Report 2018-112 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 2018-112: California Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of General Services: The Departments' Mismanagement of the Veterans Home Properties Has Not Served the Veterans' Best Interests and Has Been Detrimental to the State (Release Date: January 2019)

Recommendations to General Services, Department of
Number Recommendation Status

To ensure that leases of veterans home property comply with state law and are consistent with the veterans homes' mission to serve the veteran residents, by June 2019 DGS should adopt, in consultation with CalVet, a definition of what constitutes the best interests of the veterans homes and begin incorporating that definition into the State Administrative Manual. DGS should deny any requests for leases that do not meet that standard. When leasing veterans home property, DGS should document its reasons for determining that the terms of the lease are in the best interests of the home.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that all leases of veterans home property protect the interests of the State and the homes, DGS should review the current lease that is void under state law and any that do not meet its criteria for being in the best interests of the veterans homes. DGS should attempt to reach new agreements with these lessees that address any areas of noncompliance and concern.

Fully Implemented

To remind state entities about the requirements for agreements that convey an interest in state property, by June 2019 DGS should issue guidance about its approval authority for such agreements.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that it can justify the rental rates it approves, DGS should document its assessment of market value and market rent for all veterans home property leases before leasing the property. It should set rental rates equivalent to fair market rent in all cases except those in which it accepts improvements to the property or services to the veterans in exchange for reduced or waived rent. In the cases of reduced or waived rent, DGS should document a calculation of the value of the property improvements or services and reduce the rent by an amount equal to the calculated values.

Fully Implemented

To comply with state law, DGS should begin depositing lease payments from leases of veterans home property into the General Fund so that those funds may be used to augment the appropriation of the veterans homes, and it should reimburse the General Fund for the amounts it inappropriately deposited into the property acquisition law money account. DGS should also annually notify the Department of Finance and the Legislature of the amount of lease payments it collects to ensure that those proceeds are appropriately directed to the veterans homes.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status

To prevent future leases of veterans home property that obligate the property to third parties for unnecessarily extended periods of time, the Legislature should amend state law to clarify that leases of veterans home property may not exceed five years unless a statutory exception applies.

Legislation Enacted

To improve the effectiveness of lease payment collection, the Legislature should amend state law beginning in fiscal year 2019-20 to require that DGS receive lease payments for all veterans home property leases, except those for employee housing and those that are required to be deposited into the morale fund.

No Action Taken

To protect the interests of the State and veterans homes, the Legislature should amend state law to require CalVet to promulgate regulations that define what types of short-term uses of veterans home property are in the best interests of the homes, including the interests of the residents of the homes, and to include in all short-term use agreements conditions that protect the State's best interests; prohibit CalVet from approving any short-term uses of the veterans home property that do not meet its definition of the best interests of the home; require CalVet to develop and implement a fee schedule for short-term third-party uses of veterans home property.

No Action Taken
Recommendations to Veterans Affairs, Department of
Number Recommendation Status

To ensure that future leases of veterans home property are established in accordance with state requirements, CalVet should implement its property use policy when considering all proposed leases of veterans home property.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that it protects the State and the best interests of Yountville, by March 2019 CalVet should complete its review of the four entities that do not have leases and should begin either evicting the entities or obtaining lease agreements with them through DGS.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that its employee housing lease agreements are sufficient to protect the State, by June 2019 CalVet should revise its existing employee housing leases in accordance with the guidance CalHR has provided to agencies to protect the State's interests, including making sure that they include terms that fully indemnify the State against damages and require rental insurance.

Fully Implemented

To avoid the appearance of impropriety and ensure proper management of employee housing, CalVet should implement its new housing policy and ensure that employee housing decisions are made by its headquarters office in a clear and consistent manner.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that the veterans homes receive all of the funding to which they are entitled, by the May 2019 budget revision, CalVet should seek an augmentation to its appropriation for the homes equal to the lease revenues it generated from July 2015 through June 2018. If CalVet believes the state law requiring lease proceeds to augment its appropriation is outdated, it should seek a change to state law.

Will Not Implement

To monitor whether lessees are current on payments, CalVet should track payment compliance for all lease payments that it receives and promptly follow up with lessees that do not pay as required. This should include collecting sufficient records from lessees that pay rent based on a percentage of sales to calculate the amount that each is required to pay to ensure that the lessees are making the correct rent payments.

Fully Implemented

To better manage its employee housing, beginning in June 2019 CalVet should comply with CalHR requirements by annually reviewing the rental rates for its employee housing units to ensure their consistency with market value and adjusting the rental rates accordingly.

Fully Implemented

To prevent unauthorized use of its property, CalVet should regularly monitor the use of the leased properties and take action to cease any activity that is not allowed by the terms of the lease agreements. Further, it should take action to cease the balloon launches from the golf course or amend its lease with the lessee to identify balloon launches as an approved use of the property.

Fully Implemented

To inform the Legislature about all sources of General Fund revenue, beginning with its May 2019 report CalVet should include lease payments in its required report until such a time as the Legislature centralizes receipt of these lease payments at DGS.

Fully Implemented

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