Report 2007-114 Recommendation 2 Responses

Report 2007-114: Low-Level Radioactive Waste: The State Has Limited Information That Hampers Its Ability to Assess the Need for a Disposal Facility and Must Improve Its Oversight to Better Protect the Public (Release Date: June 2008)

Recommendation #2 To: Public Health, Department of

To ensure that the branch can sufficiently demonstrate that the fees it assesses are reasonable, the department should evaluate the branch's current fee structure using analyses that consider fiscal and workload factors. These analyses should establish a reasonable link between fees charged and the branch's actual costs for regulating those that pay specific fees. Further, the analyses should demonstrate how the branch calculated specific fees.

Agency Response*

The Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) has contracted with a professional organization to perform a workload quantitative analysis (QA) on all of the programs operations. The scope of work for this project includes calculating reasonable time expectancies for each program task. The QA will demonstrate the link between the fee and the cost for regulating those subject to the fee. Estimated completion time and issuance of the final report is October 2017.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: October 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

The Radioactive Health Branch (RHB) has partially addressed the California State Audits (CSA) recommendation by implementing a quantitative analysis on future regulation packages, where fees were involved, as evidenced in two fee packages shown in the following links. The Supporting documents from the official rulemaking file are available at: DPH-07-002 (pages 8-10) http://www.cdph.ca.gov/services/DPOPP/regs/Documents/DPH-07-002-ISOR.pdf and DPH 10-006 (pages 10-12) http://www.cdph.ca.gov/services/DPOPP/regs/Documents/DPH_10_006_ISOR_SOD_EIA_DRU_For_PN.doc. These regulation packages demonstrate the commitment from RHB to implement the fee analysis recommended by CSA. RHB does, and will continue, to consider fiscal and workload factors by performing a quantitative analysis (QA) for all future regulations that include fee proposals. Documentation includes how the fee is developed and calculated, demonstrating the link between the fee and the cost for regulating those that would be subject to the fee. In addition, the RHB is investigating the possibility of hiring a contractor to assist in a QA project for all of the fees shown on page 53 of the CSA audit report, with the expectation of having the project completed in 2017.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: 2017
  • Response Date: May 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

The status of this recommendation is unchanged.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: 9/2015
  • Response Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

To ensure a reasonable link between fees charged and the actual costs associated for administering the program, the Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) has completed and continues to review fiscal and workload analyses. We developed and implemented workload standards that identify responsible classifications, tasks to be accomplished, time, and allocated resources (e.g., on an average, one inspector can perform approximately 300 inspections annually). Based on this information, RHB developed cost and revenue information for the various program components and demonstrated that the fees assessed are appropriate and linked to the actual costs associated with administering the programs.

A recent review of RHB revenues and expenditures continues to support the program assessment and the established fee schedule that was set via regulations in 2005. RHB followed methodologies established at that time in determining fees; the Department of Finance approved the methodologies. RHB fees vary widely based on the processes supported by the fees. The RHB X-ray Section registers facilities and certifies and permits users while the RHB Radioactive Materials Licensing Section licenses facilities and operations. The licensing process is specific for each use and those with higher fees require significantly greater staff time to complete the individual action.

RHB recently adopted two new regulations and followed BSA's recommended approach for developing the fees. Supporting documents from the official rulemaking file are available at:

DPH-07-002 (pages 8-10)

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/services/DPOPP/regs/Documents/DPH-07-002-ISOR.pdf

and DPH 10-006 (pages 10-12)

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/services/DPOPP/regs/Documents/DPH_10_006_ISOR_SOD_EIA_DRU_For_PN.doc

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: January 2011
  • Response Date: October 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented

Although the department provided more transparency for how it determined the amounts for two fees it implemented following our audit, a significant portion of its fee structure remains unchanged since our audit. The department provided no evidence that it evaluated the fees we originally discussed in the audit report.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Agency Response*

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) disagrees with the auditor's determination that this recommendation is not fully implemented. CDPH believes it has fully implemented this recommendation and resubmits its response from last year.

CDPH Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) completed its evaluation of workload and staffing data. To ensure a reasonable link between fees charged and the actual costs associated for administering the program, CDPH-RHB has completed and continues to conduct routine thorough fiscal and workload analysis. Workload standards were developed and implemented that identify responsible classifications, tasks to be accomplished, time and allocated resources (e.g., on an average, one inspector can perform approximately 300 inspections annually). Based on this information, CDPH-RHB developed cost and revenue information for the various program components and demonstrated that the fees assessed are appropriate and have a link to the actual costs associated with administering the programs.

A recent review of CDPH-RHB revenues and expenditures continues to support the program assessment and the established fee schedule.

In addition, to ensure transparency and accountability when submitting future fee proposals for adoption CDPH-RHB initiates a fiscal and workload analysis for the particular fee proposal. For example, CDPH-RHB recently adopted regulations requiring users of certain devices that contain radioactive material to register as possessing the device and to pay an annual registration fee. The adoption of these regulations also pertained to maintaining regulatory compatibility with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) as required by California's agreement with NRC and as specified in law. The following supporting documents, from the official rulemaking file can be accessed at: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/services/DPOPP/regs/Pages/DPH07-002GeneralLicenseRequirements.aspx:

1. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

2. Initial Statement of Reasons

3. Proposed Regulation text

The following supporting document is attached to this response:

4. STD-399 including the Cost Estimating Methodology signed by CDPH, Health and Human Services Agency, and the Department of Finance.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Response Date: September 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

All Recommendations in 2007-114

†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response 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 or subsequent to one year.

*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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