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SAP to the rescue? Ottawa tests pilot project for its troubled payroll system

March 6, 2020
By Talent Canada Staff

Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Photo: daoleduc/Getty Images

Ottawa is taking steps to fix its much maligned Phoenix Pay System, announcing that SAP has been selected for a pilot project.

“Every public servant deserves to be paid accurately and on time,” the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat said in a press release. “That is why the government is working on creating a long-term, sustainable, and efficient human resources and pay solution that meets the diverse needs of federal employees across Canada.”

The pilot will test the real complexities of the federal government’s HR and pay requirements, said Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government. The decision follows a rigorous evaluation process that involved three qualified vendors over the past several months.

“Today’s announcement is an important milestone towards building an efficient next generation solution that is better aligned with the complexity of the federal government’s HR and pay structure,” said Murray.


“I am focused on moving this forward while taking the time to get it right.”

The three vendors

All three vendors – SAP, Ceridian and Workday – remain part of the qualified list of suppliers for future HR and pay work with the government, Ottawa said.

Public servants, as well as bargaining agents, have been involved throughout the process and the government is committed to continuing to work with them in the next stages of the project, it said. Long-term work to stabilize the Phoenix Pay System will continue with Public Services and Procurement Canada.

“This marks a significant step towards building an HR and pay solution that works,” said Debi Daviau, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.

“Our members have been called on to support building a new solution that serves their needs, and I am pleased to see that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Andy Canham, the president of SAP Canada, said they look forward to working with the government on a “modern, digital solution.”

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