Report 2011-116.1 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 2011-116.1: Department of General Services: The Division of the State Architect Lacks Enforcement Authority and Has Weak Oversight Procedures, Increasing the Risk That School Construction Projects May Be Unsafe (Release Date: December 2011)

Recommendations to General Services, Department of
Number Recommendation Status

To ensure public safety and provide public assurance that school districts construct projects in accordance with approved plans, the department, in conjunction with the division, should pursue legislative changes to the Field Act that would prohibit occupancy in cases in which the division has identified significant safety concerns.

Will Not Implement

To better use the enforcement tools at its disposal, the division should continue and expand its use of both orders to comply and stop work orders, as defined in its regulations. The division should also develop performance measures to assess the success of any efforts it makes to address safety concerns and reduce the number of uncertified projects.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that it clearly justifies the reasons a project's noted issues merit a particular classification, the division should either modify its current policies regarding classifying types of uncertified projects or develop new policies, including requiring documentation of the rationale behind project-specific classifications. It should use its classifications to prioritize its efforts to follow up on uncertified projects based on risk and to better inform the public regarding the reasons it has not certified projects.

Fully Implemented

To reduce the number of uncertified projects, the division should implement initiatives to follow up with school districts on uncertified projects. Those initiatives should include, at a minimum, regularly sending each district a list of its uncertified projects and assessing the success of the division's follow-up efforts.

Fully Implemented

To ensure it is providing adequate oversight of school district construction projects, the division should develop robust procedures for monitoring inspectors' submission of semi-monthly reports. The division should also maintain all semi-monthly reports in its project files.

Fully Implemented

To ensure it is providing adequate oversight of school district construction projects, the division should develop and document an overall strategy that establishes specific expectations for conducting site visits and monitoring construction. The division should then record and compare its actual visits and monitoring efforts to its planned actions. The division should document explanations for any deviations from its plans.

Fully Implemented

To ensure it is providing adequate oversight of school district construction projects, the division should establish consistent criteria for entering data into its database on key aspects of projects, such as the dates for the start and end of construction.

Fully Implemented

To mitigate risks arising from the relationship between inspectors, school districts, and project managers, the division should develop formal procedures and explicit directions for field engineers to ensure that they establish a presence on project sites and provide adequate oversight of inspectors during construction.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that it approves inspectors prior to the start of project construction, the division should streamline its approval process by reviewing inspectors' workloads and past experience using the data it already maintains.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that certified inspectors are knowledgeable about current code requirements, the division should not excuse inspectors from required trainings and should improve its process for identifying expired certification exam scores. Further, the division should consistently follow and document its procedures for verifying the past employment of inspector applicants.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that it formally monitors inspectors' performance, the division should reestablish a process for evaluating inspectors that provides consistent documentation of performance. The division should make this information accessible to appropriate staff.

Fully Implemented

To address areas in which its staff do not currently have expertise, the division should finalize its field pilot and take subsequent steps to ensure it has qualified staff to provide oversight of accessibility; fire and life safety; and the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing aspects of construction.

Fully Implemented

To better manage its construction oversight and close-out functions, the division should develop measures to assess those functions and it should periodically report the results to the public on its Web site.

Fully Implemented

To address possible staffing problems, the division should use documented workload metrics to perform an assessment of its current staffing levels and determine its staffing needs. It should revisit the field pilot and make necessary changes to reflect its understanding of its current staffing situation.

Fully Implemented

Print all recommendations and responses.