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The Iowa Department of Transportation’s rollout of a financial computer system has been delayed from May to July 1 — the third time the agency has pushed back the Workday software start.
The DOT, which signed a $9.4 million deal with Workday in 2017, implemented the human resources and payroll portion of the software in May 2019 — six months after the initial go-live date.
The finance portion, originally scheduled for June 2020 and then delayed to May, now will start July 1, DOT spokeswoman Andrea Henry said.
“June 2020 was the original target date at the onset of the project before we had the chance to really dig into implementation and the unforeseen complexities that could bring,” Henry said. “We have used this time to carefully configure the new system, convert data, build integrations, and train employees on how to use it. Because there are so many important business functions connected to our financial system, we’ve taken a cautious approach, taking the time needed to make sure we get everything right.”
The benefit of starting July 1, Henry said, is that is the start of the state’s fiscal year.
In addition to the DOT contract, Iowa signed a $50 million deal with Workday in October 2019 and February 2020 to convert all state agencies to the software. The state chose Workday, a California company, after sidestepping traditional bidding and after Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds' former chief of staff, Jake Ketzner, went to work for it as a lobbyist, The Gazette found in a 2020 investigation.
Reynolds last summer tried to use coronavirus relief aid for the project, but the U.S. Treasury Department and the state auditor told her it wasn't allowed because the system wasn't necessitated by COVID-19 and was in the works beforehand.
Reynolds signed a measure Feb. 23 appropriating $21 million of state general funds to the Workday implementation.
As part of the final bill considered in the 2021 legislative session, the Iowa Legislature on May 19 approved another $23.2 million for Workday as part of its standings bill. That appropriation passed the Senate 46 to 0 and House 55 to 31, with little comment except Rep. Chris Hall, D-Sioux City, saying the state got “snookered” into paying for this project.
The state of Maine still is considering whether to terminate its contract with Workday because of “defaults and failures to perform under the contract,” according to a March statement from the Maine Department of Administration and Financial Affairs to the Portland Press Herald.
Gazette reporter James Q. Lynch contributed to this report.
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