Report 2009-118 Recommendation 2 Responses

Report 2009-118: Department of Developmental Services: A More Uniform and Transparent Procurement and Rate-Setting Process Would Improve the Cost-Effectiveness of Regional Centers (Release Date: August 2010)

Recommendation #2 To: Developmental Services, Department of

To ensure that consumers receive high-quality, cost-effective services that meet the goals of their IPPs consistent with state law, Developmental Services should review a representative sample of this documentation as part of its biennial waiver reviews or fiscal audits to ensure that regional centers are complying with state law—and particularly with the July 2009 amendment requiring selection of the least costly available provider of comparable service.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

As previously reported, the Department does not believe it has legal authority to implement the State Auditor's recommendations as it would place DDS in a role inconsistent with the intent of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act (Lanterman Act). The Lanterman Act delegates a great deal of decision making to the regional centers. By design, DDS does not have a direct role in the Individual Program Plan (IPP) development and if DDS required extensive documentation of one factor and not all factors considered in the IPP process, this would likely lead to a legal challenge that DDS has overstepped its authority. Though DDS does not believe it can intercede in the IPP process, it will use its oversight authority to ensure adherence to the law. DDS issued a directive on August 16, 2010, to regional centers to update their internal review process and associated policies and procedures to ensure the regional centers' compliance with all current statutes. The directive also requires regional centers to inform their staff of the updates to its policies and procedures. The State Auditor conducted a follow-up audit in 2015, Report 2015-501 dated July 2015, in which DDS reiterated the same legal position. In this follow-up report the State Auditor recommended the Legislature amend the governing Lanterman Act statute to require regional centers to document vendor cost considerations when they offer comparable services meeting the consumer's needs and retain that documentation.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

As previously reported, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) does not believe it has legal authority to implement the California State Auditor's (CSA) recommendation as it would place DDS in a role inconsistent with the intent of the Lanterman Act. The Lanterman Act delegates a great deal of decision making to the regional centers. By design, DDS does not have a direct role in the Individual Program Plan (IPP) development and if DDS required extensive documentation of one factor and not all factors considered in the IPP process, this would likely lead to litigation that DDS has overstepped its authority. Though DDS does not believe it can intercede in the IPP process, it will use its oversight authority to ensure adherence to the law. DDS has issued a directive on August 16, 2010, to regional centers to update their internal review process and associated policies and procedures to ensure the regional centers' compliance with all current statutes. The directive also requires regional centers to inform their staff of the updates to its policies and procedures. The CSA conducted a follow-up audit in 2015, Report 2015-501 dated July 2015, in which DDS reiterated the same legal position. In this follow-up report CSA recommended the Legislature amend the governing Lanterman Act statute to require regional centers to document vendor cost considerations when they offer comparable services meeting the consumer's needs and retain that documentation.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

As stated in the response to the previous recommendation and as previously reported, DDS does not believe it can intercede in the IPP process, but will use its oversight authority to ensure adherence to the law. DDS has issued a directive on August 16, 2010 to regional centers to update their internal review process and associated policies and procedures to ensure the regional centers' compliance with all current statutes. The directive also requires regional centers to inform their staff of the updates to its policies and procedures. In addition, DDS's review of regional centers' purchase of service policies for compliance with law is an ongoing process which includes ensuring regional centers are implementing the least costly provision contained in statute.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2011

As stated in the response to the previous recommendation, DDS does not believe it can intercede in the IPP process, but will use its oversight authority to ensure adherence to the law. DDS has issued a directive on August 16, 2010 to regional centers to update their internal review process and associated policies and procedures to ensure the regional centers' compliance with all current statutes. The directive also requires regional centers to inform their staff of the updates to its policies and procedures. In addition, DDS's review of regional centers' purchase of service policies for compliance with law is an ongoing process which includes ensuring regional centers are implementing the least costly provision contained in statute.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


All Recommendations in 2009-118

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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