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Newsom Reappoints Ingenito as Director of FI$Cal

“I appreciate the governor’s confidence in our leadership, and I am looking forward to continuing along the great path we have charted at the Department of FI$Cal,” Ingenito told Techwire.

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Headshot of Miriam Barcellona Ingenito.
Miriam Barcellona Ingenito, director of FI$Cal.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has reappointed Miriam Barcellona Ingenito as director of the Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal).

Ingenito, who has been in state service since 1997, was appointed director in 2016 and was confirmed by the state Senate a year later.

 “I appreciate the governor’s confidence in our leadership, and I am looking forward to continuing along the great path we have charted at the Department of FI$Cal,” Ingenito told Techwire on Friday in a statement. “The FI$Cal system has modernized how the state of California manages its finances and is one of the largest and most dynamic IT and business-transformation undertakings in California’s history.”

The FI$Cal system is a joint undertaking of the Department of Finance (DoF), the Department of General Services (DGS), the State Controller’s Office (SCO) and the State Treasurer’s Office (STO) and functions as the state’s unified accounting, budget, cash management and procurement IT system.

“It’s a big job supporting the financial management of California, which serves 40 million residents and boasts the fifth-largest economy in the world,” Ingenito told Techwire. “Today, the FI$Cal system successfully serves as the departmental accounting system for 152 departments and nearly 15,000 users processing more than $350 billion in expenditures each year. The State Treasurer’s Office functionality handles about $2 trillion in state government banking transactions annually. In addition, our Open FI$Cal website allows the public to view expenditure data for each department in the FI$Cal system, increasing state transparency.”

FI$Cal’s evolution and progress have been scrutinized — and criticized — by, among others, State Auditor Elaine M. Howle, whose office said in a December report that the transition from state agencies’ individual financial ledgers to the unified FI$Cal system “has diminished the state’s financial reporting and accountability and could lead to increased borrowing costs.”

FI$Cal weighed in a month later with a response to the auditor’s report, citing the system’s high functionality and its widespread adoption across state government.

Ingenito’s background includes having served as FI$Cal’s executive partner from its creation in 2015 to 2016. Before that, she had been chief deputy director at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control from 2013 to 2015; deputy secretary for Environmental Policy and Community Programs at the California Environmental Protection Agency from 2011 to 2013; deputy director of legislation for the California Department of Finance from 2009 to 2011; and principal consultant for the California State Senate Committee on Appropriations from 2001 to 2009. Prior to that, Ingenito served as assistant to the secretary for Policy and Program Analysis at the California Resources Agency from 1999 to 2001, and had been a fiscal and policy analyst at the California Legislative Analyst’s Office from 1997 to 1999.

Ingenito earned a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago.

“I am honored to serve under Governor Newsom and look forward to the future and how our organization will continue to adapt to changes as new technology makes some processes obsolete or dramatically changes the nature of the work,” she told Techwire. “FI$Cal has a key role to play in ensuring that every state employee can have a seamless digital experience when performing tasks for the state of California.”

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.