Report 2006-114 Highlights - October 2006

California Children and Families Commission:

Its Poor Contracting Practices Resulted in Questionable and Inappropriate Payments to Contractors and Violations of State Law and Policies


Our review of the California Children and Families Commission's spending practices and contracting procedures revealed that it:

  • Allowed one of its media contractors to circumvent the payment provisions of a contract by paying invoices totaling $673,000 for fees and expenses of some of the contractor's employees that were prohibited under the terms of the contract.
  • Did not fully use the tools available to it to ensure its contractors provided appropriate services.
  • Could not always demonstrate it had reviewed and approved final written subcontracts and subcontractors' conflict-of-interest certificates.
  • Did not always follow state policy when it used a competitive process to award three of the contracts valued at more than $47.7 million and failed to provide sufficient justification for awarding one $3 million contract and six amendments totaling $27.6 million using the noncompetitive process.
  • Did not always ensure that its interagency agreements met the state requirement for using subcontractors.
  • Agreed to pay $1.2 million more than it should have for administrative overhead because it did not follow state policy that limits such payments.
  • Intentionally used some memorandums of understanding with counties to avoid having to comply with state contracting requirements.
  • Had clear authority to conduct its advertising campaigns relating to preschool, these advertisements and their timing were consistent with legal restrictions on the use of public funds and did not contribute any of its public funds to campaign accounts used to support the various ballot measures.
  • Its payments to three individuals who worked for the media contractor were generally consistent with the restrictions related to the use of public funds for political purposes. However, for a period of almost four months in 2004, the state commission could not demonstrate that these payments were appropriate.

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