By Jennifer Maguire, Chief Deputy Director

On July 1, 2021, we proudly announced across various platforms that the Department of FISCal (FI$Cal) has successfully completed and released the remaining project functionality on schedule. The only project task remaining is the validation work that must be done by the State Controller’s Office (SCO) and FI$Cal is committed to providing any support the SCO needs to complete this task.

As we look ahead, we know that accomplishments are just part of our journey. We remain focused on our strategic plan, and over the past few months, we have noted three areas of significant impact to our department that have garnered our attention: the increase in our enhancement backlog, the security of the FI$Cal system, and the onboarding of three of our ten deferred departments.

In order to be successful in each of these three areas, we submitted spring finance letters (SFL) requesting resources that would focus on improving accountability and outcomes from FI$Cal. Below are some highlights from the SFL proposals.

Beginning in July, onboarding of the California Department of Technology and the Department of Rehabilitation will begin. At the same time, onboarding planning for the California Department of Transportation will start. Resources were requested to support the onboarding of end users and the increased technical and data demands placed on the system.

In addition, our system integrator has rolled off in phases over the past four years, with FI$Cal staff absorbing the workload as they departed. Eventually, this will include all remaining enhancement and onboarding activities. It is imperative to request resources to ensure that additional workload will not negatively impact customer service, month-end and year-end close activities, system enhancements, and issue resolution. Resources for the Workforce Development Center were also requested to provide a more robust training team to help end users with system and process issues, and to update the learning content to meet the changing needs of departments.

Last, as we mature as a department, and as we improve our approach to enterprise and operational risk management, we have requested resources to address information technology security and internal control and compliance risks. These resources will support the implementation of solutions needed to improve the security and integrity of the state’s financial information.

This past week, our director appeared in front of the state legislative budget committees in each house to provide a brief summary of the proposals made in these SFLs. While there is still a chance that the legislature could amend these proposals, we believe the resources requested are reasonable and necessary, and we remain optimistic the requests will be upheld.

To read more about the proposals submitted, visit the 2022-23 Budget Change Proposal page on the Department of Finance website.