February 3, 2017 - The Governor proposes $799,000 from various special funds on an ongoing basis and five permanent positions to continue to support STO’s website and data sharing efforts. We recommend approving funding for these positions on a two-year limited-term rather than on a permanent basis.
February 19, 2003 - In reviewing the state's two major data centers, we found two options that could reduce department expenditures: (1) consolidation of data centers, and (2) consolidation of servers from various state departments to state data centers.
March 1, 2016 - In this post, we provide recommendations on the following Governor’s Office of Emergency Services budget proposals for 2016-17: (1) Deferred Maintenance and (2) Emergency Operations and Critical Infrastructure Support.
February 22, 2022 - This post provides background on the California Department of Technology's cost recovery model and rate development process for IT services, evaluates related Governor's budget proposals and available information on a proposed rate re-evaluation process, and offers our recommendations to the Legislature.
March 2, 2018 - In this analysis, we describe the Financial Information System for California (FI$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.
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).
April 13, 2018 - In this post, we analyze the Governor’s eight California State Library budget proposals totaling $9.7 million in associated augmentations. We begin the post by providing an overview of the State Library and its budget. We then describe and assess the Governor’s proposals and offer associated recommendations.
March 10, 2016 - In this report, we describe the FI$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$Cal System. Finally, we make associated findings and recommendations.
February 18, 2022 - This post analyzes the Governor's four budget proposals for the California State Library in 2022-23. The proposals focus on digitization activities, online job training programs, the Lunch at the Library program, and the California State Library's building rental costs.
Correction (2/22/22): Description of 2021-22 General Fund support for CAreer Pathways has been corrected.
April 30, 2012 - The FI$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 9, 2017 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee
March 21, 2013 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration and General Government
May 14, 2019 - The Governor’s May Revision includes Medi-Cal spending of $19.7 billion from the General Fund ($93.4 billion total funds) in 2018-19 and $23 billion from the General Fund ($102.2 billion total funds) in 2019-20. As will be described in this post, about half of the reduction in estimated spending in 2018-19 reflects a shift of costs in Medi-Cal to a different budget item, rather than a true reduction in estimated program costs. After accounting for this shift, the May Revision is about $350 million below January estimates across 2018-19 and 2019-20.
March 26, 2019 - When facing budget problems in the past, the state has “deferred” payments from one fiscal year into the next, providing significant one-time budgetary savings. While the state has already addressed many of its outstanding deferrals, there are still three major categories of deferrals remaining. These are related to: (1) state employee payroll, (2) pension payments, and (3) Medi-Cal payments. The Governor proposes using $1.7 billion to undo the payroll and pension deferrals. We find this would improve the state’s fiscal position and moderately improve the state’s budgetary practices, however, this approach has shortcomings relative to alternatives. This post recommends an alternative approach to the Governor’s proposal.