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Large State Department Begins Recruitment for Chief Deputy Director

The chief deputy must be “a change agent for the state, providing leadership and direction.” The executive “advises and consults with the statewide project governance and oversight organizations, state departments and agencies, and the Legislature, and provides statewide leadership and direction, technical knowledge and advice.”

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A key state agency in transition has opened recruitment for a new chief deputy director.

The Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal) is seeking to fill the key executive position in leadership of the department, which handles the state’s accounting, budgeting, cash management and procurement operations in a single financial management system.

The chief deputy director role, which is a Career Executive Assignment, had been held for the past six years by Neeraj Chauhan, who moved last month to be the associate chief information officer for the University of California, Davis.

The chief deputy director position is one of three key vacancies in the department. FI$Cal Director Miriam Ingenito is also recruiting for a new chief information officer (CIO) and a chief information security officer. The executive departures came as FI$Cal crossed a “milestone” by bringing virtually all state government departments into its financial system.

The FI$Cal chief deputy “advises and consults with the statewide project governance and oversight organizations, state departments and agencies, and the Legislature, and provides statewide leadership and direction, technical knowledge and advice regarding FI$Cal system implementation and statewide issues of significant policy impact,” the job posting says. “The chief deputy director also represents FI$Cal in meetings and hearings with the Legislature, Governor’s Office, department and steering committee meetings and problem-solving sessions.”

The job posting notes that the chief deputy “directs all phases of the FI$Cal system implementation, including initiation, planning, procurement, execution, operations and maintenance.”

“The chief deputy director is required to have an extensive knowledge of principles, practices and trends of public finance, governmental budgeting and accounting; program budgeting techniques; exercise a high degree of initiative, independence of action, creativity and originality; demonstrate tact and exercise sound judgment that recognizes the best interests of the state; communicate effectively; develop and maintain effective and cooperative working relationships; supervise a large matrix team of employees; work under pressure to meet deadlines; and maintain consistent, predictable attendance in the performance of these functions.”

The FI$Cal chief deputy role must be “a change agent for the state, providing leadership and direction to the Department of FISCal’s Administrative Services Division, Information Technology Division and the Business Solutions and Operations Division,” the posting notes. Additional details about the position can be found in the duty statement.

The monthly salary range for the chief deputy position is $7,781 to $18,310, and the application deadline is Nov. 19.

Ingenito and others praised Chauhan’s work while with the department, and he told Techwire last month that he would miss his colleagues.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved here at FI$Cal,” Chauhan told Techwire. “It has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to be part of this statewide transformational effort. As I leave to join another great organization with a great mission, I am leaving with many fond memories and a great sense of accomplishment. I am going to miss my FI$Cal family.”

Chauhan’s departure from FI$Cal followed that of the department’s award-winning CIO, Subbarao Mupparaju, who had served as CIO and deputy director since 2015. Mupparaju left that role in July and is now the CIO for the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
Dennis Noone is Managing Editor of Techwire. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in the Northern California foothills.