IE11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Longtime Staffer is New CIO at Tax, Fee Administration

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration has elevated a 20-year staffer to become its new technology leader after a search of nearly four months. He assumed his new role this week.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), created nearly two years ago to fairly and efficiently collect use and sales taxes and fees, has named a new technology leader after seeking a replacement for nearly four months.

CDTFA named longtime leader Scott Capulong its new chief information officer effective April 23, a department spokesperson confirmed to Techwire via email. He replaces Nabil Fares, who stepped down at the end of December. Among the takeaways from Capulong’s promotion:

• Capulong’s state career has been building toward this for more than a decade. He joined the agency’s precursor, the State Board of Equalization, in 1995 at its Santa Ana office, relocating to Sacramento in 1998 to join its Technology Services Division. He moved into leadership in 2015, taking a role in app development until he served as acting CIO from November 2016 to June 2017.

“Capulong was one of many tremendously qualified candidates we had the opportunity to interview. He is a longtime member of our department and CDTFA is excited about the leadership skills he brings to this important division,” the spokesperson said via email.

• Capulong became project leader of the Centralized Revenue Opportunity System (CROS) in August 2017. The $281 million project began in August 2016 with the selection of vendor Fast Enterprises Inc., and was aimed at getting off legacy with a move to a “customer-centered” solution. Its first production deployment, Rollout 2, wasn’t universally liked, with some users noting training and education could have been better. CDTFA has been testing the second CROS production release this winter and spring, Rollout 3 — which will include a variety of Special Tax programs — ahead of a planned mid-August rollout.

“There were definitely areas that had room for improvement after the implementation of Sales and Use Tax in Rollout 2," Capulong told Techwire earlier this year via email. "We listened intently to all input, conducted usability studies, and implemented a host of changes that have significantly streamlined the filing process.” Those changes, he said, included streamlined decision-making processes; a sandbox testing environment for staff; and usability study sessions for taxpayers.

• It’s unclear who could take the helm next as CROS project manager, but CDTFA said plans are in place to ensure a smooth ascension for the new CIO.

“Because the CROS project remains with our Technology Services division, Scott still retains oversight over the project during transition,” the spokesperson said, confirming that a CROS project manager has not been appointed  and noting that in Capulong’s new role as CIO, “his overall portfolio will include the CROS project.”

• Capulong succeeds Fares as CIO. Now CEO at Adroit Government, Fares was agency CIO for about nine months; and before that, had been CIO at the city of Stockton.

Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.