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Old 4th Aug 2006, 13:40
  #967 (permalink)  
Rather be Gardening
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: West
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This is on the JPA homesite:

Stn Cdrs

Copy to:
AFBSC
MA/DCDS(Pers)
All RAF 2* Officers
All RAF 1* Officers

RAF JPA ROLL-OUT UPDATE

1. I fully recognise that the introduction of JPA to the RAF has had many more problems than were envisaged. I truly believe that the RAF did everything possible to prepare itself for the delivery of JPA and I know that significant numbers of personnel have worked tirelessly to overcome the difficulties that we face. However, the fact remains that it is an immature product and much work remains to be done. That said, when I consider what has been achieved already, I am in no doubt that JPA will provide the level of service we require for the future. This note provides background to current JPA issues and explains what is being done to resolve them. I have provided a similar text for publication in the next issue of RAF News.

2. JPAC Enquiry Centre. The Enquiry Centre is the ‘decisive point’ which could unlock many of the current difficulties. Arguably, any new IT system of this size will have its problems. However, these have been compounded by the inability of the JPAC Enquiry Centre to provide the level of service required. With over 5,000 requests outstanding, much work remains to resolve the problems (although we know that some of these 5,000 enquiries have been submitted 4 or 5 times in an attempt to get a reply). Only when this backlog has been removed, which should be by Sep 06, can AFPAA’s customer charter standards of timely response be achieved. It is worth noting that the Enquiry Centre began with a staff of 35, it now has 55 and will increase to 90 in the Autumn when the Royal Navy plan to come on-line. We expect a ‘steady state’ hit rate of some 60 RAF enquiries per day compared with nearly 190 at the moment. RAF staff are already supplementing the JPAC back office and will be there until at least the end of Aug; in recognising how important it is to fix this, a further 6 RAF personnel will be detached to assist for this period. These SACs and Cpls are doing an excellent job in helping with the clearance of outstanding queries and providing a level of Service knowledge previously lacking in the Enquiry Centre.

3. Training. The training provided to RAF self service users and HR professionals has not been good enough. A complete overhaul of the e-learning training is being undertaken to provide a revised package in October 2006. In addition, RAF HR staffs are working with JPA staffs to produce simplified “how do I” guides for self-service and professional users. Further HR specialist training is being carried out at regional seminars, the first of which was held at RAF Benson on 20 Jul 06. Others will follow at RAFC Cranwell and RAF Leuchars in the next 2-3 weeks. A matrix has been distributed to units describing the division of responsibilities between unit staff and the JPAC EC. This work includes links to documents describing how to carry out specific actions. The 2nd edition of this document will be published this week and should clarify the JPAC/Unit HR areas of responsibility. Additionally, AFPAA are forming a roving training team which will be in place by mid-Sep 06.

4. Posting Preferences. To date, some 6,000 RAF personnel have yet to log on to JPA for the first time. Moreover, only 16,000 individuals have logged their choices of future assignment and location. Step by step instructions on exactly how to enter these choices are available on the JPA ‘Self Service Guide’. This basic action needs to be taken as soon as possible.

5. There is a raft of other work underway, including:

a. Flight Sub-Imprest Administration. A paper has been submitted to the Joint Requirements Steering group proposing improvements in Flight Sub-Imprest administration and proposing a maximum rate rather than actuals for incidental expenses.

b. Pay Statements. Units have reported that Pay statements have been addressed wrongly. The pay statement address is taken from RAF establishment data. It is the Unit responsibility to ensure that this data is accurate. I understand that there is a backlog of establishment updates to be input into JPA by the RAF. This will be resolved by Oct 06. Pay errors continue to receive most urgent attention in recognition of our responsibility to pay people accurately and on time. With the Jul pay now going into bank accounts, I will compare the error rate with the 650 in Jun. This compares with an average of 150-200 a month before JPA was implemented. I make this latter point because there have always been pay problems and we should not pretend that they will be eradicated totally. What I expect in the future is a far more responsive system than we have ever had before.

c. Subsistence Rates. Units and individuals have registered discontent about the capped actual subsistence system. The new systems will pay for the food and drink consumed, up to a rate exactly equivalent to the allowance under the previous system. It will not allow a claim for cash in lieu of food, as was previously the case.

d. Other Allowances. Other allowances have been rebalanced and retargeted within the same overall budget. This has allowed payment of Disturbance Allowance to single personnel for the first time and for higher levels of LSA to compensate those who spend the most time away from home.

e. RN Go-Live. Planning for the RN roll-out is well under way. The RAF will not have access to JPA from 14 - 22 Oct 06. This window will allow RN data to be migrated onto the system. Other ideas such as having a dedicated RN helpline number at go live, are being considered to prevent RN roll out impacting adversely on the RAF. The JPA system is being bolstered with extra hardware in advance of RN launch.

6. Feedback. Senior RAF Administrators attending this week’s Personnel Conference have been briefed by my Focal Point Team Leader and AFPAA’s D Change. This session addressed the issues submitted by units and gave direction on how they would be addressed (Annex A refers). I hope that this two-way dialogue has enabled stn staff to represent local concerns and take back the hard facts. On the same basis, Chf Clks are invited to visit the JPAC and AFPAA Model Office at Centurion Building in Gosport. Please ensure that your Chf Clk takes advantage of this opportunity [points of contact are: Mrs Doreen Allen (93844 ext 2126) or WO1 Hill (93844 ext 2567)].

7. I recognise that the speed of JPA improvements has not been at the pace that any of us would have wished. If I look back over the past 4 months, we have made huge steps forward, from system functionality through to data accuracy. Perhaps most importantly is that we understand JPA better. Whilst progress has been slow, we have broken the back of this issue and once the problems in the JPAC Enquiry Centre have been addressed, we will be well on the path to success. Rest assured, I will continue to drive for an improved service.

AMP

Annex:

A. Major JPA Issues Raised by Units.

Brace yourselves, RN. Inbound!
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