Report 2012-120 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 2012-120: State Water Resources Control Board: It Should Ensure a More Consistent Administration of the Water Quality Certification Program (Release Date: June 2013)

Recommendations to Transportation, Department of
Number Recommendation Status

If Caltrans believes that responding to the monitoring requirements and enforcement actions related to the certification program is too costly, it should begin to gather and track these costs using its accounting system. Once it has tracked these costs for a period of time, Caltrans should analyze whether these monitoring and enforcement activities are, in fact, too costly and work with the state and regional water boards to resolve how these costs might be better contained.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Water Resources Control Board
Number Recommendation Status

To ensure that regional water boards, as well as the state water board itself, follow a more consistent process when reviewing water quality applications and issuing certifications, and to comply with state and federal requirements, the state water board should remind regional water boards of required application processing time frames and notifications.

Fully Implemented

The state water board should also continue with its effort to adopt a single application form for the certification program.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that applicants pay the correct fee amounts for the certification program, the state water board should direct North Coast as well as the other regional water boards to verify the accuracy of fees that applicants submit to them.

Fully Implemented

North Coast should continue with its plans to collect from Caltrans the underpayment of application fees and to reimburse the overpayment of application fees that we identified. It should also consider reviewing a selection of past application fees it received from Caltrans to determine if other errors exist.

Fully Implemented

The state water board should direct regional water boards to more consistently monitor compliance with water quality certifications and use the water quality database to track their monitoring efforts.

Fully Implemented

When regional water boards include staff enforcement costs in the penalty actions they issue, the state water board should require that they use a systematic method for tracking the hours staff spend on enforcement activities related to penalty actions and maintain documentary support for these staff enforcement cost calculations.

Fully Implemented

If regional water boards continue to include staff enforcement costs in the penalty actions they issue, the state water board should revise its staff cost rate to reflect actual staff salaries and overhead cost for the certification program.

Not Fully Implemented

To ensure that it accurately records and uses fines it collects for violations of water quality certifications, the state water board should maintain a regular accounting of these fines.

Fully Implemented

To improve its ability to allocate adequate resources to the certification program and better assess whether its budget is sufficient for program operations, the state water board should instruct regional water boards to accurately track staff time spent on the certification program.

Fully Implemented

Because the water quality database is the primary system for meeting statutory reporting obligations for the certification program, the state water board should resolve its data entry backlog and ensure that the regional water boards enter all relevant information into the system, including information about the applications received, the certifications issued, monitoring activities, water quality violations, and enforcement actions.

Fully Implemented

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