Audit: $175 million state HR system needs improvement

    Romney Building | Susan J. Demas

    Updated, 3:20 p.m. with the State Budget Office’s comments.

    A new government audit shows that the Statewide Integrated Governmental Management Applications system used by almost 50,000 state employees — commonly known as SIGMA — needs improvements to its security and monitoring capacities.

    The State Budget Office (SBO) fully agreed with four out of the six major findings in the Auditor General’s March 28 report, saying that it’s already begun to take action on issues including system security and access. The agency partially agreed with the other two, saying that it’s already made efforts to ensure the compliance and track the performance of SIGMA vendor CGI Technologies and Solutions.

    Michigan Capitol
    Michigan Capitol | Susan J Demas

    State employees, along with the small number of others, including contractors, university employees, and local and federal employees, who use SIGMA use the software to keep track of hours, expense reimbursements and other human resources-related applications.

    The $175 million system, which replaced a sprawling network of dozens of programs in 2017, has faced several issues since its rollout. The Lansing State Journal reported in October 2017 that state employees had issues obtaining reimbursement in the aftermath of SIGMA’s launch, with some waiting to be repaid for expenses up to $1,000.

    Among the findings in the March 28 audit were that more than 200 users had access to the system after completing their state employment, that insufficient monitoring was in place for actions taken by high-level users, and that some data from vendors were not sufficiently vetted for accuracy. The state auditor also disclosed that the state withheld more than $500,000 of the vendor’s pay for missing various benchmarks, in keeping with the terms of its contract.

    SBO spokesperson Jenni Riehle told the Advance that the office was “pleased” with the results of the audit, “particularly relative to the size and scope of SIGMA.”

    Riehle added that “We appreciate the work performed by the OAG [Office of the Auditor General] and have already implemented changes for the recommendations that we agree with.”*

    Derek Robertson
    Derek Robertson covers local government, education, health care and the social safety net, and LGBTQ issues. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington, and before that covered local politics in Chicago. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He enjoys film, the Detroit Pistons and his cat. He once competed in the National Spelling Bee, but was eliminated before any potential ESPN appearances.

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