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Gross Mismanagement Led to the Misuse of State Resources
and Multiple Violations of State Laws

California Department of Food and Agriculture and a District Agricultural Association

Report Number: I2019-4


Relevant State Laws and Policies

Overall Relevant Criteria

Government Code section 8547.2 defines an improper governmental activity as an activity by a state employee that violates any state law or regulation or violates any policy or procedure mandated by the State Administrative Manual or State Contracting Manual.

Government Code section 19572 states each of the following constitutes a cause for employee discipline: inexcusable neglect of duty; dishonesty; inexcusable absence without leave; misuse of state property; violation of the inconsistent or incompatible activities prohibitions set forth in accordance with Government Code section 19990; and other failure of good behavior, either during or outside of duty hours, that is of such a nature that it causes discredit to the appointing authority or the person's employment.

Relevant Criteria for Misuse of State Resources

Government Code section 8314 states that it is unlawful for state employees to use or permit others to use public resources for personal purposes.

Government Code section 19990 prohibits state employees from engaging in activities that conflict with their state duties, including using state time, facilities, equipment, or supplies for private gain and failing to devote their full time, attention, and efforts to their state employment during their hours of duty as state employees.

Government Code section 19993.1 states that no state employee shall use, or permit the use of, any state-owned motor vehicle other than in the conduct of state business.

California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 599.802, states that misuse of a state‑owned vehicle includes driving it or using it for something other than conducting state business.

Relevant Criteria for Usage of State Vehicles

California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 599.807, requires state agencies to maintain adequate mileage logs for state‑owned vehicles.

California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 599.808, requires employees to obtain approved permits to store state-owned vehicles at home on a regular basis.

State Administrative Manual section 0751 states that employees who operate vehicles for official state business must have valid driver's licenses, insurance, and good driving records and that agencies should request drivers' records annually.

Relevant Criteria for Internal Controls

Government Code section 13400 et seq. declares as state policy that each agency head is responsible for establishing and maintaining an effective system of internal control, which the agency must evaluate through regular and ongoing monitoring processes, promptly correcting any weaknesses detected. An effective internal control system is one that segregates duties for proper safeguarding of state agency assets; limits access to agency assets to authorized personnel who require them to perform their duties; and provides policies and procedures that comply with laws, criteria, standards and other requirements.

State Administrative Manual sections 8601, 8650, 8651, and 8652 require that state agencies tag all state property, such as machinery and tools; maintain records in a property accounting or inventory system; and carry out an inventory plan that includes inventory taking, internal controls, and the reporting and approval of inventory adjustments. Agencies must physically count all property and reconcile that count with their accounting records at least once every three years.

Relevant Criteria for Travel

Government Code section 11032 authorizes state officers and employees to confer with other persons, associations, or organizations outside of the State when doing so may assist in the conduct of state business. Actual and necessary expenses for travel outside of the State for these purposes are allowed when the Governor approves them.

Government Code section 11033 provides that state officers and employees cannot absent themselves from the State on state business without the Governor's prior approval unless the absence is for less than five consecutive working days and involves travel into states bordering California.

Government Code section 11139.8 provides that state agencies cannot require their employees, officers, or members to travel to a state that enacted a law after June 26, 2015, that voids or repeals existing state or local protections against discrimination, nor may agencies approve requests for state-funded or state-sponsored travel to any such state. The section further states that the attorney general will develop, maintain, and post on a website a current list of such states and that agencies are responsible for consulting the list to comply with the travel and funding restrictions.

California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 599.619, provides that employees traveling on State business shall be reimbursed actual expenses for receipted lodging, and for meals and incidentals, up to the maximum allowable rate. The California Department of Human Resources' Personnel Management Liaisons Memorandum provides the most current rates for travel expense reimbursements.

California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 599.638.1, states that the State will pay travel expense claims only if they are submitted on a travel expense claim (Standard Form 262) or some other form approved by the California State Controller. Each expense claim must be itemized, accompanied by the necessary receipts and supporting documentation, and approved by the authorized officer. An officer approving a claim is responsible for ascertaining the necessity and reasonableness of the expenses for which reimbursement is claimed, as well as the claim's compliance with regulations.

State Contracting Manual FI$Cal section 8.B2.7 states that CAL‑Cards cannot be used for travel‑related expenses, including per diem expenses normally reimbursed to state employees on travel expense claims. It also states that only the assigned cardholders may use CAL‑Cards.

Governor's Executive Order B-06-11 prohibits discretionary travel and requires the Governor's Office's approval of all out-of-state travel. It prohibits all travel, either in-state or out-of-state, unless the travel is mission critical or involves no cost to the State. Mission critical refers to travel that directly relates to enforcement responsibilities; auditing; revenue collection; a function required by statute, contract, or executive directive; or job-required training necessary to maintain licensure or similar standards required for holding a position.

Other Relevant Criteria

California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 599.665, requires that each appointing power keep complete and accurate time and attendance records for all employees over whom it has jurisdiction.

Penal Code section 484 provides that every person who feloniously steals, takes, carries, leads, or drives away the personal property of another is guilty of theft. The reasonable and fair market value shall be the test to determine the value of the property obtained.

Government Code section 11122.5 states that a majority of the members of a state body shall not, outside an authorized meeting, use a series of communications of any kind to discuss, deliberate, or take action on any item of business that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the state body.

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