Report 2009-030 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 2009-030: State Bar of California: It Can Do More to Manage Its Disciplinary System and Probation Processes Effectively and to Control Costs (Release Date: July 2009)

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Recommendations to Bar of California, State
Number Recommendation Status
1

To explain and justify cost increases, and to measure the efficiency of its disciplinary system as well as the impact of policy changes, the State Bar should account separately for the expenses associated with the various functions of the disciplinary system, including its personnel costs. This can be accomplished through a study of staff time and resources devoted to a specific function.

Fully Implemented
2

The State Bar should also ensure that all its offices track expenses consistently.

3

To make certain that the State Bar provides accurate and complete descriptions to its various stakeholders so they can evaluate the effectiveness of its disciplinary system over time, the State Bar should adjust its methodology going forward for calculating case processing times for investigations so that the calculations include time spent to process closed and forwarded cases for the relevant year only. For example, for its 2009 annual discipline report, the State Bar should report the average processing time for only cases it closed or forwarded to the State Bar Court in 2009.

Fully Implemented
4

To make certain that the State Bar provides accurate and complete descriptions to its various stakeholders so they can evaluate the effectiveness of its disciplinary system over time, the State Bar should include additional information regarding backlog in its annual discipline report to the Legislature. Specifically, the State Bar should identify the number of complex cases over 12 months old in its backlog.

Fully Implemented
5

To make certain that the State Bar provides accurate and complete descriptions to its various stakeholders so they can evaluate the effectiveness of its disciplinary system over time, the State Bar should identify in its annual discipline report the types of cases that it does not include in its calculation of backlog and explain why it chooses to exclude these cases. Specifically, the State Bar should identify that it presents its backlog by case rather than by member, and that it does not include intake, nonattorney, abated, and outside examiner cases.

Fully Implemented
6

To make certain that the State Bar provides accurate and complete descriptions to its various stakeholders so they can evaluate the effectiveness of its disciplinary system over time, the State Bar should identify the composition of each year's backlog to allow for year-to-year comparisons, as the law requires.

Fully Implemented
7

To ensure that it maximizes the amounts that it may recover to defray the expense of disciplining attorneys, the State Bar should update annually its formula for billing discipline costs and include due dates on all bills.

Fully Implemented
8

To report accurately its collection amounts and to analyze the effectiveness of its collection efforts, the State Bar should track how much it anticipates receiving against how much it actually receives in payments for discipline costs each year.

Fully Implemented
9

To make sure that it is using the most cost?effective methods to recover discipline costs, the State Bar should complete a cost?benefit analysis to determine whether the benefits associated with using collection agencies outweigh the costs. If it determines that the collection agencies are, in fact, cost effective, the State Bar should redirect in?house staff to other disciplinary activities.

10

Finally, the State Bar should also research the various collection options available to it, such as the Tax Board?s intercept program.

11

To fulfill its responsibility to protect the public and its mission to assist attorneys to successfully complete the terms of their probation, the State Bar should ensure that it effectively communicates with and monitors attorneys on probation by continuing its efforts to determine the appropriate caseload level for its staff to effectively monitor probationers and adjust staffing as appropriate.

12

To fulfill its responsibility to protect the public and its mission to assist attorneys to successfully complete the terms of their probation, the State Bar should ensure that it effectively communicates with and monitors attorneys on probation by ensuring that staff comply with procedures for promptly sending initial letters reminding disciplined attorneys of the terms of their probation.

13

To make certain that it does not create a perception of favoritism or leniency, the State Bar should increase compliance with its goal to improve timeliness and consistency of probation violation referrals to the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel.

14

If the State Bar believes instances occur when probation staff appropriately deviate from the 30?day goal, it should establish parameters specifying time frames and conditions acceptable for a delay in the referral of probation violations and clearly document that such conditions were met.

15

To ensure that it has adequate internal controls in place, the State Bar should fully implement recommendations from audits and reviews of the State Bar and its functions.

Fully Implemented
16

The State Bar should ensure that its new cost recovery system and related processes address the issues identified in the consultant's 2007 report on its cost recovery process.

Fully Implemented
17

To improve its effectiveness, the State Bar's audit and review unit should establish a formal process to follow up on and ensure implementation of recommendations from its twice-yearly audits.

Fully Implemented
18

The State Bar should continue acting on recommendations from our 2007 report related to continuing its efforts to enter all of the Client Security Fund and disciplinary debtor information into its database.

19

The State Bar should continue acting on recommendations from our 2007 report related to taking steps to reduce its inventory of backlogged cases.

20

The State Bar should continue acting on recommendations from our 2007 report related to improving its processing of disciplinary cases by more consistently using checklists and performing random audits.

21

To ensure that it can justify requests to fund the remaining information technology upgrades, the State Bar should follow its IT plan.

Fully Implemented


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