments to other positions, these payments stop and do not come back, sometimes not even to their return to their position of origin. This problem particularly affects employees stationed in the far North.

    Low salary for new

    Phoenix has been tailored deliberately to provide by default the lowest level wage for their job category, instead of the amounts specified in their hiring documents. This is the case for all permanent or temporary employees, students, and employees who are transferred from one department to the other.

    Of are repayées double

    Phoenix has not been configured to recalculate the total of the amounts paid in too much, which has as a result to cover certain payments on multiple occasions to the same the salary of an employee.