Report 2011-103 Recommendation 4 Responses

Report 2011-103: California's Mutual Aid System: The California Emergency Management Agency Should Administer the Reimbursement Process More Effectively (Release Date: January 2012)

Recommendation #4 To: Emergency Management Agency

To make certain that local agencies calculate correctly their average actual hourly rates, Cal EMA should audit a sample of invoices each year and include in the review an analysis of the accuracy of the local agencies' average actual hourly rates reported in the agencies' salary surveys.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

Cal OES has completed four audit reports on local fire agencies salary surveys and provided the reports to the State Auditor. Cal OES will continue to include the salary survey audits in its annual plan and will complete them as our audit schedule permits.

  • Completion Date: October 2016

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

Cal OES has completed four audit reports on local fire agencies salary surveys and provided them to the State Auditor. Cal OES will continue to include the salary survey audits in its annual plan and will complete them as our audit schedule permits.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2016

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

Cal OES has provided to the State Auditor copies of four audit reports completed on local fire agencies salary surveys. Cal OES will continue to audit a sample of local fire agencies salary surveys to comply with the audit recommendation.

  • Completion Date: December 2013

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

In October 2014, Cal OES stated that it had not started any new salary survey audits for 2014 because it had only two auditors. Cal OES also stated that the salary survey audits are included in its annual audit plan and will be completed as the audit schedule permits.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

The Fire and Rescue Division has coordinated with the Cal OES Audit Office to conduct audits of the local fire agencies salary survey to substantiate the average actual hourly rates. The audits began in 2013 and are on-going. To date, 4 local government fire agencies have been audited and an additional 20 will be audited in the coming months. Moreover, we hold annual committee meetings to discuss improving performance and outreach for all parties involved. This year we held 5 workshops statewide to instruct local fire agencies on how to develop accurate rates while understanding the methodologies behind them. We also hold individual meetings with local fire agencies to give them one on one instruction and support if need be.

We are currently in the process of setting up meetings to meet with the paying entities signatory to the agreement to discuss inaccurate rates reported by local fire agencies and future policies and contract language that will resolve how to proceed with this matter.

  • Completion Date: August 2013

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

Cal EMA did not provide copies of its audit reports for the four local government fire agencies.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

1-Year Agency Response

Cal EMA stated it is working with the Internal Audit office to conduct annual audits of the local agency's average actual hourly rates to ensure accuracy. Cal EMA also stated that, if it determines the local agencies' hourly rates are incorrect, it will advise them to recalculate the rates.

  • Response Date: February 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

Cal EMA did not specifically address this recommendation. Instead, Cal EMA stated it evaluated its options, along with its partner agencies, for ensuring the accuracy of and the accountability for the financial information that the local agencies submit. Cal EMA stated its options for ensuring financial integrity included better defined invoicing instructions, enhanced training of the partner agencies, and, if necessary, revisions to the statutes.Cal EMA, along with several key committee members signatory to the CFAA, provided workshops in June 2012 to instruct local agencies on how to correctly develop average actual hourly rates, salary surveys, and actual administrative rates. Cal EMA stated it also held a Web conference in July 2012 for those local agencies that were unable to attend the workshops because of budgetary constraints or other commitments. (See 2013-406, pp. 72-73)

  • Response Date: September 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


All Recommendations in 2011-103

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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