March 26, 2014 - In January 2014, the FI$Cal Project submitted, and the Department of Technology approved, special project report (SPR) 5, which updates the project plans. The SPR 5 includes changes in the project's scope, implementation schedule, and future staffing levels. In this report, we find that SPR 5 reduces overall project risk and make recommendations concerning (1) the project's annual reporting requirement to the Legislature and (2) recruitment and retention issues. Ultimately, we believe that the benefits of proceeding with FI$Cal development outweigh the inherent risks that remain, and therefore recommend approval of the Governor’s budget proposal that reflects a reasonable funding plan to implement the updated project plan (SPR 5).
February 9, 2017 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee
March 2, 2018 - In this analysis, we describe the Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal) Project and the major changes to the project based on the newly released Special Project Report (SPR). We also describe the Governor’s 2018-19 budget proposal to fund activities associated with the new SPR at the State Controller’s Office. Finally, we make associated findings and recommendations.
June 27, 2019 - Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review and Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation
January 8, 2020 - This report analyzes how the most recent project plan for the Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal) information technology (IT) project—that has been under development since 2005—changes the project's cost, scope, and schedule. We also discuss what work is anticipated to remain even after the project is deemed by the administration to be "complete." Lastly, we make associated findings and recommendations.
April 30, 2012 - The FI$Cal project recently completed a procurement and selected the vendor who will build FI$Cal, the state's single, fully integrated financial information system. Project staff has submitted several documents to the Legislature, including a special project report that updates the project plans, a report to the legislature that includes information on the procurement, and a budget request for $89 million ($54 million General Fund) and 86 new positions in order to begin the first year of system development. This report (24 pages): (1) provides an extensive background on the project; (2) describes the innovative procurement process that state staff conducted to secure vendor services to build the FI$Cal system, including information on the procurement results; (3) reviews the FI$Cal project plans as explained in project documents; and (4) analyzes features of the project’s proposed plans and offers recommendations to the Legislature as it considers the budget request and the future of the system. Based upon our analysis of the proposed plans and review of project status, we believe that the benefits of proceeding with FI$Cal development at this time outweigh the costs of the project. In addition to the inherent benefits derived from having a modern, fully integrated financial information system for the state, proceeding with FI$Cal would also avoid substantial costs associated with replacing various individual financial management systems over the next several years. However, we recognize the tight budget times requiring the Legislature to make difficult decisions regarding programmatic reductions. Therefore, should the Legislature wish to proceed with the project, we offer alternative funding options that reduce the state’s reliance on General Fund monies to pay for the project in the short term. These options include the state's GS $Mart loan program, vendor financing, and advanced payments from the special funds for the first few years of system development. Additionally, we point out ways the project’s change management and staffing plans to implement FI$Cal statewide could be improved to reduce risk and maximize project benefits.
February 28, 2017 - The State Controller’s Office (SCO) has recently renewed its effort to replace the state’s payroll system. In this year’s budget, the Governor proposes $3 million to begin an analysis of proposed alternatives for replacing the system. It makes sense for the state to assess the potential problems, both in terms of functionality and stability, with the state’s payroll system and to explore solutions to these problems. The appropriate selection of a project alternative will be critical to the success of the future payroll project. As such, we recommend the Legislature require the SCO to present its full findings from the alternatives analysis before it is granted additional funding for subsequent analyses. This would provide the Legislature with a clear opportunity to provide meaningful input and weigh in with its own priorities for the payroll system before a solution is procured.
March 11, 2010 - Presented to: Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4 On State Administration Hon. Mark DeSaulnier, Chair
March 8, 2012 - Presented to: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration and General Government, Hon. Gloria Negrete McLeod, Chair
March 19, 2014 - In this report, we review the administration’s 2014-15 budget proposal to continue legal activities related to the suspended 21st Century Project (TFC). We find that the Governor’s 2014-15 budget proposes funding for outside legal counsel at roughly one-half of the State Controller's Office's (SCO) estimate of projected costs, and therefore recommend that the Legislature budget the full estimate instead. In addition, we find that an independent assessment of the TFC Project is a necessary precursor to addressing the state’s unmet need for an updated human resources management and payroll system. As the Governor's proposal lacks such an assessment, we recommend the Legislature appropriate additional resources to SCO for such an assessment. We provide details on what such an assessment should include.