The State Worker

FI$Cal project leader stepping down

An SAP server room in Walldorf, Germany.
An SAP server room in Walldorf, Germany. AP

For the third time this year, another top manager at California’s massive FI$Cal technology project is leaving.

This time Project Executive Barbara Taylor is returning to the Department of Finance after six years working on the $672.6 million initiative. Her last day on the job is Nov. 20, IT industry publication Techwire first reported.

Other top project managers to leave this year include Executive Partner Jeff Uyeda, who retired over the summer, and Tamara Armstrong, now executive director of the Department of Technology’s Project Management Office.

State officials want FI$Cal to unify budgeting, accounting, procurement, and cash management tasks now spread across a patchwork of older computer systems. Given the government’s history of failed big-ticket computer projects, FI$Cal will become either a high-profile IT rehabilitation or the most expensive relapse in the government’s technological history.

Taylor has been the project executive since 2012. Before joining FI$Cal, she worked several budgeting positions for Finance. That experience, according to her online biography, exposed her to “the inefficient, manually intensive processes we currently utilize, and recognizes the great opportunities that FI$Cal will provide the State.”

Her duties included representing FI$Cal before the Legislature and providing “oversight and leadership for the project” according to the website.

Taylor is returning to the finance department. Her duties will be split between Miriam Barcellona Ingenito, FI$Cal’s executive partner, and Project Director Neeraj Chauhan.

Ingenito said that Taylor’s departure isn’t a sign of turmoil: 54 departments have come online with 96 more to go.

“We’re actually doing well,” Ingenito said.