The State Worker

Column Extra poll: Should California state payroll project aim lower?

Our State Worker column this week looks at a tension confronting the state’s stalled payroll overhaul: An audit of the MyCalPays Project (A.K.A. the 21st Century Project) project could yield invaluable lessons that would benefit nearly three dozen state IT projects in the pipeline, but it could also jeopardize its lawsuit against tech vendor SAP. The Legislative Analyst’s report that raised that issue also suggests that the state reassess whether it needs a universal payroll system for California’s vast, diverse bureaucracy. From the report:

Due to recent events, it is unclear whether integrating all of the state’s payroll systems, as envisioned in the (21st Century) Project, is feasible. Payroll practices can vary significantly across state departments, and some departments, such as the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, have particularly complex payroll needs that complicate the state’s ability to integrate these systems. This option would assess updating payroll systems in a decentralized fashion that integrates less complex payroll departments together and considers alternative approaches for modernizing the payroll systems of complex departments.

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