Report 2008-103 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 2008-103: California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board: Its Weak Policies and Practices Could Undermine Employment Opportunity and Lead to the Misuse of State Resources (Release Date: November 2008)

Recommendations to Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, California
Number Recommendation Status

To better ensure that its hiring decisions are fair and that employment opportunity is afforded to all eligible candidates, and to minimize employees' perceptions that its practices are compromised by familial relationships or employee favoritism, the appeals board should prepare and formally adopt a comprehensive hiring manual that incorporates the State Personnel Board's guidelines and that specifically directs hiring managers to do the following:
- Conduct and score hiring interviews using a structured interview format and a corresponding rating scale, and benchmark answers that describe the responses that reflect each level of performance on the rating scale.
-Maintain documentation of each of the steps in the hiring process for at least two years. For example, managers should maintain all applications received from eligible applicants and should preserve notes related to interviews and reference checks.
- Forward a memo to the appeals board's personnel services unit that documents the results of the hiring process, including the names of the candidates interviewed, the dates of the interviews, the names of the individuals on the interview panel, and the panel's selection, along with an explanation of why that candidate was chosen. After the appeals board approves hiring the selected candidate, personnel services should maintain this memo for a period of two or more years so that it can demonstrate that the hiring process was based on merit and the candidate's fitness for the job.

Fully Implemented

Before implementing another soft hiring freeze, the appeals board should carefully consider whether the projected budgetary advantages outweigh the risk that it may not hire the strongest and most qualified candidates during any such freeze.

Fully Implemented

The appeals board should rescind its recently adopted, but legally unenforceable, policy that prohibits hiring a board member into any civil service position at the appeals board for a period of one year from the last day of that individual's term as a board member. Likewise, it should not enforce its new nepotism policy against persons not presently employed by the appeals board. Because both of these policies affect persons outside of the organization, the appeals board should submit new versions of these regulations to the Office of Administrative Law for approval.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that employees understand their right to file either an EEO complaint or grievance, and to reduce any associated fear of retaliation, the appeals board should notify employees annually of its EEO complaint process and grievance process, including the protections from retaliation included in both. For example, the appeals board should remind employees that they could pursue either EEO complaints or grievances with certain outside entities, especially if they believe they may have been retaliated against.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that employees understand their right to file either an EEO complaint or grievance, and to reduce any associated fear of retaliation, the appeals board should update its employee handbook to better emphasize these processes and procedures.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that employees understand their right to file either an EEO complaint or grievance, and to reduce any associated fear of retaliation, the appeals board should consider conducting training in this area on a periodic basis.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that employees are reimbursed only for appropriate and authorized travel expenses, the appeals board should strengthen its travel policies and procedures by requiring supervisors to preapprove employees' travel plans and to subsequently review their travel expense claims to ensure that all travel is in the State's best interest. In addition, it should update its travel manual to provide guidance to employees on how to properly designate their headquarters location. Furthermore, the appeals board should ensure that employees are reimbursed only for those lodging costs that comply with Personnel Administration's regulations.

Fully Implemented

The appeals board should review travel-related payments it made to its former executive director from the date of his appointment as executive director/chief administrative law judge in November 2000, to determine whether those payments were reasonable and allowable. To the extent that the appeals board identifies travel reimbursements that do not comply with regulations established by Personnel Administration, it should seek recovery from the former executive director.

Fully Implemented

The appeals board should develop and implement procedures to ensure that its paid parking spaces are used only for authorized purposes, and that employees are not inappropriately using them to park their privately owned vehicles at their headquarters.

Fully Implemented

The appeals board should take steps to resolve the discrepancies between the IT equipment identified in its survey results and its asset management records.

Fully Implemented

Print all recommendations and responses.