State of California Muffs the Football

If you mixed Peanuts, The Far Side, and Dilbert in just the right way, you might get a fictional result that’s almost as strange as what happened today.

Remember those pay cuts that Governor Newsom was supposed to give to State Employees? Well today, after most State Workers got their checks, the gang at the State Controller’s Office figured out that they calculated ALL the state employee’s pay wrong.

The miscalculation affected the employee and employer share of the retirement deductions. Depending on the employee’s circumstances, the calculation varies. The employee share amount ranges based on the gross subject to retirement amount but is estimated to be between approximately $.01 to $100, depending on the amount of retirement deduction.

SCO has corrected the calculation and payroll will process accurately, beginning with all payments issued July 24, 2020, and forward. SCO will process retirement adjustments with the August 2020 payroll to correct the July 2020 payroll discrepancy. The adjustment will be shown as deduction *PERS ADJ on the earnings statement…

By the way, SCO is way worse than DMV but you folks in the public don’t have to try to sort thru their crap which is a blessing. Betty Yee has run that place into the ground. They are further behind than EDD and DMV put together. (Years not months.) SCO’s processes and procedures were developed in the 1970’s and technology wise, I expect they are still running those computers from Y2K. Oh, I’ve been to their check processing facility. It looked like it was state of the art when Ronald Reagan was leaving the White House and they keep nursing the antique equipment along as best they can. When is the last time you saw someone using industrial equipment made by Pitney Bowes?

One reason I’m hitting SCO is this: instead of sending an electronic record of each error correction to each department’s accounting office, which anybody on the private sector would do, SCO’s practice is to print one 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper for each payroll error correction that is made. This paper is then mailed to each department every few days. In a typical year they print and mail well over 100,000 of these sheets of paper. Folks per my quick Internet search, there are reportedly 210,916 full time employees! I hope they don’t really waste that much paper. Last time I remember them making a big mistake in payroll was when open enrollment changes took effect and they botched deductions on over 30,000 checks. I got to touch over 17,000 of their error corrections myself. Oh, once the error corrections arrive, they are scanned and attached in the accounting system to the corresponding line item. If handled in the usual way, the current error will not waste man-hours, it will waste man-years of time.

I could explain more about how wasteful SCO is, but you get the idea. You’d think in a state like California, they could find a tech company to computerize the state’s financial processes but truthfully the state isn’t that interested. You taxpayers have already spent a billion dollars on the latest attempt to try. Do an Internet search on FI$CAL cost over-runs.

The state has no incentive to innovate or become more efficient. They refuse to change processes to assist in automating operations. The lack of a profit motive has that result. It’s much simpler to confiscate more money from you than be better with what they already take. Also, they have a contract with the union that nobody can be fired if their position is replaced by technology. Take comfort that no one will lose their job over this. SEIU, or somebody like that, has their back.