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State Agency Seeks Proposals for New Payroll, HR System

The State Controller’s Office is seeking vendors to propose solutions for the sweeping project, with a contract term of four years and five optional one-year add-ons.

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The California State Controller’s Office (SCO) published a solicitation Wednesday for a new state payroll system to replace “a number of aging and inflexible information systems” that are no longer sufficient.

This outreach is a big one, according to the California Department of Technology, which is handling the solicitation for SCO.

“The California State Payroll System (CSPS) Project is a large-scale, complex business and IT transformation project with impacts to almost all functions within SCO, as well as Human Resources (HR) and Accounting departments at external state agencies,” the solicitation says. “This solicitation is for the development and implementation of a cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) solution to replace SCO’s mainframe legacy travel and expense, personnel and payroll systems. The CSPS solution will incorporate position control, personnel administration, benefits administration, time management (Core HR), travel and expense, and payroll functionality.”

The payroll project is a sweeping one, as the scope of services indicates:
  • Developing, configuring and implementing the solution.
  • Supporting the state’s data identification, cleansing and validation tasks.
  • Migrating and validating converted data into the solution.
  • Providing training.
  • Supporting efforts in organizational change management.
  • Ongoing maintenance and operations of the solution and hosting environment.
  • Actions related to the transition to the new solution.

The solicitation includes a litany of needs, including cloud services, engineering, network management, application development, system management software, and finance and accounting software.

The state intends to award a single contract for a complete solution with all of the functional areas described in this solicitation, and will not accept partial or multiple bids.

The contract proposes a four-month proof of concept period, and the contract would be for four years, with an option for five one-year add-ons.

The solicitation includes a summary of the current system’s limitations: “The SCO system infrastructure is complex, fragile, and requires nearly constant monitoring by IT staff,” it says. “As a result of the inability to easily and quickly make system changes, a significant amount of transactional backlog is created when mandated changes are implemented. To manage this, state staff utilize numerous spreadsheets and desktop databases to verify and track transactions and costs. These offline systems and processes lead to duplicate sources of data that may contain potentially conflicting information.”

Key upcoming dates for vendors are:
  • Bidders’ conference: April 11.
  • Intent to bid and confidentiality statements due: April 18.
  • Last day to submit questions or request changes before Phase 1 submittal: May 16.
  • Phase 1 proposal response due: 2 p.m. June 29.

Various additional mileposts and deadlines, along with details of the state’s requirements, are detailed in the solicitation.
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in Northern California.