Budget includes canceled California computer project

05/15/2013 12:00 AM

05/15/2013 8:08 AM

The program may be dead, but the spending isn't over for the state's defunct payroll system overhaul.

Gov. Jerry Brown's budget includes a $14.5 million allocation for legal costs and computer data cleanup associated with the MyCalPays system that Controller John Chiang killed earlier this year.

Brown's January budget proposal called for $38 million and 150 positions to finish implementing the program, but Chiang canceled the contract with tech giant SAP after a series of error-filled test runs raised concerns that the project could never expand statewide.

Chiang spokesman Jacob Roper didn't have a detailed breakdown of how the controller will spend the reduced allocation.

The governor's budget revision says part of the money will pay for 40 temporary positions to move employee payroll accounts that were part of the failed test runs back to the old computer system, fix errors and make employees whole.

Some of the money will pay for legal costs. Chiang has said he will sue SAP, which has said it fulfilled the contract's terms.

In total, the Controller's Office has spent $262 million over nine years on the project. Lawmakers first approved funding for a state payroll overhaul in 1998.

Call The Bee's Jon Ortiz, (916) 321-1043. Follow him on Twitter @thestateworker and read his blog, The State Worker.

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