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Joint Personnel Administration

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many former RAF personnel (a) pensions payments and (b) redundancy payments have been missed since 20 March 2006 under Joint Personnel Administration; and how many are still awaiting payment; (79658)

(2) how many complaints have been received from members of the armed forces about Joint Personnel Administration;

(3) why RAF personnel were not paid correctly under Joint Personnel Administration; and what action his Department has taken to rectify that situation;

(4) what he has identified as the main obstacles to the full roll-out of Joint Personnel Administration; and what steps his Department is taking to overcome these obstacles;

(5) how many (a) salary and (b) expense payments to serving RAF personnel have been missed since 20 March under Joint Personnel Administration; and how many are still awaiting payment;

(6) how many people will be remunerated by the Joint Personnel Administration once it is fully rolled out to all services.

Due to the increased numbers of those leaving the RAF in April as a result of the recent redundancy exercise, coupled with the roll-out of JPA at the same time, it was not possible to process all terminal grant payments, special capital payments and pension payments within the normal five days target. During April and May some 1,830 awards were processed for those leaving the RAF, of which 1,395 were paid outside of the five-day target from being discharged. However, in all but six cases payments were made within 30 days, with the remainder paid shortly thereafter. There are now no outstanding payments.

The first JPA payroll in April successfully delivered pay, including allowances and charges to the vast majority of RAF personnel (42,104 out of 48,743). The 6,639 pay inaccuracies (over and underpayments) were caused by several factors: some were due to existing data errors transferred over from the legacy systems, some were input errors, and some were discrepancies in flying pay. The majority of flying pay was correctly paid by 2 May; a small number of RAF personnel were paid their April entitlement in their May payments. The second (May) payroll has been much more successful with only some 1,175 personnel still affected by pay inaccuracies.

Some salary payments were late as a result of the simultaneous introduction of a new system of overseas bank payments. Overseas payments were achieved within a few days of the due date and alternative local cash payments were arranged. There have also been some difficulties with the automated payment of expenses for official journeys. In April these affected nearly 4,000 personnel and in May approximately 600.

The total number of personnel JPA will pay once it is fully rolled out is approximately 280,000. The Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency has received some 14 pieces of ministerial correspondence on behalf of constituents. As at 21 June 2006 there have been no formal grievances from individual users about JPA.

Full roll-out of JPA is dependent upon the Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) programme. Alternative business processes are being developed for those who will not have self-service access when JPA goes live to their service.