Report 2010-125 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 2010-125: State Lands Commission: Because It Has Not Managed Public Lands Effectively, the State Has Lost Millions in Revenue for the General Fund (Release Date: August 2011)

:
Recommendations to Lands Commission, State
Number Recommendation Status
1

When the commission determines that it will pursue delinquent lessees itself, it should use a collection agency or a program such as the Franchise Tax Board's Interagency Intercept Collections Program.

Will Not Implement
2

To ensure that it receives rent from the lessee that reflects the approximate value for the State's property at those times when a lessee disputes a modification to the rental amount after the commission exercises its right to perform a rent review or because the lease expired, the commission should include in its lease agreements a provision that requires lessees to pay the commission's proposed increased rental amount, which would be deposited into an account within the Special Deposit Fund. The increased rental amounts deposited, plus the corresponding interest accrued in the account, should then be liquidated in accordance with the amount agreed to in the final lease agreement.

Will Not Implement
3

To ensure that it does not undervalue certain types of leases, the commission should amend its regulations for establishing pipeline rents on state land as staff recommended in the 2010 survey of methods used by agencies in other states to establish pipeline rents.

Fully Implemented
4

To ensure that it does not undervalue certain types of leases, the commission should implement and follow its plan to regularly update its benchmarks for determining rental amounts.

Fully Implemented
5

The commission should establish a monitoring program to ensure that the funds generated from granted lands are expended in accordance with the public trust.

Fully Implemented
6

To ensure that all of its oil and gas leases have current surety bonds and liability insurance, as required by law and certain lease agreements, the commission should require lessees to provide documentation of their surety bonds and liability insurance. If the commission believes that assessing a monetary penalty will be effective in encouraging lessees to obtain surety bonds or liability insurance, it should seek legislation to provide this authority. Finally, if it obtains this authority, the commission should enforce it.

Fully Implemented
7

To complete its rent reviews promptly and obtain a fair rental amount for its leases, the commission should consistently notify lessees of impending rent reviews or rental increases within established timelines.

8

To complete its rent reviews promptly and obtain a fair rental amount for its leases, the commission should establish time standards for each step of the rent review process and ensure that all staff adhere to those time standards.

9

To complete its rent reviews promptly and obtain a fair rental amount for its leases, the commission should develop a methodology for prioritizing its workload that focuses its staff on managing the higher revenue generating leases until such time as it addresses its workload needs.

10

To complete its rent reviews promptly and obtain a fair rental amount for its leases, the commission should conduct rent reviews on each fifth anniversary as specified in the lease agreements or consider including provisions in its leases that allow for the use of other strategies, such as adjusting rents annually using an inflation indicator.

Fully Implemented
11

To ensure that it is charging rent based on the most current value of its properties, the commission should appraise its properties as frequently as the lease provisions allow—generally every five years.

Fully Implemented
12

To ensure that it is charging rent based on the most current value of its properties, the commission should use the sales comparison method when it establishes values for leases having the greatest revenue potential, and develop policies that specify when and how often it is appropriate to use the other methods of appraising properties. These policies should address the coordination of leasing staff with appraisal staff as part of the process for determining which appraisal method should be used.

Fully Implemented
13

To improve its monitoring of leases, the commission should create and implement a policy, including provisions for supervisory review, to ensure that the information in the Application Lease Information Database (ALID) is complete, accurate, and consistently entered to allow for the retrieval of reliable lease information. To do so, the commission should consult another public lands leasing entity, such as the Department of General Services, to obtain best practices for a lease tracking database.

14

To improve its monitoring of leases, the commission should require all of its divisions to use ALID as its one centralized lease-tracking database.

15

To adequately monitor its revenue generating oil and gas leases, the commission should track the recoveries and findings identified in its audits and use this information to develop an audit plan that would focus on leases that have historically generated the most revenue and recoveries for the State, as well as those that historically have had the most problems.

Fully Implemented
16

To adequately monitor its revenue generating oil and gas leases, the commission should work with lessees that entered into a lease with the commission before 1977 to put in place a reasonable time period within which lessees must resolve other types of deduction claims similar to the regulations already in place for dehydration costs.

17

To adequately monitor its revenue generating oil and gas leases, the commission should explore and take advantage of other approaches to fulfill its auditing responsibilities, such as contracting with an outside consulting firm that could conduct some of its audits on a contingency basis.

18

To better demonstrate its need for additional staff, the commission should quantify the monetary benefits of its staff ’s duties other than processing lease applications, and consider billing lessees for those activities.

19

To better address current and potential future staffing shortages, as well as the impending loss of institutional knowledge, the commission should create a succession plan.

20

To ensure that it manages delinquent leases in an effective and timely manner and collects all the amounts owed to it, the commission should determine the amount of past due rent that should be included in its accounts receivable account.

21

To ensure that it manages delinquent leases in an effective and timely manner and collects all the amounts owed to it, the commission should develop and adhere to policies and procedures that incorporate the administrative manual’s guidance, including the steps staff should take when a lessee is delinquent, time standards for performing those steps, and a process for consistently tracking the status of delinquent leases between divisions.

Resolved
22

To ensure that it manages delinquent leases in an effective and timely manner and collects all the amounts owed to it, the commission should conduct and document cost benefit analyses when it contemplates either referring a delinquent lessee to the attorney general or pursuing the delinquent lessee through other means.

23

To ensure that as few leases as possible go into holdover, the commission should continue to implement its newly established holdover reduction procedures and periodically evaluate whether its new procedures are having their intended effect of reducing the number of leases in holdover.

Fully Implemented
24

To ensure that as few leases as possible go into holdover, the commission should consistently assess the 25 percent penalty on expired leases.

Resolved
25

To ensure that it does not undervalue certain types of leases, the commission should periodically analyze whether collecting oil royalties in cash or in kind would maximize revenues to the State, and use that method to collect its oil royalties.

26

To better demonstrate its need for additional staff, the commission should conduct a workload analysis to identify a reasonable workload for its staff and use this analysis to quantify the need for additional staff.

27

To better demonstrate its need for additional staff, the commission should ensure that the workload analysis takes into consideration the additional responsibilities and staffing needs that the commission will receive if the section of the state law that provides for rent free leases is repealed.



Print all recommendations and responses.


Report type

Report type
















© 2013, California State Auditor | Privacy Policy | Conditions of Use | Download Adobe PDF Reader