The University of California’s payroll system upgrade will be delayed once again, which will cost the university millions of dollars more than originally planned.
The UC Payroll, Academic Personnel, Timekeeping & Human Resources project seeks to replace campuses’ outdated and decentralized systems with one processing center. The UCPath program, part of the UC’s Working Smarter initiative, was initially predicted to save up to $123 million annually by cutting down on administrative inefficiencies.
It had a price tag of $175 million when it was first planned in early 2011. Now, it is expected to cost more than $504 million based on its revised project schedule.
[Related: Delays to UCPath project to cost millions]
UCPath is currently only in place at the UC Office of the President, where it started distributing paychecks in January 2016. UC campuses have yet to implement the system.
Ricardo Vazquez, UC spokesperson, said in an email the University pushed its plans to implement UCPath for the first time at several campuses from August 2017 to December 2017 because the program needed further testing.
“Additional testing was needed in the most complex part of the work, which involves converting data from the old payroll systems into UCPath,” Vazquez said.
He added the time needed for the extra test cycle pushed the project close to the university’s annual Open Enrollment cycle, when many people sign up for health insurance plans. He said implementing the project during this cycle would have added complexity and risk to this deployment effort.
Vazquez also said the total $504 million cost includes $26 million for insurance to accommodate unexpected large expenses in the final year of the project budget. He added UC will not necessarily have to spend the insurance money.
Since the project started, the UC has spent $327 million on the project, which is expected to be completed in December 2018 when the final set of campuses – UC San Diego, UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley – switch over to UCPath.
UCOP financed about two-thirds of the cost, and campuses will cover the remaining cost based on their percentage of the total employee population through the end of the project, Vazquez added.