The new top floor of County Hall in Portlaoise, dubbed “heaven” by a councillor, is now paying out nearly €800m a year in wages and pensions to county council staff across Ireland.
The figure is set to grow higher, as more pensions are added in 2017 to the centralised MyPay payroll system, which will have 72 full time staff by the time it is fully operational.
“That’s quite an amount of activity,” the Chief Executive John Mulholland put it mildly at the September council meeting.
“We have five other additions to come, including Dublin City, Cork and Wexford. We are at 60 staff now, when fully operational we will have 72. When you look at the volume processed, we are well over three quarters of a billion,” he said.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Tom Mulhall praised the project.
“To have 60 people upstairs, you could call it heaven. It is a major achievement. We provide payroll for 26 county councils, with more to come,” he said.
“Sixty staff is always a good news story,” agreed Cllr James Kelly.
At the meeting, councillors approved a €15 million overdraft for MyPay.
The overdraft is a precaution if payments from all the local authorities do not arrive before wages and pensions are individually paid out.
The council also set up its own bank account for MyPay.
The Mypay contract was won by Laois County Council after a competitive bidding process in 2013.
It was set up on the vacant new top floor and has since been rolled out on schedule and in budget.
To date, 953,327 payments are being made a year to Irish local authority staff, worth €776.7m. There are 3,226 pay groups paid, and a total of 1,479 payroll runs.
The 60 jobs were mostly filled by council staff who transferred from other county councils.
It was launched by Minister Alan Kelly in 2015, who said “the speed with which new structures and practices have been put in place is inspiring”. It was expected to save €4 million a year in administration costs.