Cost of California’s Delayed Tech Overhaul Surpasses $1 Billion

The budget for California’s long-delayed accounting program has surpassed $1 billion and more spending will be required before all state departments are using it.

The system originally was expected to cost $138 million and be completed by July 2011.

The Financial Information System of California (Fi$Cal) project began in 2004. The completion date has been delayed repeatedly, and the budget estimates have gone up – and at times down – as changes were made to the scope of the project.

FI$CAL’s most recent approved completion date had been this year. However, repeated delays and rising costs hampered its completion. The project received an additional $145 million, bringing the total to $1.06 billion, with an extended deadline to July 2020.

While the project is 98 percent functional, six state departments still depend on legacy software from the 1980s to complete necessary financial tasks. State Controller Betty Yee told lawmakers this year that extended delays could threaten the state’s credit worthiness. (Source: The Sacramento Bee, September 18.)

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