Report 2009-108 Recommendation 1 Responses

Report 2009-108: California Department of Veterans Affairs: Although It Has Begun to Increase Its Outreach Efforts and to Coordinate With Other Entities, It Needs to Improve Its Strategic Planning Process, and Its CalVet Home Loan Program Is Not Designed to Address the Housing Needs of Some Veterans (Release Date: October 2009)

Recommendation #1 To: Veterans Affairs, Department of

To ensure that it has the information necessary to track progress in increasing veterans' participation in C&P benefits, and to identify where and how best to focus its outreach and coordination efforts, Veterans Services should require the CVSOs to submit information on the number of claims filed for C&P benefits and information on their outreach activities.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

The proposed rulemaking was approved by the Office of Administrative Law and made effective on October 1, 2016. The regulations were distributed to all County Veterans Service Officers and discussed with all 56 participating counties at a CalVet sanctioned training conference on October 10, 2016.

  • Completion Date: October 2016

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From June 2016

The proposed regulations requiring CVSOs to submit the number of claims filed for C&P benefits as well as outreach activities are in their final stages of Office of Administrative Law approval. The final rulemaking file will be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law in August 2016. The regulations should become effective per the regular rulemaking calendar on October 1, 2016.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 1, 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From January 2016

Proposed regulations requiring CVSOs to submit the number of claims filed for C&P benefits as well as outreach activities metrics were submitted to the Office of Administrative Law on October 30, 2015. The 45-day public comment period ended on December 28, 2015. Comments were received and are under review. CalVet has one year to finalize the regulations through the regular rulemaking process.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

CalVet has fully implemented the VetPro system to address this recommendation. All 57 counties with County Veteran Service Offices and the three Veteran Services Division District Offices have converted to VetPro (previously referred to as SAIS/SAIM).

All CVSOs enter the number of compensation and pension (C&P) claims filed by their county into VetPro in order to receive state subvention funding for those claims. VetPro gives CalVet the ability to expand its supervision of the claim activity down to the individual veteran representative filing the claim. CalVet is also able to track the number of workload and outreach activities reported by each CVSO. By October 31, 2015, CalVet will be submitting proposed regulations to require CVSOs to report outreach metrics through VetPro.

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

CalVet has fully implemented the Subvention Accounting Information System (SAIS) to address this recommendation. All 56 counties with County Veteran Service Offices and the three Veteran Services Division District Offices have converted to SAIS.

The SAIS gives CalVet the ability to expand its supervision of the claim activity down to the individual veteran representative filing the claim. CalVet is able to identify the quantity, quality and success rate of the claims being filed at the county level. This also allows CalVet to influence the quality of the claims and track outreach activities. In addition, this automated process will allow both CalVet and the counties to implement new changes from the VA systematically, which will reduce the training and lag time in getting these changes to the field. CalVet is also able to track the number of workload activities reported by each CVSO to provide a metric to track progress in increasing veterans' participation in C&P benefits.

  • Completion Date: April 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented

In its response regarding the status of its implementation of this recommendation after the state auditor's report was published, CalVet asserted that it had fully implemented this recommendation. Based on our review of documentation provided by CalVet at that time, we assessed the recommendation as fully implemented. However, during a follow-up audit, which entailed a more in-depth review of actions CalVet has taken to address this recommendation, we found that CalVet has not fully implemented the recommendation. The state auditor issued its follow-up audit titled Follow-Up—California Department of Veterans Affairs: Better Collection and Use of Data Would Improve Its Outreach Efforts, and It Needs to Strengthen Its Oversight of County Veterans Service Officer Programs (Report 2015-505), in July 2015.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2012

CalVet is continuing to implement the Subvention Accounting Information System (SAIS) to address this recommendation.

As previously reported, an MOU was executed with the vendor for the SAIS software implementation. To date 50 out of 56 counties with CVSOs and the 3 Veterans Services Division District Offices have converted to SAIS. There are 2 additional counties currently in the implementation process. Those counties should be fully implemented by December 2012. The remaining counties have yet to make decisions regarding the transition. CalVet is unable to make this conversion mandatory as that would invoke state mandated local program statutes requiring CalVet to reimburse counties for the use of the software.

The SAIS gives CalVet the ability to expand its supervision of the claim activity right down to the individual veteran representative filing the claim. CalVet will be able to identify the quantity, quality and success rate of the claims being filed at the county level. This will also allow CalVet to influence the quality of the claims and track outreach activities. In addition, this automated process will allow both CalVet and the counties to implement new changes from the VA systematically, which will reduce the training and lag time in getting these changes to the field.

In the interim, “claims initiated” data is collected on the semi-annual subvention workload unit reports (DVS-16) and is being tracked.

CalVet has also recently implemented changes in its subvention distribution process to incentivize those claims activities associated with monetary (i.e. primarily C&P) benefits by increasing the number of workload units associated with successful claims and eliminating credit for non-monetary activities. Due to these changes the number of workload activities reported by each CVSO will provide a surrogate metric to track progress in increasing veterans' participation in C&P benefits.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


All Recommendations in 2009-108

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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