The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

May 23, 2013
Column Extra: Where the $14.6 million for MyCalPays will go

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Our column in today's fiber/cyber Bee looks at the how budget decisions regarding the failed MyCalPays project highlight the inherent tensions of governing.

In the case of the twice-failed state payroll program, officials face two related questions: Should the state commission an audit that would help other government mega-projects avoid the same errors? Or should it hold off on a detailed inward-looking forensic review -- a delay that would severely affect a review's findings and value -- to avoid undercutting potential litigation between the state and the MyCalPays contractor?

The Brown administration's May revision of the governor's proposed 2013-14 budget adds $14.6 million for cleaning up the wreckage from the failed system, but nothing for an independent review.

So where will that money go? Here's a breakdown provided by Controller John Chiang's spokesman Jacob Roper:

  • $2.3 million for 24.2 positions and position support to fix payments to employees and vendors and reconcile related records
  • $1.6 million for outside consultant on the most complex parts of reconciliation.
  • $1.6 million for existing facilities
  • $5 million for data center costs (includes downsizing the MyCalPays system at the state's tech center, while keeping a portion active and available for an assessment, legal purposes, etc).
  • $1.7 million for other project administration
  • $238,000 for legal support and project oversight
  • $215,000 for contracted support from the Department of Human Resources

The Assembly Budget SubCommittee #4 on State Administration heard reports on the MyCalPays system on Wednesday. Click the viewer to see what officials with the Legislative Analyst's Office, the Department of Finance and the State Controller's Office said about the project and the tension they confront between litigation and learning from mistakes.

With just 400 to 450 words for our weekly State Worker column, much of what we learn each week never sees print. Column Extras give you some of the notes, the quotes, the documents and the observations that inform what's published.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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