Report 2016-139 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 2016-139: California Department of Education: It Has Not Ensured That School Food Authorities Comply With the Federal Buy American Requirement (Release Date: July 2017)

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Recommendations to Education, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
1

To strengthen its administrative reviews and help ensure that school food authorities comply with the Buy American requirement, Education should update its written procedures to include a requirement that reviewers collect and retain evidence for all items they evaluate for compliance with the Buy American requirement. This update should occur no later than October 1, 2017.

2

To strengthen its administrative reviews and help ensure that school food authorities comply with the Buy American requirement, Education should update its written procedures to include guidance for how its reviewers should interpret common food labels with regard to compliance with the Buy American requirement. It should develop this guidance in consultation with the USDA and should begin working with the USDA by no later than October 1, 2017.

3

To comply with federal regulations and provide transparency to the public, Education should immediately post to its website a summary of the results of any administrative reviews that it has shared with the relevant school food authorities. Moving forward, it should comply with federal regulations by posting the results of administrative reviews to its website within 30 days of sharing them with school food authorities.

4

To ensure that school food authorities comply with the Buy American requirement, Education should develop, no later than December 31, 2017, a training course that explains to school food authorities how to comply with the Buy American requirement. Further, as soon as it develops this training, Education should make it available to all school food authorities.

5

To ensure that school food authorities comply with the Buy American requirement, Education should use procurement reviews or its administrative reviews to verify that school food authorities have policies and procedures that address the Buy American requirement. Further, Education should verify that these policies and procedures align with the USDA's guidance for including Buy American-related language in bid solicitations and contract documents and for maintaining exception documentation for foreign-sourced food purchases.

Recommendations to Elk Grove Unified School District
Number Recommendation Status
6

To help ensure that they consistently comply with the Buy American requirement, Elk Grove should establish written policies and procedures related to the Buy American requirement by October 1, 2017. At a minimum, those policies and procedures should include the following:
- An explanation of how it will ensure that it consistently includes language related to the Buy American requirement in its bid solicitation documents and contracts.
- A minimum expectation for how regularly it will verify that food items its vendors provide are domestic commodities or products.
- A requirement that its staff identify the need to purchase foreign-sourced items as early as possible in the food purchasing process and that they begin documenting the justification for such exceptions to the Buy American requirement at that time.
- Guidance for how it will maintain documentation showing that its purchases of foreign-sourced food items meet one of the two allowable exceptions.

Recommendations to Fresno Unified School District
Number Recommendation Status
7

To help ensure that they consistently comply with the Buy American requirement, Fresno should establish written policies and procedures related to the Buy American requirement by October 1, 2017. At a minimum, those policies and procedures should include the following:
- An explanation of how it will ensure that it consistently includes language related to the Buy American requirement in its bid solicitation documents and contracts.
- A minimum expectation for how regularly it will verify that food items its vendors provide are domestic commodities or products.
- A requirement that its staff identify the need to purchase foreign-sourced items as early as possible in the food purchasing process and that they begin documenting the justification for such exceptions to the Buy American requirement at that time.
- Guidance for how it will maintain documentation showing that its purchases of foreign-sourced food items meet one of the two allowable exceptions.

Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status
12

To ensure effective oversight of the meal programs and to increase public transparency, the Legislature should require Education to track school food authorities' purchases of foreign-sourced food items and to post to its website the school food authorities that purchase foreign-sourced food items, the types of food items they purchase, and the countries of origin of the food items they purchase.

Legislation Proposed But Not Enacted
13

To address the challenges food labels present to ensuring that California's school food authorities purchase domestic food items, the Legislature should work with the California congressional delegation and request that Congress direct the USDA to establish a voluntary certification program through which the USDA could certify that food products are compliant with the Buy American requirement. This certification program should include an indicator, such as a certification logo, that would identify that products comply with the requirement.

No Action Taken
Recommendations to Los Angeles Unified School District
Number Recommendation Status
8

To help ensure that they consistently comply with the Buy American requirement, Los Angeles should establish written policies and procedures related to the Buy American requirement by October 1, 2017. At a minimum, those policies and procedures should include the following:
- An explanation of how it will ensure that it consistently includes language related to the Buy American requirement in its bid solicitation documents and contracts.
- A minimum expectation for how regularly it will verify that food items its vendors provide are domestic commodities or products.
- A requirement that its staff identify the need to purchase foreign-sourced items as early as possible in the food purchasing process and that they begin documenting the justification for such exceptions to the Buy American requirement at that time.
- Guidance for how it will maintain documentation showing that its purchases of foreign-sourced food items meet one of the two allowable exceptions.

Recommendations to San Diego Unified School District
Number Recommendation Status
9

To help ensure that they consistently comply with the Buy American requirement, San Diego should establish written policies and procedures related to the Buy American requirement by October 1, 2017. At a minimum, those policies and procedures should include the following:
- An explanation of how it will ensure that it consistently includes language related to the Buy American requirement in its bid solicitation documents and contracts.
- A minimum expectation for how regularly it will verify that food items its vendors provide are domestic commodities or products.
- A requirement that its staff identify the need to purchase foreign-sourced items as early as possible in the food purchasing process and that they begin documenting the justification for such exceptions to the Buy American requirement at that time.
- Guidance for how it will maintain documentation showing that its purchases of foreign-sourced food items meet one of the two allowable exceptions.

Recommendations to San Francisco Unified School District
Number Recommendation Status
10

To help ensure that they consistently comply with the Buy American requirement, San Francisco should establish written policies and procedures related to the Buy American requirement by October 1, 2017. At a minimum, those policies and procedures should include the following:
- An explanation of how it will ensure that it consistently includes language related to the Buy American requirement in its bid solicitation documents and contracts.
- A minimum expectation for how regularly it will verify that food items its vendors provide are domestic commodities or products.
- A requirement that its staff identify the need to purchase foreign-sourced items as early as possible in the food purchasing process and that they begin documenting the justification for such exceptions to the Buy American requirement at that time.
- Guidance for how it will maintain documentation showing that its purchases of foreign-sourced food items meet one of the two allowable exceptions.

Recommendations to Stockton Unified School District
Number Recommendation Status
11

To help ensure that they consistently comply with the Buy American requirement, Stockton should establish written policies and procedures related to the Buy American requirement by October 1, 2017. At a minimum, those policies and procedures should include the following:
- An explanation of how it will ensure that it consistently includes language related to the Buy American requirement in its bid solicitation documents and contracts.
- A minimum expectation for how regularly it will verify that food items its vendors provide are domestic commodities or products.
- A requirement that its staff identify the need to purchase foreign-sourced items as early as possible in the food purchasing process and that they begin documenting the justification for such exceptions to the Buy American requirement at that time.
- Guidance for how it will maintain documentation showing that its purchases of foreign-sourced food items meet one of the two allowable exceptions.



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