Report 2015-119 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 2015-119: State Board of Equalization: Its Tobacco Tax Enforcement Efforts Are Effective and Properly Funded, but Other Funding Options and Cost Savings Are Possible (Release Date: March 2016)

Recommendations to Equalization, Board of
Number Recommendation Status

Unless the Legislature directs the board to eliminate the compliance fund's excess fund balance within a time frame of more than a year, the board should eliminate the excess fund balance by June 30, 2017 by using it to offset the licensing program's annual funding shortfall. The board should also limit the fund's future balance to no more than two months' worth of licensing program expenditures.

Partially Implemented

The special taxes division should amend its budgeting process to reflect actual work that supervisors and support staff perform instead of adjusting staff members' predetermined allocations of time to ensure that the division does not exceed each program's budget.

Fully Implemented

The investigations division should ensure that investigators charge their time according to division policy and should determine a method to more accurately allocate investigators' time instead of using the predetermined method established in 2005 and since discontinued.

Fully Implemented

To reduce the licensing program's enforcement cost without compromising the level of increased compliance with the cigarette and tobacco products tax law that the inspection program has produced, the board should reduce the number of annual inspections and reinspections of retailers, distributors, and wholesalers that it conducts each year to reflect changes in the number of licensees that sell cigarette and tobacco products in California. This adjustment should align with the same frequency of inspections that the board followed when it implemented the inspection program, which is 26 percent—or approximately one inspection every four years—of these licensed locations.

Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status

To make the board's licensing program self-supporting, the Legislature should consider passing legislation to implement a funding model that will include a license fee increase or a combination of license fee increases, continued use of money from the Cigarette Tax Fund, and a cigarette tax increase similar to one of the proposed options outlined in this report.

No Action Taken

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