3,000 civil servants underpaid due to errors in records: PSD

Civil Service will pay those affected around $10 million; mistakes arose mainly due to human error

Errors have been found in the records of around 3,000 former and current civil servants, which impacted benefits they received such as their starting salaries and medical leave wages.

Disclosing this yesterday, the Public Service Division (PSD) said it discovered the errors while upgrading the civil service's human resources and payroll IT systems. The Civil Service will compensate both current and past officers who were underpaid due to these errors, with the total sum amounting to around $10 million.

Those affected represented about 2 per cent of the civil servant population over the past two decades, said the PSD.

The PSD said it took more than two years after the errors were discovered to trace and validate the IT system errors, check through 102,000 current and past records, which date back to the 1990s, and re-calculate benefits.

Most errors related to inaccuracies in the full-time national service records of civil servants.

Further checks also found errors in the calculation of medical leave wages, as well as in a program used to compute payments that some pensioners make when they retire from the service.

The mistakes arose primarily because of human error in data entry, as well as coding of the IT systems involved, the PSD said.

The PSD said the Government will not be recovering the $3.9 million in excess money paid out, "given that these resulted from errors made a long time ago".

It is also working with all statutory boards to check and verify their employee records.

Explaining how the errors occurred, the PSD said the national service period is taken as part of a civil servant's length of service.

However, the "fitness cut" period - where enlistees who meet physical fitness requirements serve one or two months less than their peers - was not included in the records of some 1,400 civil servants.

This affected areas such as starting salaries, retirement benefits, leave eligibility, extended sick leave quotas, and individuals' eligibility for long service awards.

Another error involved wrongly using gross monthly salary instead of average monthly earnings to calculating medical leave wages for injured employees on service injury leave.

This affected around 1,000 people.

The last error was discovered in the program used to compute payments that some pensioners make when they retire from the service, affecting some 500 people.

Those with questions can approach the human resources departments of the government agencies they are working in or were employed with.

They can also write in to