Report 2009-108 Recommendation 2 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 #2 To: Veterans Affairs, Department of

As Veterans Services expands its efforts to increase veterans' participation in C&P benefits, it should use veterans' demographic information, such as that available through the U.S. Census Bureau, and the information it plans to obtain from the CVSOs using its SAIM system, to focus its outreach and coordination efforts on those counties with the highest potential for increasing the State's rate of participation in C&P benefits.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From July 2016

CalVet audited claims submissions through its VetPro system (formerly SAIM), and compared the number of claims workload units produced by each CVSO to the veteran population of that county as an indication of the productivity of a CVSO (Annex 1). Los Angeles was identified as a county that has the highest potential for increasing the number of C&P claims filed. As a result, CalVet provided two in-person, general trainings on C&P claims with the managers and staff at the L.A. CVSO, as well as one training focused on CalVet's College Fee Waiver program. In addition, CalVet coordinated with the president of the California Association of County Veterans Service Officers (CACVSO) to provide on-site assistance to the L.A. CVSO in June 2016. CalVet and CACVSO are coordinating a new mentorship program to new and underperforming CVSOs (based on their FY 14-15 workload unit production). Since January 2016, this mentorship program has enabled a successful CVSO to visit and provide training to three new and six under-performing CVSOs. In August 2016, CalVet will obtain updated data on C&P claims, and based on analysis of this data, will meet with low-performing CVSOs to develop training plans and develop focused outreach initiatives, such as claims fairs, to increase C&P rates.

  • Completion Date: January 2016

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From January 2016

CalVet VSD has compiled U.S. Census-derived data from USDVA, and the most recent annual reporting of CVSO Workload Units, focusing specifically on Auditable Claims filed by County. This report used data derived from USDVA (VetPop) and workload estimates reported by CVSOs via the VetPro system (incorporating data that was reported via the SAIM system during past audit queries). CalVet VSD was able to determine which counties have the highest potential for increasing the State's C&P participation rates.

See the attached report, CA C&P Claims Participation and FY14-15 Filings by County, for detailed statistical analysis of this issue, and CalVet VSD Narrative Details to BSA 2009-108 Response for detailed narratives of analysis outcomes and action plans to focus outreach efforts for successful growth in the State's C&P participation rates.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2016

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

CalVet continues to gather demographic information and conduct needs assessments to target outreach through a variety of channels including the Geographic Distribution of Expenditures report, County Veterans Services Office (CVSO) Subvention Reports, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs VetPop data, while continuing to connect veterans and their families with services and benefits through ongoing strategies and partnerships. CalVet understands the significance of the myCalVet site and its potential to supply information statewide in an ongoing and cost effective way. By December 31, 2015, CalVet will develop a marketing plan to use CalVet website data to target outreach to regions where veterans have not created profiles at the same rate as others. By October 31, 2015, CalVet will be submitting proposed regulations to require CVSOs to report outreach metrics through VetPro. Once the regulations are established, CVSO outreach metrics will be tracked through the statewide claims case management system, VetPro.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2015

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

At the time the report was written, CalVet was anticipating expansion of resources available for outreach and the report's recommendation was reasonably implementable. In fact, immediately following publication of the report CalVet had budget change proposals approved by the Legislature which include new outreach funding. That new funding was to be distributed under a grant structure with criteria that fully implemented this recommendation. Since that time CalVet's funding for outreach was eliminated due to the State's budget crisis.

Recognizing that we must continue to perform the outreach mission despite the cuts in dedicated resources, CalVet is implementing technology efforts that are intended to supplement resource intensive outreach efforts. These technology based efforts are implemented without geographic constraints. The two major efforts are deployment of smart phone mobile applications (apps) and establishing a one-stop, veteran centric portal (CalVet Connect).

While CalVet is continuing efforts to expand outreach services throughout the state, no new resources have been allocated to-date. The recommendation remains valid in the context of obtaining and allocating future new resources to fulfill the need to increase outreach to veterans using veteran demographic information and the SAIS system. CalVet will implement it when those new resources become available; unfortunately, it is unknown when we will be obtaining new resources

  • Completion Date: October 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

At the time the report was written CalVet was anticipating expansion of resources available for outreach and the report's recommendation was reasonably implementable. In fact, immediately following publication of the report CalVet had budget change proposals approved by the Legislature which include new outreach funding. That new funding was to be distributed under a grant structure with criteria that fully implemented this recommendation. Since that time CalVet's funding for outreach was eliminated due to the State's budget crisis.

Recognizing that we must continue to perform the outreach mission despite the cuts in dedicated resources, CalVet is implementing cost neutral technology efforts that are intended to replace resource intensive outreach efforts. These technology based efforts are implemented without geographic constraints. The two major efforts are deployment of smart phone mobile applications (apps) and establishing a one-stop, veteran centric portal (CalVet Connect).

While CalVet is examining potential redirection of its limited existing resources those resources primarily consist of filled positions. Redirection becomes complicated in those cases by issues associated with voluntary/involuntary transfers and the associated costs. The most promising opportunity for redirection is when positions become vacant; in fact CalVet is currently examining potential redirection of one LINC position that became vacant recently.

The recommendation remains valid in the context of allocating future new resources and CalVet will implement it when those new resources become available; unfortunately we do not anticipate obtaining new resources any time in the near to mid-term future.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

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.


Report type

Report type
















© 2013, California State Auditor | Privacy Policy | Conditions of Use | Download Adobe PDF Reader