Report 2010-122 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 2010-122: California Department of Transportation: Its Capital Outlay Support Program Should Strengthen Budgeting Practices, Refine Its Performance Measures, and Improve Internal Controls (Release Date: April 2011)

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Recommendations to Transportation, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
1

To improve accountability internally and with the public, Caltrans should create and incorporate an analysis of support cost budget variances in its quarterly report to the agency and in its annual report to the Legislature and the governor. The analysis should report on the number of completed projects with budget variances and on the number of open projects for which the estimates at completion predict budget variances. Further, the analysis should report on the overrun and underrun ratios for those projects, and the portions of the variances due to rates and hours. Also, Caltrans should include in its strategic plan a measurable goal for reducing variances.

Fully Implemented
2

To improve performance metrics related to the support program, Caltrans should devise, use, and publicize a consistent method for reporting the support-to-capital ratio on its Web site and in other reports to the public. Further, Caltrans should recalculate past support-to-capital ratios using the method devised to allow for comparison across years.

Fully Implemented
3

To improve performance metrics related to the support program, Caltrans should develop goals—and publicly report on the progress against those goals—for the support-to-capital ratio, based on project type—State Transportation Improvement Program or the State Highway Operation and Protection Program—and project size.

Fully Implemented
4

To improve performance metrics related to the support program, Caltrans should continue to explore the use of additional metrics, such as a measure based on a productivity index as described in a March 2011 draft study by the University of California, Davis.

Fully Implemented
5

To ensure that it monitors the status of projects, Caltrans should implement earned value management throughout its districts in a manner similar to the implementation in the Los Angeles district. To allow for performance evaluation of project work, Caltrans should ensure that these performance metrics are available at the task level for both active and completed projects. Caltrans should instruct districts to aggregate this information for all projects by task level, to better assess the effectiveness and efficiency of support costs by task level. Caltrans should also make available to project managers graphical displays of project cost and schedule performance.

Fully Implemented
6

To better address costs associated with the support program, Caltrans should ensure that the PRSM system contains strong controls that ensure employees only charge time to projects and phases for which they are assigned.

Fully Implemented
7

To better address costs associated with the support program, Caltrans should commission an independent study of the costs and benefits of using consultants to address temporary increases in workload and, if the study reveals cost savings, use consultants. To the extent possible, Caltrans should also use temporary staff appointments for temporary increases in workload when consultants are unavailable.

Fully Implemented
8

To improve accountability internally and with the public, Caltrans should establish budgets for those STIP projects programmed before the passage of Senate Bill 45 so that overruns may be reported in the quarterly report to the agency and in the annual report to the Legislature and the governor.

Fully Implemented
9

To improve accountability internally and with the public, Caltrans should develop a system to report on the total budgets of support program projects—including initial project support budgets—of projects that have been divided into multiple projects or combined into a larger project.

Fully Implemented
10

To better develop and manage project budgets for support, Caltrans should instruct project managers to submit requests to update the budget when assumptions on which the budget was based are no longer valid, regardless of the phase of the project.

Fully Implemented
11

To better develop and manage project budgets for support, Caltrans should direct its project managers to use a detailed approach based on project tasks, such as those included in a project work plan, when finalizing project support budgets before construction.

Fully Implemented
12

To ensure that it monitors the status of projects, Caltrans should continue to implement the policies described in its February 2010 memorandum to the districts describing an approach Caltrans will take to monitor support costs within budget. Moreover, Caltrans should direct its project managers to monitor budgets for all projects according to both hours and costs.

Fully Implemented


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