Report 2008-102 Recommendation 13 Responses

Report 2008-102: Office of Spill Prevention and Response: It Has Met Many of Its Oversight and Response Duties, but Interaction With Local Government, the Media, and Volunteers Needs Improvement (Release Date: August 2008)

Recommendation #13 To: Fish and Wildlife, Department of

To ensure that the fund is charged only for oil spill prevention activities, the spill office and Fish and Game should take steps to ensure that spill prevention wardens' time is charged appropriately, such as performing a time study of wardens to use as a basis for allocating wardens' time between the fund and other Fish and Game funding sources. Such a time study should be updated periodically to ensure that it remains valid and accurate.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From January 2012

The Department of Fish and Game's Law Enforcement Division (LED) had completed two time studies prior to completing this third study. The BSA had determined the previous two studies did not meet the recommendation's intent. In an attempt to comply with the BSA recommendations a third time study was commissioned.

The Law Enforcement unit within the OSPR completed a time study comparing spill warden's time claimed on monthly attendance reports with the actual activity worked for the same monthly period. The time study also compared the time claimed on attendance reports of non-spill wardens verses their activity worked for the same monthly periods. The non-spill wardens used in this study worked within the same geographic areas as the spill wardens.

The time study revealed that spill wardens did not charge the OSPAF excessively. The study revealed that although spill wardens may work occasionally in areas not directly related to spill prevention and response, the use of specialized overtime not from the OSPAF allowed the spill wardens to remain within the marine zone monitoring spill activity and conducting spill prevention patrols for a longer period of time. This allowed spill wardens to work in the marine zone longer with no charge to the OSPAF. In addition, the study revealed that non-spill wardens work and completed significant amounts of spill related enforcement activity while working within the marine zone. This activity was not funded by the OSPAF. And as a result, the mission of the OSPR is benefitted by non-funded activity on an average of 60 hours per month per non-OSPAF funded officer.

In addition, the LED has developed funding management tools to help both spill and non-spill wardens charge their working time to the appropriate fund. These tools allow all wardens to code work efforts not in support of the OSPAF to other specific funding sources. Supervisors and managers review the use of these codes monthly to verify the appropriateness of the charges. These codes are then reviewed periodically by management to verify funding charges are within allotted limits and that the charges to specific funding sources are appropriate.

The OSPR Law Enforcement unit will continue to monitor activity charges to the OSPAF on a monthly and quarterly basis to verify the appropriateness of the charges. A new time study will be developed and implemented in the coming year to verify the findings of the initial study. Based on the recommendations made by the BSA, the Department of Fish and Game and OSPR believe we have fully implemented recommendation #5 of the BSA Report 2008-102. A complete copy of the Warden Time Study was submitted to the BSA in March 2011. (See 2011-041 p. 145)

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

All Recommendations in 2008-102

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.