Report I2020-2 Recommendations

After the State Auditor's Office completes an investigation and issues a copy of its investigative report to the state department involved, the department is required by the Whistleblower Protection Act to provide the State Auditor with information about the actions it has taken in response to the report. Within 60 days of receiving the report, the department must report to the State Auditor any disciplinary action it has taken or intends to take against any employee who was a subject of the investigation. Also within 60 days, the department must report to the State Auditor any actions it has taken or intends to take to implement the recommendations made in the report to prevent the continuation or recurrence of the improper activities described in the report. When the department has not completed all of its intended actions within 60 days, the department must report on its actions monthly thereafter until all of its intended actions have been taken. Below is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced, as well as a link to a summary of what the department has reported to the State Auditor about its actions in response to the report. Information about the departmentís responsive actions and the State Auditorís assessment of those actions will be updated on this site quarterly.

Recommendations in Report I2020-2: Investigations of Improper Activities by State Agencies and Employees: Wasteful and Improper Personnel Decisions, Improper Contracting, Conflict of Interest, Misuse of State Resources, and Dishonesty (Release Date: October 2020)

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Recommendations for Case I2018-0236
Department: Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, California
Number Recommendation Status
20

The department for which the attorney worked should document in the attorney's personnel file that he was under investigation for misuse of state time and resources when he retired.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations for Case I2018-0519
Department: Veterans Affairs, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
14

Within 60 days, the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) should work with the Governor's Office to take corrective action against the senior executive for his decisions related to the improper emergency justifications.

Fully Implemented
15

Within 60 days, CalVet should request that the Department of General Services provide training to the senior executive, the Homes Division's management, and the veteran homes' management regarding the appropriate use of emergency exceptions for contracts.

Fully Implemented
16

Within 60 days, CalVet should implement written procedures within the emergency justification approval process to require (1) an evaluation of whether another procurement option is viable for each proposed emergency justification request and (2) a legal review of whether the situation described in the justification meets the elements of an emergency as defined by state law.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations for Case I2018-0745
Department: Education, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
4

The California Department of Education (Education) should Immediately cease approving any exemptions from advertising vacant positions without appropriate legal authority.

Resolved
5

Education should immediately cease any higher-than-minimum salary approvals without proper justification.

Fully Implemented
6

Education should work with the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) to determine whether Education's delegated authority to approve higher-than-minimum salaries should be withdrawn. If CalHR allows Education to retain the authority, Education should work with CalHR to develop eligibility, review, and documentation criteria for higher-than-minimum salary approval and to provide training to HR staff.

Fully Implemented
7

Education should ensure that all HR staff and managers attend training on the State's hiring process to understand the constitutional requirement that appointments to state civil service be based on merit and open to competition.

Resolved
8

Education should work with CalHR and the State Personnel Board to determine whether any of the appointments that involved Manager B and Manager C's waiver process were illegal and take appropriate steps to void those appointments.

Fully Implemented
9

Education should take appropriate corrective and disciplinary actions against the managers and HR staff discussed in this report regarding the actions they took or their failures to take action.

Resolved
Recommendations for Case I2018-0767
Department: State Hospitals, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
1

Within 30 days, the Department of State Hospitals (State Hospitals) should consult with the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) to obtain its determination about whether telepsychiatrists meet the criteria for safety retirement benefits. If CalHR determines that telepsychiatrists do not meet the criteria for safety retirement benefits, take immediate action to reclassify telepsychiatrists to the appropriate retirement category and notify all affected employees.

Partially Implemented
2

Within 30 days, State Hospitals should consult with CalHR, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, and the State Controller's Office (SCO) to retroactively correct any errors made to affected employees' retirement contributions, including Social Security deductions.

Pending
3

Within 60 days, State Hospitals should distribute CalHR's policy on the safety retirement benefits designation to HR staff at each state hospital facility and instruct staff to consult with CalHR as the law requires.

Pending
Recommendations for Case I2018-1979
Department: Transportation, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
21

Within 60 days, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) should initiate appropriate corrective actions against the employees and their supervisors where necessary for misusing state vehicles to commute.

Fully Implemented
22

Within 60 days, Caltrans should determine the options available for cost recovery and recoup the costs associated with the vehicle misuse, if feasible.

Fully Implemented
23

Within 120 days, Caltrans should determine whether other individuals within the employees' division regularly drive state vehicles home. If so, it should determine whether they have a legally permissible reason for doing so, ensure that they meet the qualifications for and have received storage permits, and investigate vehicle misuse as necessary.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations for Case I2018-1988
Department: Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
17

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) should consider placing a notice of the investigation in each of the chiefs' personnel file, as all three chiefs are no longer employed by CAL FIRE.

Fully Implemented
18

CAL FIRE should establish a process regarding procurement decisions to ensure that contracts undergo applicable state requirements.

Fully Implemented
19

CAL FIRE should provide contract and procurement training to applicable CAL FIRE employees, including those involved in drafting, negotiating, or approving contracts. The training should include a review of the State Contracting Manual to ensure that staff understand the policies, rules, and statutes applicable to external review and to procuring vendors and awarding contracts.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations for Case I2019-0044
Department: Industrial Relations, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
10

Within the next 60 days, the Department of Industrial Relations (Industrial Relations) should complete the process of voiding the candidate's appointments to the SSM I, SSM II, and SSM III positions.

Fully Implemented
11

Within the next 60 days, Industrial Relations should initiate an accounts receivable to collect the overpayments given to the candidate to prevent additional funds from exceeding the statute of limitations.

Fully Implemented
12

Industrial Relations should take corrective action against any civil servant who facilitated the candidate's unlawful appointment.

Fully Implemented
13

Industrial Relations should work with the executive official's current employer to take appropriate steps to ensure she is prevented from taking similar actions. In addition, Industrial Relations should work with her current employer to ensure she undergoes California Department of Human Resources or State Personnel Board training on the requirements for making good-faith appointments.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations for Case I2019-0873
Department: Franchise Tax Board
Number Recommendation Status
27

The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) should take appropriate corrective or disciplinary action against the staff trainer for improperly reporting hours worked and misusing her state-issued computer.

Fully Implemented
28

FTB should recover overpayments made to the staff trainer or adjust the staff trainer's leave balances to account for the missed work time.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations for Case I2019-0939
Department: Justice, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
24

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) should initiate appropriate corrective or disciplinary actions against the analyst and secretary for their time abuse and dishonesty.

Fully Implemented
25

DOJ should determine whether it can quantify any of the overpayments made to the secretary and either recover overpayments made to both the analyst and secretary or adjust their leave balances to account for the missed work time.

Fully Implemented
26

DOJ should initiate steps to improve supervision of the analyst and secretary, including ensuring that their supervisors work in close proximity to them to monitor their arrival and departure times.

Fully Implemented


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