Thank you for the opportunity to speak today.
As a parent of a 2nd grader and a taxpayer, I would like to ensure that the district maximizes dollars that reach the classroom. I spoke 2 years ago before the approval of the Workday HCM and Payroll project, highlighting concerns about the hidden costs.
Let’s recap where we are today with that initiative. As of last week, 4.3 million dollars has been spent, and another 2 million dollars is still owed for Payroll and HCM. Also, the BOE approved an additional 1 million dollars for a new Identity Management system, which was needed because the previous system was based on the previous HR system that the district moved away from.
For the BOE directors who were here at that time, did you understand that your decision would lead to over 6.3 million dollars in expenses for Payroll & HCM, and another 1 million dollars for a new identity management system? If not, have you asked where the additional money came from, and what sacrifices had to be made to pay for it?
Now let’s take a look at what you are being asked to approve today. Let’s make sure that this time, you have the full story, so that you can truly make an informed decision.
The district is asking for 2.5 million dollars for Workday subscription fees for 4 new modules: Financial, Procurement, Inventory, and Recruiting. This is money that will paid directly to the company Workday for the use of their platform.
This will be a worthless investment without an implementation effort. Implementation consulting is necessary, and it is a large additional cost for a project of this nature. For Payroll and HCM, implementation costs were over 2.2 million dollars from the main implementation vendor alone. Additional money was spent on smaller consulting arrangements that did not require BOE approval.
For 3 of the 4 new modules, the district stated that they will provide this implementation cost in April or May, after an RFP process. This could easily be several million more dollars. If you approve the subscription fees for these 3 modules tonight, your backs will be against the wall in a few months, when the district asks you to approve the cost for the main implementation vendor. You will either have to approve what they bring to you, or you will be wasting the money for the platform that is not being used.
Think about what I just said from the perspective of the implementation vendor. If this is not a competitive bid – and the original RFP was not – this gives the vendor leverage to bid high.
Tonight, the district is also asking to you approve a 22-month extension for Payroll and HCM for nearly 1.2 million dollars, but the payment terms show that this needs to be paid immediately. I think it is important to understand the reasons behind these payment terms.
There are consequences to making large financial decisions without the full picture. My recommendation is to hold off on this approval until the RFP process has been completed and all other questions have been answered.