Report 2008-102 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2008-102: Office of Spill Prevention and Response: It Has Met Many of Its Oversight and Response Duties, but Interaction With Local Government, the Media, and Volunteers Needs Improvement (Release Date: August 2008)

Recommendations to Fish and Wildlife, Department of
Number Recommendation Status

To ensure that the State?s activities in response to an oil spill are complete and well integrated with other efforts, the spill office should regularly update the state plan and include references to sections of the regional plan and area plans that cover required elements.

Fully Implemented

To better integrate local plans with the response activities in other types of contingency plans, and to keep local plans up to date, the spill office should work with local governments to improve participation and should consider whether additional grant funding is needed.

Fully Implemented

With regard to postspill reviews, the spill office should determine whether the postspill reviews are an effective means for identifying areas for plan improvement and then take steps to either ensure the reviews are submitted or eliminate them from its regulations.

Fully Implemented

To ensure vessel preparedness for oil spills, the spill office should obtain and retain documentation related to completion of required tabletop exercises.

Fully Implemented

To avoid logistical problems in responding to oil spills, the spill office should collaborate with area committees in California to identify potential command centers that are sized appropriately and possess all necessary communications equipment.

Fully Implemented

To strengthen its role as a liaison between local governments and the unified command, the spill office should continue with its plans to develop qualification standards for liaison officers and to train more staff for that role. The spill office should also ensure that staff assigned as liaison officers participate in drills to gain experience. In addition, the spill office should ensure that staff in its operations center provide all necessary support, including communications equipment, to liaison officers in the field.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that it performs and reports spill volume calculations quickly and accurately, the spill office should collaborate with the Coast Guard to establish spill calculation protocols, including transportation needs and the sharing of each entity-s calculations. The spill office should also establish procedures to ensure that staff promptly report spill calculations to the state coordinator. Further, the spill office should include spill calculations as part of its drills.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that a state employee knowledgeable in oil spills is available to assist in public relations during a spill response, public relations staff in the communications office should participate in spill drills. The spill office should also develop protocols to ensure that key information, such as the role of volunteers, is disseminated to the public early in a spill response.

Fully Implemented

The spill office should ensure that the wildlife network identifies and trains a sufficient number of staff to carry out recovery activities outlined in contingency plans in the event of a large spill.

Fully Implemented

To the extent that hazardous waste training requirements are a barrier to maintaining sufficient numbers of trained staff, the spill office should continue to clarify with Cal/OSHA whether reduced requirements for hazardous waste training are acceptable for volunteers assisting on recovery teams, and should consider working with the wildlife network to ensure that this training is widely available to potential volunteers before a spill.

Fully Implemented

To ensure an appropriate reserve balance for the fund, the spill office should annually assess the reasonableness of the reserve balance and the per-barrel fee on crude oil and petroleum products. Using this annual assessment, the spill office should adjust expenditures or the per-barrel fee as necessary.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that the fund is charged only for oil spill prevention activities, the spill office and Fish and Game should provide guidelines to employees concerning when to charge activities to the fund and when to charge other funds for general activities.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that the fund is charged only for oil spill prevention activities, the spill office and Fish and Game should take steps to ensure that spill prevention wardens' time is charged appropriately, such as performing a time study of wardens to use as a basis for allocating wardens' time between the fund and other Fish and Game funding sources. Such a time study should be updated periodically to ensure that it remains valid and accurate.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that the fund is charged only for oil spill prevention activities, the spill office and Fish and Game should discontinue the current charge to the fund for the attorney we identified that does not perform spill prevention activities.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that the spill office has necessary resources available to it, and to reduce friction regarding the use of staff, the spill office and other Fish and Game units should discuss their respective authorities and better define the role of each in the management of spill prevention staff consistent with the administrator?s statutory responsibilities and the other needs of Fish and Game. Such discussions could clarify the spill office?s role in hiring and firing employees, spell out specific training needs, and identify how staff will be funded.

Fully Implemented

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