(2) what steps his Department has taken to eliminate errors in the Joint Personnel Administration system;
(3) how many service personnel have been overpaid as a result of errors in the Joint Personnel Administration system since 7 April 2006.
The number of service personnel who have had salary payments reduced or stopped in order to offset overpayments made as a result of errors in the Joint Personnel Administration system since April 2006 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Since roll-out in 2006, significant steps have been taken to eliminate errors in the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) (ORACLE) system. To rectify problems identified, 166 fixes to the system have been undertaken, and a further 344 other system changes have been made.
For the number of personnel overpaid during the period April 2006 to September 2006 inclusive, I refer the right hon. and learned Member to the answer given by the previous Under-Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans (Derek Twigg) on 7 November 2006, Official Report, column 1470W, to the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire (Mr. Williams). Data for October 2006 to December 2006 inclusive are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
For the number of personnel overpaid during the calendar year 2007, 1 refer the right hon. and learned Member to the reply given by my noble Friend, the Minister for International Defence and Security, Baroness Taylor of Bolton, to the noble Lord, Lord Selkirk of Douglas in another place on 21 January 2008 and 5 February 2008, Official Report, House of Lords, columns WA2 and WA163.
Although similarly detailed information about the number of personnel overpaid from January 2008 to date is not held as JPA is now operating a steady state, an audit undertaken during 2008 identified some 5,800 personnel who may have received duplicate, or overlapping payments of Operational Allowance. An enhancement to the JPA (ORACLE) system to prevent a reoccurrence was introduced in July 2008.
Delays or errors in individual payments can also occur as the result of late or incorrect inputs by individuals or unit human resources staff. This information is not held centrally and could be provided at disproportionate cost.