Report 2012-301 Recommendation 2 Responses

Report 2012-301: Judicial Branch Procurement: Six Superior Courts Generally Complied With the Judicial Branch Contracting Law, but They Could Improve Some Policies and Practices (Release Date: March 2013)

Recommendation #2 To: Administrative Office of the Courts

To ensure complete reports to the Legislature, the AOC should review and modify its methodology for excluding certain transactions from the semiannual report to ensure that the AOC is not inadvertently excluding legitimate procurements. Further, the AOC's methodology should ensure that all procurements or contracts—such as those related to court security, court reporters, and interpreters when such services result in payment by a judicial branch entity to a vendor or contractor—are included in the semiannual report unless specifically excluded by state law.

Agency Response*

The AOC reviewed and modified its methodology for excluding certain transactions from the semiannual report. Beginning with the reporting period starting January 1, 2014, the semiannual report includes payments, but not contracts, for services provided by independent contractor court reporters and independent contractor interpreters. To the limited extent a superior court may make payments for security services (given that the sheriff, and not the superior court, is generally responsible for the cost of court security under the Superior Court Security Act of 2012) such payments are also included in the semiannual report beginning with the reporting period starting January 1, 2014.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

The AOC reviewed and modified its methodology for excluding certain transactions from the semiannual report. Beginning with the reporting period starting January 1, 2014, the semiannual report will include payments, but not contracts, for services provided by independent contractor court reporters and independent contractor interpreters. To the limited extent a superior court may make payments for security services (given that the sheriff, and not the superior court, is generally responsible for the cost of court security under the Superior Court Security Act of 2012) such payments will also be included in the semiannual report beginning with the reporting period starting January 1, 2014.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented

The AOC will issue its semiannual report for the reporting period starting January 1, 2014 in August 2014. Because we cannot verify that the new methodology is in place until the AOC releases that report, we consider this recommendation partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Agency Response*

The AOC intends to present to the Judicial Council at its meeting in December 2013 a recommendation to include payments for services provided by independent contractor court reporters and independent contractor interpreters in future semiannual reports beginning with the reporting period starting January 1, 2014. To the limited extent a superior court may make payments for security services (given that the sheriff, and not the superior court, is generally responsible for the cost of court security under the Superior Court Security Act of 2012), such payments would also be included in the semiannual report. Even though the State Auditor agrees the AOC has a valid argument for excluding these types of services transactions from the substantive provisions of the Judicial Branch Contract Law, the AOC appreciates that including payment information in the semiannual reports will serve as a tool to aid the Legislature's budget oversight and to provide greater transparency for the public.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: 1/1/2014
  • Response Date: October 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

The AOC is in the process of reviewing its methodology for excluding certain transactions from the semiannual report. To facilitate the Legislature's budget oversight and to provide greater transparency for the public, the AOC anticipates including payments for such services in future semiannual reports as recommended by the state auditor.

The effective date for including payments for services provided by the county sheriffs, independent contractor court reporters, and independent contractor court interpreters will be no later than the reporting period starting January 1, 2014. The persons responsible for ensuring that any future methodology employed does not exclude transactions that should be included in the semiannual report are Doug Kauffroath, Senior Manager, AOC Trial Court Administrative Services Office, and John A. Judnick, Senior Manager, AOC Internal Audit Services.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Response Date: May 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


All Recommendations in 2012-301

†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year or subsequent to one year.

*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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