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CA State Controller’s Office (SCO) Case Studies

The State Controller’s Office (SCO) is responsible for distributing funds to local governments, agencies, and special district entities across California. In a typical year, SCO distributes over 30,000 payments totaling over $40B. Delegata designed, built, and managed an award-winning solution, the Agile Payment System (APS), to help SCO manage these distributions, along with the complex and dynamic business processes surrounding them. The APS brought SCO from outdated and unsupported technologies to newer and more reliable methods, tools, and systems.

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Agile Payment System (APS)

The Challenge

SCO administers apportionment programs that process, allocate and disburse billions of dollars in payments to local governments, agencies and special district entities. The apportionment support systems developed in the early 1990’s were maintained using antiquated and, in some instances, unsupported technologies. State and local government agencies receiving apportionment payments were at risk due to the possible failure of aging payment processing systems. Not only was the technology itself obsolete, the SCO found it difficult to recruit technical resources with skillsets to perform new apportionment programming or system maintenance functions. Legislative demands for flexibility continually exceeded the old apportionment payment system’s ability to adapt to new business rules and requirements. Therefore, SCO’s financial analysts were forced to create complex system ‘work-arounds’ and perform labor-intensive paper-based processes to ensure payment integrity and timely distribution.  Concerns regarding modifications to an unsupported system also began to hold back important infrastructure upgrades which placed even more burden on the small support staff.  SCO’s system and process inflexibility caused challenges to the state and local government agencies that received the apportionment payment services.

The Solution

SCO selected Delegata to manage, design, develop, and implement the Agile Payment System (APS), a custom web-based application, with the corresponding business processes and technical infrastructure. Utilizing the Diamond methodology and a teambased commitment to finish the project on time and on budget, Delegata delivered an ‘interpretive’ solution that enables SCO to quickly and easily model their new and changing business processes. The flexible solution interprets business models and enables business owners to define and enter business rules directly into the APS application. Since business rules and processes are stored as data (not implemented in code), the solution does not require new programming to accommodate changes.

The Benefits

In addition to managing and implementing APS utilizing proven methodologies from the Project Management Body of Knowledge
(PMBOK) and the Rational Unified Process (RUP), Delegata employed its proprietary Organizational Change Management (OCM) and Business Process Reengineering (BPR) methods and tools from their best practices-based Diamond Methodology to help ensure the new processes and system were quickly and effectively adopted by SCO’s business users. At the outset of the APS initiative, SCO leadership recognized that impacts on their organization and business processes would be just as significant as the changes to their technology environment. They requested that OCM be a component of delivery and consider it one of the keys of their success.

The Benefits

  • Empowers business users to directly add new Apportionment
    Programs & modify calculations on demand without IT
    programming resources;
  • Provides individual payees the ability to receive multiple
    payments that are summarized on a single Remittance Advice;
  • Enables efficient and rapid expansion of system files & data
    repositories due to flexible system design;
  • Quickly and accurately calculates apportionment payments,
    produces claim payment files in appropriate formats, and creates
    claim schedules, reports, & journal entries; and
  • Automates the exchange of fund information & accounting
    entries for apportionment payments via direct interface with
    SCO’s Fiscal System.

Delegata and SCO received the 2007 Best Solutions Award at the Government Technology Conference for the Agile Payment System.