Report 2007-030 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2007-030: State Bar of California: With Strategic Planning Not Yet Completed, It Projects General Fund Deficits and Needs Continued Improvement in Program Administration (Release Date: April 2007)

Recommendation #1 To: Bar of California, State

To ensure that the strategic plan is fully implemented in an effective and timely manner, the State Bar should complete revisions of the departmental plans that will serve to implement the board's strategic goals and ensure that each departmental plan contains meaningful performance indicators that will measure how successfully goals are being met.

1-Year Agency Response

The State Bar completed revisions to the 14 departmental plans as of April 30, 2007, including identifying performance measures, and indicated that, going forward, performance measures and action plans will be revised to reflect changes in organizational structure or priorities and will be utilized in developing annual budget documents. (See 2009-406, p. 256)

  • Response Date: April 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #2 To: Bar of California, State

To ensure that the strategic plan is fully implemented in an effective and timely manner, the State Bar should limit performance measurement to indicators that can be accurately tracked on an ongoing basis and measure desired outcomes.

6-Month Agency Response

As part of the overall review of departmental plans the State Bar has evaluated the usefulness, validity, and source of data and collection strategies for the performance measures. The State Bar has reviewed all departmental plans to determine whether the measures can be captured with the State Bar's existing technology. (See 2008-406, p. 234)

  • Response Date: October 2007

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #3 To: Bar of California, State

To ensure that the strategic plan is fully implemented in an effective and timely manner, the State Bar should ensure that its departments, during their departmental plan-revision process, identify the objectives and performance measures that can be attained, considering existing resource levels and information technology capabilities.

6-Month Agency Response

As part of the overall review of departmental plans the State Bar has evaluated the usefulness, validity, and source of data and collection strategies for the performance measures. The State Bar has reviewed all departmental plans to determine whether the measures can be captured with the State Bar's existing technology. (See 2008-406, p. 234)

  • Response Date: October 2007

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #4 To: Bar of California, State

On an ongoing basis the departments should revise their annual action plans to update this information given additional information technology upgrades.

1-Year Agency Response

The State Bar completed revisions to the 14 departmental plans as of April 30, 2007, including identifying performance measures, and indicated that, going forward, performance measures and action plans will be revised to reflect changes in organizational structure or priorities and will be utilized in developing annual budget documents.

In addition, as part of the overall review of departmental plans, the State Bar has evaluated the usefulness, validity, and source of data and collection strategies for the performance measures. The State Bar has reviewed all departmental plans to determine whether the measures can be captured with the State Bar's existing technology. (See 2009-406, p. 256)

  • Response Date: April 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #5 To: Bar of California, State

To ensure that the strategic plan is fully implemented in an effective and timely manner, the State Bar should take the steps necessary to ensure its information technology systems can capture the required performance measurement data to support the projects needed to accomplish strategic-planning objectives, or devise alternative means of capturing this data such as using an Excel spreadsheet.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From January 2010

This recommendation was completed through the alternative method of capturing data using Excel spreadsheets. Evidence was provided to the Bureau of State Audits and verified in the most recent audit. (See 2009-041 p. 164)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #6 To: Bar of California, State

To ensure that it maximizes collection efforts and its ability to implement the Rules of Court as soon as the supreme court approves procedures allowing their use, the State Bar should complete its database and input all available information on the Client Security Fund and disciplinary debtors.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From January 2010

Testing and deployment of the State Bar?s new system for tracking cost recovery information (RevQ) was completed on December 18, 2008. Input of backlogged CSF data going back to June 1998 into the AS400 system (GRACIE) was completed in July 2009. Cost recovery data in GRACIE has been reconciled with KOALA, the billing system on the AS400 system and uploaded into RevQ. This reconciliation will continue as new case data is inputted. Debtor data is available now in RevQ and the system is in use. (See 2009-041 p. 165)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #7 To: Bar of California, State

To ensure that it maximizes collection efforts and its ability to implement the Rules of Court as soon as the supreme court approves procedures allowing their use, the State Bar should implement its proposed policy for pursuing debtors.

1-Year Agency Response

The California Supreme Court approved the Rule of Court in April 2007. In July 2007 the Board of Governors adopted a pursuit policy for court ordered disciplinary costs and Client Security Fund obligations, which was immediately implemented. The State Bar reported that, as of April 2008, it has filed 169 requests for entry of judgments to enforce assessments ordered in 313 disciplinary matters. (See 2009-406, p. 258)

  • Response Date: April 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #8 To: Bar of California, State

To ensure that it maximizes collection efforts and its ability to implement the Rules of Court as soon as the supreme court approves procedures allowing their use, the State Bar should complete its assessment of the costs and benefits of reporting judgments to credit-reporting agencies.

1-Year Agency Response

In March 2008 the State Bar completed its interviews of collection agencies currently under contract with the Administrative Office of the Courts and has contracted with the selected vendor to provide debt collection services, which include the reporting of judgments to credit reporting agencies. (See 2009-406, p. 258)

  • Response Date: April 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #9 To: Bar of California, State

To effectively allocate its resources and justify its membership fees, the State Bar should align its budgets with the results of its strategic-planning process.

1-Year Agency Response

The State Bar's 2008 adopted budget has been redesigned to link its budget with its strategic planning process. The proposed budget is aligned with the State Bar's organizational and functional structures as defined by its strategic plan and presents basic workload and performance information in major program areas. (See 2009-406, p. 258)

  • Response Date: April 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #10 To: Bar of California, State

To ensure that it receives all the trust account interest income available for its legal services program, the State Bar should consider conducting activities, such as interviewing or surveying a sample of members who do not report whether they have established trust accounts. This would allow the State Bar to determine whether some members are holding clients' funds without establishing trust accounts and remitting the interest to the State Bar. If the State Bar finds that the nonreporting members do, in fact, hold client funds that are nominal in amount or are held for a short period of time, it should seek the authority to enforce compliance reporting.

1-Year Agency Response

The State Bar stated it submitted to the Supreme Court for approval a proposal that would require each attorney to complete and maintain an online registration. If adopted by the Supreme Court, proposed Rule 9.8 requires lawyers to report whether the attorney or the attorney's law firm has established and maintained one or more trust fund accounts required under Business and Professions Code, Section 6211. According to the State Bar, in anticipation of the Supreme Court's action on this proposal and to facilitate online reporting once it becomes mandatory, the State Bar launched its online reporting feature in April 2008, which will remain voluntary pending the Supreme Court's approval of its proposed requirement. (See 2009-406, pp. 259-260)

  • Response Date: April 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #11 To: Bar of California, State

To properly monitor recipients of grants under its legal services program, the State Bar should ensure that it performs and documents all required monitoring reviews.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From January 2010

Items #7 and #8 were reported by the Bureau of State Audits to be fully implemented. (See 2009-041 p. 164)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #12 To: Bar of California, State

The State Bar should develop a plan to perform the fiscal on-site monitoring visits that were not performed while staying current with its ongoing monitoring requirements.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From January 2010

Items #7 and #8 were reported by the Bureau of State Audits to be fully implemented. (See 2009-041 p. 164)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #13 To: Bar of California, State

The State Bar should continue its efforts to reduce its backlog of disciplinary cases to reach its goal of having no more than 200 cases.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From January 2012

The Office of Chief Trial Counsel has undertaken a series of initiatives aimed at eliminating the backlog by the end of 2011. These included the hiring of a new management team, forming dedicated backlog teams, instituting Saturday working sessions, and proposing new rules of procedure to accelerate the Early Neutral Evaluation stage of the discipline process. Since early October, the Office of Budget, Performance Analysis and Internal Audit has been providing weekly reports on the progress of OCTC toward meeting its goal. In November, the number of cases in backlog was well below the 2007 goal of 250. As of the December 16, 2011, the backlog was down to 75. We anticipate that the backlog will approach zero by the end of 2011.

A copy of the most recent backlog report is attached. The graph reports backlog figures by week. As of the week of December 16th, the backlog was down to 75 and is expected to be even lower by the end of the year. (See 2011-041, p. 188)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #14 To: Bar of California, State

The State Bar should ensure that staff use checklists of significant tasks when processing case files and fully implement its 2005 policy directive for random audits of case files by supervising trial counsel.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From January 2012

The Office of Chief Trial Counsel has implemented automated checklists for each phase of its functions including Intake, Investigation, and Trials. Each checklist must be completed before a case can be released in OCTC's computer system for forwarding to the next stage of the process. Screen shots of the checklists are included as well as system documentation from the Office of Information Technology. (See 2011-041, p. 189)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


All Recommendations in 2007-030

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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