Report 2011-119 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2011-119: Physical Therapy Board of California: Although It Can Make Improvements, It Generally Processes Complaints and Monitors Conflict-of-Interest Requirements Appropriately (Release Date: June 2012)

Recommendation #1 To: Physical Therapy Board

The physical therapy board should explore the feasibility of establishing a state position to perform the duties of its current in-house consultant at a reduced cost.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

Please refer to our response dated 9/11/2015.

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

On 9/11/2015, the Physical Therapy Board of California requested this matter be concluded.

In response to the BSA's recommendation, the Board staff met with the Department of Consumer Affairs, Office of Human Resources (DCA-OHR) to discuss the feasibility of establishing a state position to perform the duties of its current in-house consultant at a reduced cost. As a result, the Board was advised by the DCA-OHR this proposal is not feasible for a number of reasons that are further explained in the attached documents supplied to the auditor on 9/11/15.

After exploring the feasibility, the Board and DCA-OHR agree that the proposal to establish the Physical Therapy Consultant as a civil service employee is not a feasible course of action, nor practical expenditure of resources (reference DCA-OHR memo dated 2/11/14).

The Board has no further updates to report at this time.

  • Completion Date: August 2015

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

The Physical Therapy Board staff met with the Department of Consumer Affairs' Human Resources Office (OHR) to discuss the feasibility of the Auditor's proposal. As a result, the Board was advised this proposal is not feasible for a number of reasons that are further explained in the attached documents supplied to the auditor.

After exploring the feasibility, the Board and DCA OHR agree that the proposal to establish the Physical Therapy Consultant as a civil service employee is not a feasible course of action, nor practical expenditure of resources. Therefore, the Board is requesting this matter be concluded.

  • Completion Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Currently Feasible

The Department of Consumer Affairs' Office of Human Resources (OHR) determined that establishing a state position to perform the duties of the Physical Therapy Board's in-house consultant is not feasible because of the difficulty in establishing a new classification. OHR stated that this would be difficult because the State is actively working to reduce the number of state classifications. OHR also concluded that a new civil service classification could not support a salary that would attract qualified candidates.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

The Physical Therapy Board staff met with the Department of Consumer Affairs' Human Resources Office (OHR) to discuss the feasibility of the Auditor's proposal. As a result, the Board was advised this proposal is not feasible for a number of reasons that are further explained in the attached documents supplied to the auditor.

After exploring the feasibility, the Board and DCA OHR agree that the proposal to establish the Physical Therapy Consultant as a civil service employee is not a feasible course of action, nor practical expenditure of resources. Therefore, the Board is requesting this matter be concluded.

  • Estimated Completion Date:

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

According to the Physical Therapy Board's Executive Officer, the Department of Consumer Affairs' Human Resources Office (OHR) advised the Physical Therapy Board that establishing a state position to perform the duties of the current in-house consultant is not feasible. He stated that OHR does not believe that a new civil service classification (with a higher salary than the existing classifications) could support a salary that would attract qualified candidates. However, he stated that the Physical Therapy Board has significantly reduced the use of its in-house consultant as an alternative cost saving measure.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2013

As noted in our previous responses to this issue, the board continues to explore the feasibility of establishing a civil service position to perform the duties of the in-house consultant. Due to the lengthy state process required to establish new positions, we do not expect to complete this process until July 2015.

In March 2013, as previously noted, the board reduced expenditures under the in-house contract by 50% through streamlining processes, decreasing the need for the consultant services.

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2015

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


1-Year Agency Response

As previously stated, the Board has limited resources to conduct the extensive process presented by the Department of Consumer Affairs', Human Resources Office (OHR) on November 1, 2012 regarding the timeline of establishing a civil service position to perform the duties of the Board's in-house expert consultant.

Meanwhile, the Board has reduced its cost of its in-house expert consultant services.

In March 2013, the Board executed an abbreviated contract in lieu of its in-house Expert Consultant Contract for its in-house expert consultant services. As a result, the Board reduced its expenditures from $54,200 to $27,000, a significant savings of $27,200 (as of June, 2013).

The Board, in cooperation with the Department of Consumer Affairs, will continue its efforts to explore the feasibility of establishing a civil service position to perform the duties of its current in-house consultant.

  • Completion Date: March 2013
  • Response Date: July 2013

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

The Physical Therapy Board is continuing to explore the feasibility of establishing a civil service position to perfrom the duties of its in-house consultant. The Physical Therapy Board pays its in-house consultant $75 an hour under the new abbreviated contract, which is the same hourly rate that it paid this individual under the prior contract. According to the Physical Therapy Board's manager of administrative, application, and licensing programs, the board reduced the cost associated with its in-house consultant by streamlining its processes to decrease the need for the in-house consultant's services.


6-Month Agency Response

The physical therapy board reported that it is attempting to establish a civil service position to perform the duties of its current in-house consultant. However, the physical therapy board stated that this is an involved and lengthy process that it does not expect to complete until July 2015. As an interim solution, the physical therapy board stated that it is considering negotiating a new contract at a reduced rate when the current contract with the in-house consultant expires in March 2013. (See 2013-406, p. 49)

  • Response Date: December 2012

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


Recommendation #2 To: Physical Therapy Board

To make certain that it provides effective services to consumers, the physical therapy board should develop a means of formally evaluating its expert consultants against performance measures and benchmarks. Furthermore, the physical therapy board should conduct these evaluations regularly and document them fully.

6-Month Agency Response

The physical therapy board developed formal policies and procedures to evaluate the performance of its in-house and other expert consultants in December 2012 and July 2012, respectively. These procedures were designed to evaluate expert consultants' productivity and quality of work product, among other attributes. The policies require the in-house consultant to be evaluated at least annually and other expert consultants to be evaluated every time they provide a service. (See 2013-406, p. 50)

  • Response Date: December 2012

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


Recommendation #3 To: Physical Therapy Board

Consumer Affairs should establish procedures for ensuring that board members attend board member orientation and that those individuals and other designated employees receive all required ethics training. In addition, Consumer Affairs should adhere to the record retention period of five years specified by law for the certificates documenting that designated employees received ethics training.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

The Department has established procedures and an internal Board Member database to record and track the trainings and forms Board Members are required by law to complete, including Board Member Orientation Training, Ethics Training, Sexual Harassment Prevention Training and the Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests. The Department has always tracked Board Member training, however, the data was housed in multiple divisions within the Department. The Board Member database is now the single repository for this data, allowing the Department to proactively audit and notify Board Members when training is due, as well as adhere to the record retention requirement of five years.

Board Members are required to take an ethics training course within the first six months of their appointment and repeat the training every two years throughout their term. The Board Member database was completed in July 2014. Department staff have initiated outreach to Board Members out of compliance, as well as those coming due for training.

The Deputy Director for Board and Bureau Relations continues to regularly communicate with Bureau Chiefs, Executive Officers and Board Members about the mandatory training requirements and when the trainings/webcasts are available. The Department also has an attorney designated as the Ethics Officer available to Board Members and designated employees when they have questions.

  • Completion Date: October 2014

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

Consumer Affairs has established a database to track board members attendance at board member orientation training and to track those individuals and other designated employees participation in required ethics training. It also regularly informs these individuals of their obligation to attend required training. These procedures have resulted in improved compliance with these training requirements.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

The Department has established procedures and an internal Board Member database to record and track the trainings and forms Board Members are required by law to complete, including Board Member Orientation Training, Ethics Training, Sexual Harassment Prevention Training and the Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests. The Department has always tracked Board Member training, however, the data was housed in multiple divisions within the Department. The Board Member database is now the single repository for this data, allowing the Department to proactively audit and notify Board Members when training is due, as well as adhere to the record retention requirement of five years.

Board Members are required to take an ethics training course within the first six months of their appointment and repeat the training every two years throughout their term. The Board Member database was completed in July 2014. Department staff have initiated outreach to Board Members out of compliance, as well as those coming due for training.

The Deputy Director for Board and Bureau Relations continues to regularly communicate with Bureau Chiefs, Executive Officers and Board Members about the mandatory training requirements and when the trainings/webcasts are available. The Department also has an attorney designated as the Ethics Officer available to Board Members and designated employees when they have questions.

  • Completion Date: July 2014

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

Although the Department of Consumer Affairs provided a training report from its board member database, the report indicates that numerous board members have not yet attended board member orientation and/or have not received all required ethics training. In addition, the report does not indicate whether other designated employees (e.g., executive officers, etc.) have received all required ethics training.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2013

In September 2013, DCA executive management held a conference call with all executive officers and Board Chairs to remind them of the mandatory training requirements. The DCA Deputy Director reminds members of required training at all board meetings. In addition, the board and bureau relations database is currently being revamped and updated. Once these database enhancements are completed, monitoring of training courses completed and pending will be more easily accomplished. DCA will be able to run reports and follow up on training requirements on a regular basis, as well as adhere to record retention requirements for completed training.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 15, 2014

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


1-Year Agency Response

The Department of Consumer Affairs fully agrees. As such, the Executive Office is continually updating board member files by gathering the following information:

Confirmation of the member's Oath of Office

Confirmation of the member's Form 700 filing

Confirmation of the member's participation in sexual harassment prevention and ethics training

Confirmation of the member's participation in the Department's Board Member Orientation Training

The designated staff people that are not a board member, an advisory member, an executive officer or bureau chief are tracked by the Department's Human Resource Department and our SOLID Training Solutions Department.

As previously reported, no end date is noted as board members are appointed, re-appointed, and termed-out on an on-going basis. The board relations deputy director and the board analysts within the Executive Office have completed updating the existing board member hard copy files.

Additionally, a spreadsheet has been created to assist in the tracking of the mandatory trainings and filings for board members. The deputy director and board analysts within the Executive Office are continuing to work with the Department's human resources and training office in obtaining any necessary information that is missing from the files. The data base for the electronic tracking of necessary information on mandatory training and filings, as well as appointment terms and oaths of office continues to move forward.

If a board member or designated employee within a board has not completed their mandatory training or our Department has not received notification that their Form 700 or sexual harassment prevention and ethics training has been completed, the Board and Bureau Relations deputy within the Executive Office will work with human resources to send out notification to those employees that they need to comply with the mandatory training.

  • Completion Date: July 2013
  • Response Date: August 2013

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

Consumer Affairs has created a spreadsheet to track the status of mandatory trainings for members of its boards and other designated employees. However, based on our review of this spreadsheet, numerous members of its boards have not attended the required board member orientation. In addition, numerous board members and other designated employees have not received all required ethics training.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

6-Month Agency Response

Consumer Affairs agrees with this recommendation and reported that it is currently implementing an ongoing process of reviewing its files to confirm that its board members attend board member orientation and that those individuals and other designated employees receive all required ethics training. If Consumer Affairs does not have documentation that board members and other designated employees completed all applicable training, it will notify those individuals that they need to comply with the mandatory training requirements or provide evidence that they have already attended all applicable training. Consumer Affairs also reported that it will retain documentation that designated employees received all mandatory training, including ethics training, for five years. (See 2013-406, p. 50)

  • Response Date: December 2012

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


Recommendation #4 To: Physical Therapy Board

To ensure that board members disclose in a timely manner potential conflicts of interest on their Form 700s, the physical therapy board should notify Consumer Affairs' filing officer promptly when board members are appointed or when they indicate that they intend to leave office.

6-Month Agency Response

The physical therapy board has developed procedures that direct its personnel liaison to notify Consumer Affairs' filing officer within 10 business days of board members assuming or leaving office. (See 2013-406, p. 50)

  • Response Date: December 2012

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


All Recommendations in 2011-119

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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