Report 2015-047 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 2015-047: The State Bar of California: Its Lack of Transparency Has Undermined Its Communications With Decision Makers and Stakeholders (Release Date: May 2016)

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Recommendations to Bar of California, State
Number Recommendation Status
1

To reduce the length of time that victims of dishonest lawyers must wait for reimbursement from the Client Security Fund, the State Bar should continue to explore fund transfers, member fee increases, and operating efficiencies that would increase resources available for payouts.

Pending
2

To ensure that it maximizes its cost-recovery efforts related to the Client Security Fund, the State Bar should adopt a policy to file for money judgments against disciplined attorneys for all eligible amounts as soon as possible after courts settle the discipline cases.

Partially Implemented
3

To ensure that it maximizes its cost-recovery efforts related to the Client Security Fund, the State Bar should adopt a policy to evaluate annually the effectiveness of the various collection methods it uses to recover funds from disciplined attorneys.

Pending
4

To reduce the risk of errors in financial reporting, the State Bar should update its procedures to include guidance on detailed steps that staff should take to prepare financial statements and to ensure that the statements are accurate and complete.

Fully Implemented
5

To reduce the risk of errors in financial reporting, the State Bar should update its procedures on management's review and approval of financial statements.

Fully Implemented
6

To increase the transparency and comparability of its financial information, the State Bar should limit significant changes in its indirect cost reporting.

Fully Implemented
7

To increase the transparency and comparability of its financial information, the State Bar should clearly disclose any changes in its accounting practices.

Fully Implemented
8

To increase the transparency and comparability of its financial information, the State Bar should disclose the reasons for any significant changes to program costs.

Fully Implemented
9

To ensure that it accounts appropriately for information technology project costs and their related funding sources, the State Bar should develop a reasonable method for allocating information technology project costs.

Partially Implemented
10

To ensure that it accounts appropriately for information technology project costs and their related funding sources, the State Bar should apply its new cost-allocation method to the costs of its Technology Improvement Fund.

Partially Implemented
11

To ensure it informs stakeholders of conditions that may affect its policy and programmatic decisions, the State Bar should document the assumptions and methodology underlying its budget estimates.

Fully Implemented
12

To ensure it informs stakeholders of conditions that may affect its policy and programmatic decisions, the State Bar should concisely present its budget assumptions and methodology in the final budget document it provides to its board and the Legislature.

Fully Implemented
13

To make certain that its budget documents conform to the requirements in state law and that they are comparable to prior budgets, the State Bar should establish a process for ensuring that budget documents conform to the requirements in state law.

Fully Implemented
14

To make certain that its budget documents conform to the requirements in state law and that they are comparable to prior budgets, the State Bar should update its budget policies to require supplementary schedules and narratives for any budget in the year in which the State Bar implements changes to the presentation of its budget.

Fully Implemented
15

To ensure that the State Bar's board can make informed decisions about its consultant's recommendations regarding budgeting and financial reporting, the State Bar should analyze the costs and benefits of implementing its consultant's recommendations about budgets and present this analysis to its board for consideration.

Fully Implemented
17

To ensure that it retains appropriate supervision and control over the State Bar's financial affairs, the board should establish a policy that includes a description of the parameters for the creation of nonprofit organizations limiting such organizations to the purposes consistent with the law and the State Bar's mission.

No Action Taken
18

To ensure that it retains appropriate supervision and control over the State Bar's financial affairs, the board should establish a policy that includes a description of the board's oversight role in relation to the State Bar's nonprofit organizations.

No Action Taken
19

To ensure that it retains appropriate supervision and control over the State Bar's financial affairs, the board should establish a policy that includes requirements to make sure that the board reviews and approves all documents the State Bar uses in the creation and use of a nonprofit organization, including original and amended bylaws as well as agreements between the State Bar and the organization.

No Action Taken
20

To ensure that it retains appropriate supervision and control over the State Bar's financial affairs, the board should establish a policy that includes requirements ensuring that the board reviews, approves, and monitors regularly the budgets and other financial reports of any nonprofit organizations.

No Action Taken
21

To ensure that it retains appropriate supervision and control over the State Bar's financial affairs, the board should establish a policy that includes requirements that the State Bar develop policies and procedures to prevent the mingling of its funds and any nonprofit organization's funds.

No Action Taken
23

To ensure that the compensation it provides its executives is reasonable, the State Bar should include in the comprehensive salary and benefits study that it plans to complete by October 2016 data for the salaries and benefits for comparable positions in the state government's executive branch.

Fully Implemented
24

To ensure that the compensation it provides its executives is reasonable, the State Bar should revise its policy for housing allowances and relocation expenses to align with the requirements in the state law that are applicable to managerial employees.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status
16

To make certain that the Legislature is not limited in its ability to set member fees, the Legislature should require the State Bar to notify or seek its approval when the State Bar plans to pledge its member fee revenue for a period that exceeds 12 months or overlaps fiscal years.

22

To improve its oversight of the State Bar's financial affairs, the Legislature should require the State Bar to disclose the creation of and use of nonprofit organizations, including the nonprofits' annual budgets and reports on their financial condition explaining the sources and uses of the nonprofits' funding.



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