Report 2013-103 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 2013-103: Armed Persons With Mental Illness: Insufficient Outreach From the Department of Justice and Poor Reporting From Superior Courts Limit the Identification of Armed Persons With Mental Illness (Release Date: October 2013)

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Recommendations to Administrative Office of the Courts
Number Recommendation Status
2

AOC should coordinate with Justice at least once a year to obtain information about court reporting levels. Using that information, AOC should provide technical assistance to the courts that do not appear to be complying with state law's requirement to report prohibited individuals and assist the courts in taking appropriate steps to ensure compliance.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Justice, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
1

To ensure that it has the necessary information to identify armed prohibited persons with mental illness, Justice should coordinate with the AOC at least once a year to share information about court reporting levels and to determine the need to distribute additional information to courts about reporting requirements and the manner in which to report. In coordinating with the AOC about potential underreporting, at a minimum Justice should consider trends in the number of reports each court sends and the number of reports that it might expect to receive from a court given the court's size, location, and reporting history. Whenever Justice identifies a court that it determines may not be reporting all required information, it should request that the court forward all required case information.

Fully Implemented
15

To ensure that it keeps an accurate and up-to-date list of all mental health facilities that are required to report individuals with mental illness, at least twice a year Justice should update its outreach list of mental health facilities by obtaining a list of facilities from Health Care Services.

Fully Implemented
16

As soon as it identifies mental health facilities that have not yet received information about reporting requirements and the online reporting system, Justice should send these facilities the related information.

Fully Implemented
17

To ensure that it continues to receive information from facilities that currently report individuals with mental illness and that should continue to report such individuals, by January 31, 2014, and at least twice a year thereafter Justice should implement a review of the number of reports it receives from individual mental health facilities. These reviews should focus on identifying any significant drops in a facility's reporting levels and include follow up with facilities that may require additional assistance in reporting.

Fully Implemented
18

To ensure that all applicable information from State Hospitals is communicated to Justice, by March 31, 2014, Justice and State Hospitals should establish a written understanding of the method and frequency with which State Hospitals will report prohibited individuals to Justice.

Fully Implemented
20

To ensure that it makes correct determinations about whether an individual is an armed prohibited person, by January 31, 2014, Justice should implement quality control procedures over APPS unit staff determinations. These procedures should include periodic supervisory review of staff determinations to ensure that staff decisions correctly identify all armed prohibited persons.

Fully Implemented
21

To maximize Justice's ability to identify armed prohibited persons, Justice should pursue a cost-effective method of reviewing alias information in the DMV database.

Fully Implemented
22

To ensure that its implementation of reviews of armed prohibited persons is consistent with state law, Justice should seek legislative change to confirm whether its practice of reviewing firearm records only back to 1996 is appropriate.

Fully Implemented
23

To reduce the risk that it may not identify an armed prohibited person, Justice should revise its electronic matching process to use all personal identifying numbers available in its databases.

Pending
24

To ensure that timely information is available for its efforts to identify armed prohibited persons and confiscate their firearms, Justice should manage staff priorities to meet both its statutory deadline for firearms background checks and its internal deadline for initially reviewing potential prohibited persons. Justice should report annually to the Legislature about the backlog of unreviewed potential prohibited persons and what factors have prohibited it from efficiently reviewing these persons.

Fully Implemented
25

To ensure that potential armed prohibited person cases do not wait too long for their first review by the APPS unit, by December 31, 2013, Justice should revise its goal for the daily queue to a more challenging level of no more than a maximum of 400 to 600 cases. Justice should monitor its performance against this goal and manage staff priorities as needed to meet it.

Fully Implemented
26

To ensure that it can adequately demonstrate that it has made efforts to address outstanding APPS database cases, Justice should require APPS unit staff to document key efforts to resolve these cases and retain this documentation.

Fully Implemented
27

To ensure that it regularly follows up and attempts to resolve APPS database cases that remain outstanding, by December 31, 2013, Justice should establish a specific time interval for how long cases can remain pending for review before becoming a higher priority for follow-up work and how often, at a minimum, its staff should perform follow-up work on these higher priority cases. Justice should establish a written policy that addresses both of these expectations.

Fully Implemented
28

To ensure that it meets its goal of eliminating the historical backlog of reviewing firearms owners by the end of 2016, Justice should manage its staff resources to continually address the backlog, and should notify the Legislature if it believes that it will not be able to fully process this backlog by its goal date. To help guide this effort, Justice should establish benchmarks that will indicate whether it is on track to meet its goal.

Fully Implemented
29

To ensure that it processes all reports it receives about persons with mental illness, by January 31, 2014, Justice's mental health unit should develop and implement quality control procedures over staff entry of reports into the mental health database. These procedures should include periodic supervisory review to ensure that all reports are entered correctly. Additionally, Justice should conduct a supervisory review of all staff decisions to delete records from the database before their deletion.

Fully Implemented
30

To ensure that mental health determinations reported to its criminal information unit are quickly available for review, Justice should assess whether the criminal information unit can prioritize the entry of reports regarding mental health determinations without a negative effect on the entry of all other criminal information into its system.

Fully Implemented
31

To ensure that information about individuals with mental illness does not go unexamined, Justice should document its effort to offer training to mental health facilities that continue to report on paper, and it should ensure that individuals whom these facilities report on paper are promptly entered into the mental health database.

Fully Implemented
32

To ensure that it retains appropriate records related to mental health firearms prohibitions, by March 31, 2014, Justice should review its record retention schedule for documents used by the mental health unit and adjust any retention periods it determines
are inappropriate. Justice should then ensure that its mental health unit follows its retention schedule.

Fully Implemented
33

Justice should update and maintain its system documentation for the mental health and APPS databases to ensure that it can efficiently and effectively address modifications and questions about these databases.

Fully Implemented
34

To ensure that it fully supports its decision to apply federal prohibition terms to individuals, Justice should review all applicable federal and state laws and continue to seek clarification from the ATF and any other appropriate federal agencies to determine whether California's firearms restoration process meets federal criteria and, if not, why it does not. Justice should issue a report to the Legislature, within one year, detailing the results of its review and, if applicable, communicate why California's restoration process does not meet federal criteria and the impact that it has on prohibited persons who live in California.

Partially Implemented
Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status
11

The Legislature should amend state law to specify that all mental health-related prohibiting events must be reported to Justice within 24 hours regardless of the entity required to report.

Partially Implemented
Recommendations to State Hospitals, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
19

To ensure that all applicable information from State Hospitals is communicated to Justice, by March 31, 2014, Justice and State Hospitals should establish a written understanding of the method and frequency with which State Hospitals will report prohibited individuals to Justice.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Number Recommendation Status
4

To ensure that it is reporting all required individuals to Justice, Los Angeles Court should, by December 31, 2013, revise its new procedures at the Mental Health Courthouse to discuss quality control steps, such as a supervisory review and other monitoring processes, that would ensure that it is reporting all required determinations. Los Angeles Court should implement the revised procedures so that it reports all types of court determinations state law requires.

Fully Implemented
5

To ensure that it is reporting all court determinations that prohibit an individual from possessing a firearm, by December 31, 2013, Los Angeles Court's Criminal Justice Center should revise its court procedures regarding these determinations so that court
administrative staff are notified when a finding related to mental competency occurs.

Fully Implemented
6

Los Angeles Court should review its compliance with state law's firearm prohibition reporting requirements at each of the other courthouse locations within its court and make the necessary adjustments to courthouse policies and practices so that it fully complies with state law by March 31, 2014.

Fully Implemented
12

Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Santa Clara courts should follow the requirements in state law related to how quickly to report individuals to Justice.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino
Number Recommendation Status
7

To ensure that it reports all required prohibited persons to Justice, San Bernardino Court should implement its new procedures for both its criminal and its probate divisions at the central courthouse by December 31, 2013, so that it reports all types of court determinations state law requires.

Fully Implemented
8

San Bernardino Court should review its compliance with state law's firearm prohibition reporting requirements at each of the other courthouse locations within its court and make the necessary adjustments to courthouse policies and practices so that it fully
complies with state law by March 31, 2014.

Fully Implemented
13

Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Santa Clara courts should follow the requirements in state law related to how quickly to report individuals to Justice.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco
Number Recommendation Status
3

To ensure that it is properly reporting to Justice individuals posing a danger to themselves or others, San Francisco Court should work with the district attorney and the Office of Conservatorship Services to ensure that the court is sufficiently considering whether individuals should be prohibited from possessing a firearm. Where appropriate, the court should include prohibitive language in orders relating to those cases and promptly report these individuals to Justice.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Number Recommendation Status
9

To ensure that it reports all required prohibited persons to Justice, Santa Clara Court's probate division should revise its court policies and practices by December 31, 2013, so that it reports all types of court determinations state law requires. Further, Santa Clara Court's criminal division at its Hall of Justice should follow its new reporting and monitoring procedures to ensure that it reports all required determinations to Justice.

Fully Implemented
10

Santa Clara Court should review its compliance with state law's firearm prohibition reporting requirements at each of the other courthouse locations within its court and make the necessary adjustments to courthouse policies and practices so that it fully complies with state law by March 31, 2014.

Fully Implemented
14

Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Santa Clara courts should follow the requirements in state law related to how quickly to report individuals to Justice.

Fully Implemented


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