back to article State of Iowa told no, you can’t use $21m coronavirus federal aid to help fund your $52m Workday roll-out

In a warning to all those inclined towards budgetary imagination when finding funds for their next IT project, heed the lessons that are currently being learnt in a certain corner of the midwestern US. The state of Iowa has been told it cannot pay for a Workday HR and finance roll-out with funds shifted from its $1.25bn …

  1. beep54


    It was not mentioned but of COURSE Ohio has a Republican governor. This is the party that lives on creative accounting.

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: Ohio

      I think you bought a few wrong vowels. Ohio is not the same state as Iowa, despite having a Republican governor (they are not rare).

      Of course, diverting funds is a popular sport in the U.S. (How many pork-barrel tanks were not built, to better fund the pork-barrel wall?)

    2. whoseyourdaddy

      Re: Ohio

      Both Iowa and Ohio have R governors, last I checked. For now, at least.

    3. iron Silver badge

      Re: Ohio

      Not making stupid mistakes like that is what I'm readin for.

  2. IGotOut Silver badge

    This is endemic in (local) goverments...

    The world over.

    I know so many cases the the bribe, sorry, community funding, that house builders have to give when chucking up new estates have gone missing into council budget. So much so a charity I worked for and several others, threatened to take them to court.

    Amazingly a very well known MP suddenly put pressure on the council to release the funds. Up to that point he had no interest.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: This is endemic in (local) goverments...

      Indeed, the news here is that someone is trying to stop them before it is too late, not that it is being done.

    2. O RLY

      Re: This is endemic in (local) goverments...

      If it's widespread, perhaps it's pandemic in governments...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is endemic in (local) goverments...

        @O RLY

        Are you suggesting that we lockdown our local governments? Think of what that would do to the paper industry!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is endemic in (local) goverments...

          the flipside is that central government ring-fences so much of it's finding to ensure its priorities are funded that local government often find itself with plenty of money but unable to use it for what is actually needed. Then the creative accounting starts, often out of desperation.

    3. AndyD 8-)₹

      Re: This is endemic in (local) goverments...

      ... they even have a special word for it - 'virement'!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Having used Workday, I can't believe they paid $52m for it, it's not worth $5k

    1. Mark192

      Re: Workday?

      That higher figure includes staffing costs and is over 5 years. Elsewhere in the article they mention $21m as being the cost.

      From a know-nothing outsiders point of view, it seems expensive - I'd have thought that, with every business needing payroll software, it would be quite cheap for what you get.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Workday?

        Maybe the difference is simply expenses? You know, business jet lease, luxury hotels, expensive restaurants, escort services, exclusive golf course subscriptions, a short 2-month vacation to some tropical paradise for the family, well, the little things one needs to survive the work pressure...

      2. NeilPost Silver badge

        Re: Workday?

        Surely they already pay existing IT/HR staff costs out of revenue budget??

    2. FlamingDeath Silver badge

      Re: Workday?

      But the sales person was such a nice chap

      I’m just waiting for my kickback

  4. chivo243 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    All monies are created equal?

    Does some money not spend as well as others? I get budgets, but when the gov't is backing the money they are spending, shouldn't spending on the right things be a priority?

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: All monies are created equal?

      Sounds like there are federal and/or state laws dictating how funding is provided and spent. If you apply for emergency funding, it has to be spent on the emergency you applied under.

      Otherwise you could have a state governor with an unpopular and unfunded pet project, siphoning funds from other funded projects to pay for it. Budget accountability, transparency, misappropriation of funds and all that.

  5. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    Local gov

    Spits in disgust

    Has anybody found local govs braincell?

    I think it was last seen with central

  6. VeryOldFart

    We use it

    My last organisation has used it since 2012 and it has been transformational (in a good way). There was some pushback to it from some managers, but this was mostly because of Workday’s excellent security and auditing. Basically, you can’t hide stuff you should have done, but didn’t.

    I recommend that anyone considering and new HR/Finance system includes them in they evaluation list.

    I retired four years ago so have no axe to grind here.

  7. dboyes

    I really fail to see why there's such a fuss about the availability of COBOL programmers. It's not a difficult language to learn if you're a English speaker, and the formatting rules are no worse than PHP's whitespace significant syntax. The "shortage" says more about what managers think programmers should cost than finding the talent.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      I did a 14 day COBOL course 39 years ago, and with all the other stuff I've done since I don't think I'd have much of a problem with it. The problem is what goes into your CV. How are you getting another job after 5 years of COBOL in your CV?

  8. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    "Difficulty in recruiting and retaining personnel with historic [COBOL] code experience was cited as a problem in maintaining the system."

    Ooo Ooo! Me sir, me sir! (waves hand in air) I can do it from home, sir!

    1. John Jennings

      And I used to develop custom screens and reports from HRIS

      We can form a multi-billlion $$ company..... Its all just text files :)

  9. alisonken1

    I read a COBOL file in 1989 on a PC ...

    ... would that count on my CV?

  10. willi0000000

    ERPS-OP indeed.

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