SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – California’s hurry to finish a long-awaited $1 billion accounting software project without fixing familiar problems could ultimately harm the state’s credit rating, the state auditor said Tuesday.
In a report by State Auditor Elaine Howle, state that the timeline is unrealistic and will result in a completely different and lacking product than what was first promised to taxpayers in 2005.
“Specifically, the updated project plan continues the project’s trend of removing key features from the project’s scope, increasing the budget, and developing unrealistic schedules, resulting in a product that will lack crucial features, such as bond and loan accounting tools, and will not include the transition of the state’s annual financial reporting to FI$Cal,” Howle states in the the report.
After more than a decade of missteps and budgeting fiascos, the state has given an official June 2020 end date for work on a beleaguered information technology program called FI$Cal.
However, Howle, citing a lack of available and incomplete financial reporting from the various state agencies involved with the massive project, says the total cost could be much higher than the latest figure of $1.06 billion. It’s also likely that lawmakers are being left in the dark, Howle warns.
If the state sticks to its June 2020 end date, Howle claims it will be getting an “incomplete system that lacks budgetary transparency.”
The Fi$Cal project office did not immediately respond to a media request regarding Howle’s report.
For the full report check out the pdf below