March 14, 2019 - In this post, we describe how the California Department of Technology’s (CDT) information technology (IT) project approval process—known as the Project Approval Lifecycle (PAL)—does not always align with the state’s annual budget process. We identify seven funding requests in the Governor’s 2019-20 proposed budget for IT project proposals that are currently in various stages of the PAL process. We then describe how these requests for project funding prior to the completion of the PAL planning process may inhibit the Legislature from fully realizing the anticipated benefits of the PAL process, discuss how some project-specific factors can cause misalignment of the budget cycle and PAL, and provide issues for legislative consideration.
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.
February 8, 2018 - In this report, we analyze the Governor’s budget proposals for various transportation departments and programs. We begin by providing an overview of the Governor’s proposed budget for each department and program. In the next section, we discuss two cross‑cutting state transportation issues: (1) funding from the tax and fee increases authorized by Chapter 5 of 2017 (SB 1, Beall), and (2) an update on the condition of the Motor Vehicle Account (MVA). In the following three sections, we analyze the Governor’s budget proposals for Caltrans, CHP, and DMV. In each of these sections, we provide relevant background, describe the proposals, assess the proposals, and identify issues and recommendations for legislative consideration. The final section consists of a summary of the recommendations we make throughout the report.
February 20, 2020 - This report provides an overview of the proposed and approved IT projects in the Governor’s proposed 2020-21 budget. We first provide relevant background information on the state’s IT project approval process, approaches to development and implementation of projects once approved, maintenance and operation of IT systems once completed, and requirements for state government entities to request resources for projects through the budget process. We then identify and summarize the budget requests to plan proposed projects and to develop and implement projects (whether proposed or approved).
February 2, 2021 - This post discusses 2021-22 Governor’s Budget proposals for the State Controller’s Office and the California Department of Human Resources to continue planning a replacement for the state’s current payroll system—the proposed California State Payroll System information technology project.
March 17, 2023 - This post provides an overview of the information technology projects in the Governor’s proposed 2023-24 budget, provides our assessment of topics common to several proposals, and offers options for legislative consideration.
November 29, 2022 - Presented to: Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments
March 10, 2016 - In this report, we describe the FI$Cal Project, provide an update on the project’s status, and describe the events that triggered the development of a sixth special project report (SPR 6). We also describe the Governor’s 2016–17 budget proposals to: (1) allow the project to implement the changes proposed in SPR 6 and (2) establish a new state department to maintain and operate the FI$Cal System. 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
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.
February 9, 2017 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee
December 7, 2017 - In this report, we provide background regarding the objectives and operations of the Project Management Office (PMO), detail our findings in evaluating the PMO, introduce two significant recent developments and their impacts on the PMO, and make associated recommendations on how the Legislature should proceed to better align the office with the original legislative intent.
November 11, 2009 -
The state's traditional approach for IT procurement, called the firm fixed price (FFP) procurement, creates a prescriptive process that gives equal footing to all vendors to help ensure open competition and reduce the state’s exposure to protests and potential lawsuits due to perceived vendor bias. As an alternative the state is beginning to look to so-called multi–stage procurement because it creates a collaborative environment for state and vendor staff. Our analysis indicates that an earlier evaluation of procurement strategy can reduce the risks of cost overruns and schedule delays, so we recommend that the Legislature require state entities to include procurement strategies in project documents when they submit them for approval.
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