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California State Auditor Report Number: 2016-701

Recommendations for the Legislature From Audits Issued During 2015 and 2016

January 10, 20172016-701

Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:

The California State Auditor’s Office aims to provide oversight and to ensure the accountability of government operations. As such, my office conducts independent audits as mandated by the Legislature through statute or the budget process, or through requests directed by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. While our recommendations are typically directed to the agencies we audit, we also make recommendations for the Legislature to consider in the interest of more efficient and effective government operations. This special report summarizes those recommendations we made during calendar years 2015 and 2016 for the Legislature to consider.

In this special report we include recommendations intended to improve access to higher education for California residents. For example, our audit of the University of California (university) found that, over the past several years, the university has failed to put the needs of residents first, and has made substantial efforts to enroll nonresidents who pay significantly more annual tuition and fees. In our report, we recommended that the Legislature consider amending state law to limit the percentage of non resident students that the university can enroll each year.

In some instances, we make recommendations intended to protect California’s most vulnerable citizens, such as children in the foster care and child welfare systems. Our audit regarding the administration of psychotropic medications to foster children found that the fragmented structure of the State’s child welfare system has resulted in a lack of a comprehensive plan to coordinate the various mechanisms currently in place to ensure that the foster children’s health care providers prescribe these medications appropriately. To address this issue, we recommended that the Legislature require the California Department of Social Services to collaborate with county partners and other stakeholders to develop and implement a reasonable oversight structure.

The Appendix includes a listing of legislation chaptered or vetoed during the second year of the 2015–16 Regular Legislative Session that was related to the subject matter discussed in our audit reports.

If you would like more information or assistance regarding any of the recommendations or the background provided in this report, please contact Paul Navarro, Chief of Governmental and Legislative Affairs, at (916) 445-0255.

Respectfully submitted,

State Auditor

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