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California State Auditor Report Number : 2016-301

Judicial Branch Procurement
The Five Superior Courts We Reviewed Mostly Adhered to Required and Recommended Practices,
but Some Improvements Are Needed

November 16, 2016 2016-301

The Governor of California
President pro Tempore of the Senate
Speaker of the Assembly
State Capitol
Sacramento, California 95814

Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:

As required by Chapter 31, Statutes of 2013, the California State Auditor presents this audit report assessing five superior courts’ compliance with the requirements of the California Judicial Branch Contract Law (judicial contract law), Public Contract Code sections 19201 through 19210. The judicial contract law requires the Judicial Council of California to adopt and publish a Judicial Branch Contracting Manual (judicial contracting manual), which establishes the requirements and recommended practices for procurement and contracting that all judicial branch entities, including superior courts, must follow.

For the five courts we reviewed for this audit—the superior courts of Riverside, San Diego, San Joaquin, San Mateo, and Tehama counties—we found fewer instances of the courts not adhering to procurement processes compared to the superior courts reviewed in our past two procurement audits. The Riverside and San Diego courts consistently adhered to the required and recommended practices in the judicial contracting manual, while the other three courts had some shortcomings in following these guidelines. For example, the three courts did not always follow the recommended practice of determining if prices were fair and reasonable for noncompetitive contracts. In other cases, the San Joaquin, San Mateo, and Tehama courts did not document why they did not use a competitive process for some contracts. Finally, the San Joaquin and San Mateo courts did not consistently make sure that goods and services were received before issuing payments.

Respectfully submitted,

State Auditor

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