Report 2011-116.1 Recommendation 12 Responses

Report 2011-116.1: Department of General Services: The Division of the State Architect Lacks Enforcement Authority and Has Weak Oversight Procedures, Increasing the Risk That School Construction Projects May Be Unsafe (Release Date: December 2011)

Recommendation #12 To: General Services, Department of

To address areas in which its staff do not currently have expertise, the division should finalize its field pilot and take subsequent steps to ensure it has qualified staff to provide oversight of accessibility; fire and life safety; and the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing aspects of construction.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2014

DSA revisited the results of the field pilot to determine the current feasibility of expanding its construction oversight for schools beyond structural safety. DSA determined that, based on the current statutory based fee structure, sufficient resources are available for project oversight activities involving only structural safety, fire and life safety and accessibility issues.

As to ensuring that adequate oversight is provided, DSA has reviewed the field pilot report's recommendations and developed alternative means to achieve the objectives of the field pilot for enhanced oversight of the fire and life safety and accessibility aspects of project construction. Specifically, the division developed a training program for its field engineers that will increase their expertise in the fire and life safety elements of construction as well as accessibility compliance.

The accessibility training was provided to all field staff and supervisors in October 2013. Additional training for field review of fire and life safety based on the new inspection card process was provided to all field staff and supervisors in May 2014.

Overall, the training program in conjunction with an automated statewide metric to measure field oversight workload and the new inspection card system addresses the field oversight issues that initiated the field pilot project. Therefore, the DSA determined that an update to the field pilot project was not necessary.

  • Completion Date: May 2014

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

The DSA provided sign-in sheets and materials related to the additional training noted in its response. The training materials included a module on mechanical, electrical, and plumbing as it relates to fire and life safety.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

DSA revisited the results of the field pilot to determine the current feasibility of expanding its construction oversight for schools beyond structural safety. DSA determined that, based on the current statutory based fee structure, sufficient resources are available for project oversight activities involving only structural safety, fire and life safety and accessibility issues.

As to ensuring that adequate oversight is provided, DSA has reviewed the field pilot report's recommendations and developed alternative means to achieve the objectives of the field pilot for enhanced oversight of the fire and life safety and accessibility aspects of project construction. Specifically, the division developed a training program for its field engineers that will increase their expertise in the fire and life safety elements of construction as well as accessibility compliance.

The accessibility training was provided to all field staff and supervisors in October 2013. Additional training for field review of fire and life safety based on the new inspection card process is scheduled to be given to all field staff and supervisors no later than the first quarter 2014.

Overall, the training program in conjunction with an automated statewide metric to measure field oversight workload and the new inspection card system addresses the field oversight issues that initiated the field pilot project. Therefore, the DSA determined that an update to the field pilot project was not necessary.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 2014

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


1-Year Agency Response

General Services stated that the division revisited the results of the field pilot and determined that, based on the current statutory-based fee structure, sufficient resources are available only for oversight of structural safety, fire and life safety, and accessibility issues. General Services also said that to achieve the field pilot's objectives for enhanced oversight, the division is developing a training program that will increase the expertise of its field engineers in the fire and life safety elements of construction as well as accessibility compliance. Training is planned for the first quarter of 2013. (See 2013-406, p. 43)

  • Response Date: December 2012

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


All Recommendations in 2011-116.1

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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