By Miriam Barcellona Ingenito, Director of FISCal 

The Department of FISCal (FI$Cal) is focused on creating an ever-improving system that becomes continually more robust and user friendly. The center of our strategic plan, continuous improvement and excellent customer service, provides the impetus for us to now ask how we might improve the FI$Cal system in order to best serve our end users.

With our end users in mind, we once again used a human-centered design approach in developing our priorities for 2022. Our leadership team started by reviewing feedback from our 2021 Imagine FI$Cal sessions, to see what our end users and partners had suggested for improvements. The FI$Cal leadership team took this information, along with our own experiences over the past few years, and asked the question, “How might we…” around three central ideas. We then began the work to create actionable goals and initiatives for 2022. Over the course of our Vision 2022 sessions, the leadership team selected these three questions to address:

  • How might we create a data retention policy to reduce data in production?
  • How might we initiate a plan for creating and implementing a Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) tool?
  • How might we get the enhancement backlog current and on schedule?

Building on these areas of data retention, auditing, and enhancements, we concentrated on the biggest and most urgent projects needed to improve the system, and set those as our focus for the year. As such, the initiatives will include the development of a data retention policy, implementing a GRC tool, and creating solutions for the backlog of enhancements.

The data retention policy will create a standard for how data is kept and managed. By identifying storage needs, access methods, data classification, and retention periods, we will be able to house only the information that is necessary for daily functions within the system. For data that is not housed in the system, but still needs to be accessed by users, we will develop a storage system, along with policies on how the information is accessed and retained.

This data retention project will improve system performance, by freeing up space in the system and improving access to the most critical data.

The GRC tool is a framework that will help us meet and exceed compliance and risk standards. We will be able to internally review and audit our processes, giving us better insights into our methods of compliance. By bringing an auditing tool in-house, FI$Cal will be better able to create standard controls and policies, in order to mitigate risks. By creating a way to understand and proactively address these issues, we’ll be better able to anticipate partner needs and departmental requests, and close gaps in requirements.

This is only the beginning of what will be a three-phased approach to developing and implementing the GRC tool. Once we deploy our internal GRC tool for our own housekeeping, we will begin phase two of our planning efforts to expand this service to external partners, starting with the State Controller’s Office, to utilize for their auditing functions. In the final phase, we will begin efforts to see if this tool can be a service offered to all of our customer departments.

FI$Cal end users are at the forefront of everything we do. As such, we are continuously updating and enhancing the FI$Cal system based on feedback from our end users. In order to better implement our enhancement process, we will focus on improving the way we identify, organize, and process enhancements.

We will develop strategies, such as road mapping and scheduling improvements, in order to clarify how, where, and when enhancements are processed and implemented. By coming up with strategies to identify and categorize enhancements, we’ll be able to more effectively implement them. Be it categorizing enhancement timelines into near-, middle-, and long-term projects, or bundling enhancements into buckets to be approached simultaneously, we’ll determine methods to more strategically approach the enhancement process to save time and resources. Along with strategic improvements, we will also validate stakeholder readiness, to ensure project roles are clearly defined.

FI$Cal will continue to be modern and innovative while supporting the changing needs of our end users. Through your feedback, we are able to work on making your highest priorities ours. We look forward to tackling these projects together in the coming year!