Report 2013-103 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2013-103: Armed Persons With Mental Illness: Insufficient Outreach From the Department of Justice and Poor Reporting From Superior Courts Limit the Identification of Armed Persons With Mental Illness (Release Date: October 2013)

Recommendation #1 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that it has the necessary information to identify armed prohibited persons with mental illness, Justice should coordinate with the AOC at least once a year to share information about court reporting levels and to determine the need to distribute additional information to courts about reporting requirements and the manner in which to report. In coordinating with the AOC about potential underreporting, at a minimum Justice should consider trends in the number of reports each court sends and the number of reports that it might expect to receive from a court given the court's size, location, and reporting history. Whenever Justice identifies a court that it determines may not be reporting all required information, it should request that the court forward all required case information.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

The Department has on-going communication with the AOC Supervising Research Analyst Francine Byrne. Procedures were updated this year (May 2015) to reflect outreach to the AOC from a yearly basis to a quarterly basis regarding court reporting levels. A copy of these procedures will be provided for reference.

Additionally, the Department will be sending monthly information to all Superior Courts regardless of whether the court has shown a decline in reporting from month to month. A letter addressed to the Presiding Judge, along with a bar chart illustrating the data from the previous 14 months of reports submitted to the Department, will be sent on a monthly basis. The AOC will receive a copy of each bar chart sent to the Superior Courts on a monthly basis as well.

  • Completion Date: October 2015

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


1-Year Agency Response

Statewide training was completed for the Superior Courts in April and May of 2014 . The Department has on-going communication with the AOC Supervising Research Analyst Francine Byrne. The 3rd Quarter report was provided to Francine. She informed us that she would contact the courts that had not submitted quarterly reports. AOC stated that they would contact the Department to request a new report within 30 days after the end of each quarter. In addition, the Department implemented desk procedures to contact the AOC at least once a year to inform the AOC which Superior Courts are in compliance and which are not, in compliance of reporting mental health prohibitions, and share this information with the Training, Information and Compliance Section manager if training is needed for the Superior Courts.

  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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

In its response regarding the status of its implementation of this recommendation after the state auditor's report was published, Justice asserted that it had fully implemented this recommendation. Based on our review of documentation provided by Justice at that time, we assessed the recommendation as fully implemented. However, during a follow-up audit, which entailed a more in-depth review of actions Justice has taken to address this recommendation, we found that Justice has not fully implemented the recommendation. The state auditor issued its follow-up audit titled Follow-Up—California Department of Justice: Delays In Fully Implementing Recommendations Prevent It From Accurately and Promptly Identifying All Armed Prohibited Persons With Mental Illness, Resulting in Continued Risk to Public Safety(Report 2015-504), in July 2015.


6-Month Agency Response

On April 1, 2014, the DOJ Mental Health Unit (MHU) manager contacted AOC Supervising Research Analyst Francine Byrne and discussed the following items: (1) the deployment date of April 17, 2014 for enhancements to the Departments Mental Health Reporting System (MHRS); (2) the Departments efforts to schedule MHRS training sessions; (3) the quarterly reports to identify each superior courts mental health prohibition reporting activity; and (4) the receipt of a current list of presiding judges and Court Executive Officers. The Department and the AOC have agreed to continue its discussions on a monthly basis to ensure that any underreporting by the superior courts is immediately identified by the Department and reported to the AOC.

The system enhancements implemented on April 17, 2014 will allow DOJ to track individual superior court reporting. Additionally, the Department has established an open line of communication with the AOC to exchange information regarding superior courts mental health prohibition reporting activity, and will continue their cooperative and timely exchange of information regarding the reporting of mental health information by the superior courts. The Department will also seek the assistance of the AOC as needed when conducting training presentations, disseminating information regarding updates/enhancements to the prohibition reporting process, and requesting information from the superior courts. Lastly, statewide training for the Superior Courts is scheduled April 28, 2014 through May 23, 2014, and will continue to be scheduled thereafter as needed.

  • Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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

Justice describes progress in its efforts to work with the AOC and reach out to courts in order to issue reminders about firearm prohibition reporting requirements. Justice clarified that even though its system enhancements are relatively new, it was able to produce a report for its meeting with AOC that showed court reporting levels over a three quarter period of time. We continue to assess this recommendation as partially implemented, as Justice did not provide documentation of a process for reviewing court reporting levels and identifying courts that it considers underreporting.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

On November 20, 2013, Department of Justice (the Department)representatives Assistant Bureau Chief (AC) John Marsh, AC Steve Buford, and Deputy Attorney General (DAG) IV Kimberly Granger had a conference call with AOC Supervising Research Analyst Francine Byrne, and Attorney Kimberly DaSilva to discuss methods for improving and ensuring superior court compliance with state mental health reporting requirements. Additionally, the Department is pursuing system enhancements to the Mental Health Firearms Prohibition System (MHFPS) as needed to produce quarterly and/or other date range reports needed to track individual superior court reporting. AC Buford submitted a management change request to the Department's Hawkins Data Center (HDC) on November 4, 2013, requesting the needed system enhancement. HDC estimates work on the needed system enhancements will begin in February 2014. Justice and AOC plan to meet again in April 2014 to evaluate progress and further discuss AOC outreach to the state's courts.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #2 To: Administrative Office of the Courts

AOC should coordinate with Justice at least once a year to obtain information about court reporting levels. Using that information, AOC should provide technical assistance to the courts that do not appear to be complying with state law's requirement to report prohibited individuals and assist the courts in taking appropriate steps to ensure compliance.

1-Year Agency Response

Staff at the Judicial Council is coordinating quarterly with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to obtain information about court reporting levels. As of September 30, 2014, 50 of the 58 superior courts have reported prohibited individuals to DOJ. Of the eight courts that have not reported to DOJ, four courts have confirmed no prohibited individuals to report to DOJ, and these four courts are very small courts, located in sparsely populated counties. Staff to the Judicial Council is working with the four remaining courts, ranging in size from very small to small, to ensure that they understand the state law's requirement to report prohibited individuals and are able to comply. Judicial Council staff will continue to work with the DOJ and will continue to provide technical assistance to courts in addressing reporting requirements. The Judicial Council considers this recommendation to be fully implemented.

  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

In discussion with the DOJ, the DOJ has indicated that they have sent letters to the courts concerning the status of the development of the electronic reporting system and have established a training schedule (attached schedule and powerpoint presentation to be submitted under encrypted email). The entry of information and reports resulting from that entry are in process.

It is anticipated that the first reports will be prepared and discussed with the DOJ in the next two months. Once that occurs the AOC will evaluate the nature and level of technical assistance that may be necessary overall and on a court-by-court basis to determine how to achieve all of the steps necessary to ensure compliance.

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 1, 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

In a meeting with the Department of Justice (DOJ), it was agreed that every quarter starting with the calendar quarter ending March 31, 2014, the DOJ will send the AOC information concerning the court's reporting. The AOC will evaluate that information and will work with the DOJ to identify courts that appear to have issues with timely or accurate submission and will provide direct technical assistance to those courts. The AOC continues to provide education and training on this subject and is working to enhance its education and training materials on this and other areas.

  • Completion Date: November 2013
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

The AOC states that it has an agreement with Justice to share information on a quarterly basis and that the AOC will use this information to provide technical assistance to courts that appear to have issues with timely or accurate submissions. However, the AOC and Justice have not yet shared information in this way according to their plan. In its response the AOC notes that the two agencies will share this information on a quarterly basis starting in the first quarter of 2014. Therefore, our assessment is that the recommendation is partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #3 To: Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco

To ensure that it is properly reporting to Justice individuals posing a danger to themselves or others, San Francisco Court should work with the district attorney and the Office of Conservatorship Services to ensure that the court is sufficiently considering whether individuals should be prohibited from possessing a firearm. Where appropriate, the court should include prohibitive language in orders relating to those cases and promptly report these individuals to Justice.

1-Year Agency Response

The Court met with the Office of the District Attorney, the Office of the Public Defender, and the Office of Conservatorship Services to discuss, revise, and update the District Attorney's petitions and orders to request findings on conservatee's disabilities pursuant to Welf.& Inst. C. 5357 and 8103 as warranted. As previously reported, as of October 31, 2013, the District Attorney began to orally amend its petitions to request these findings. Thereafter, all orders have addressed the findings regarding the firearms prohibition and all weapons prohibitions have been reported to Justice. The District Attorney's new petitions and orders for temporary, general, and Murphy conservatoships, which address the firearms prohibition, have been in use since July 1, 2014. The District Attorney's new petitions for reappointment of conservator in general and Murphy cases have been in use since September 1, 2014. The petitions and orders in use will be emailed to bobh@auditor.ca.gov and MichelleO@ auditor.ca.gov.

  • Completion Date: July 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

The Court continues to meet with the Office of the District Attorney, the Office of the Public Defender, and the Office of Conservatorship Services to further discuss, revise, and update the District Attorneys petitions and proposed orders to request findings on conservatees disabilities pursuant to Welf. & Inst. C. 5357 and 8103 as warranted. As previously reported, as of October 31, 2013, the District Attorney began to orally amend its petitions to request these findings. Thereafter, all orders have addressed the findings regarding the firearms prohibition and all weapons prohibitions have been reported to Justice. The proposed draft petitions and orders will be emailed to [the California State Auditor]. The court has set an implementation date of July 1, 2014 for the use of revised forms.

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 1, 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

On 10/4/2013, the Court met with the Office of the District Attorney, the Office of the Public Defender, and the Office of Conservatorship Services, to discuss updating and amending the District Attorney's petitions to request findings on conservatees' disabilities pursuant to W&IC 5357 and 8103 as warranted. Effective October 31, 2013, the District Attorney began to orally amend its petitions to request these findings. Thereafter, all orders have addressed the findings regarding the firearms prohibition and all weapons prohibitions have been reported to Justice. The Court continues to meet with the parties who are drafting changes to the petitions to request the findings pursuant to 5357 and 8103. The Court has future meetings scheduled with the parties to review the proposed language of the petitions.

  • Completion Date: October 2013
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

San Francisco Court has demonstrated it has considered whether individuals should be prohibited from possessing a firearm since October 31, 2013. While the court has made good progress towards ensuring that this consideration is a part of its review of conservatorship cases, it acknowledges that the court is still meeting with multiple parties to review proposed language of new petition forms. While the petition forms remain in draft form, we assess this recommendation as partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #4 To: Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

To ensure that it is reporting all required individuals to Justice, Los Angeles Court should, by December 31, 2013, revise its new procedures at the Mental Health Courthouse to discuss quality control steps, such as a supervisory review and other monitoring processes, that would ensure that it is reporting all required determinations. Los Angeles Court should implement the revised procedures so that it reports all types of court determinations state law requires.

6-Month Agency Response

As of February 21, 2014, the Mental Health Court of the Los Angeles Superior Court has fully automated the process of the printing the required notices. Every firearm-related finding made by the Court is entered into the case management system by the Judicial Assistant recording the minutes, which automatically prints the notice to the Department of Justice and automatically enters the following language on the minute order: "Notice to Department of Justice is printed and sent via U.S. Mail."

The Mental Health Court Department of Justice Reporting Procedures Policy issued on July 7, 2013 has been amended to reflect the procedural changes above.

Upon implementation, management has continued to conduct reviews of minute orders manually. To date, minute orders were audited on February 27, 2014 and March 18, 2014. All minute orders showed 100% compliance with the DOJ Notice requirement.

The Mental Health Court is in full compliance with reporting firearms related matters to the Department of Justice.

  • Completion Date: February 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The LASC is finalizing changes to the case management system that will link the case determination codes to the DOJ Notice code so that all required notices will be printed automatically. Upon completion of these programming changes, the Mental Health Court Department of Justice Reporting Procedures Policy issued on July 7, 2013 will be amended to reflect the procedural changes.

Until this is accomplished, management will continue to conduct monthly reviews of minute orders manually. To date, minute orders were audited on 09/23/13, 10/23/13 and 12/19/13 as follows:

On 09/23/13 - 3 days of minute orders from Departments 95, 95A and 95B were audited by the Administrator. All of the required Notices were printed on the three days sampled. However, several orders failed to include the language "DOJ Notice Printed." The Administrator verified that the DOJ Notice was in fact printed. The judicial assistants received corrective training.

On 10/23/13 - 3 days of minute orders from Departments 95, 95A and 95B were reviewed by the Administrator. All minute orders showed 100% compliance with the DOJ Notice requirement.

On 12/19/13 - 3 days of minute orders from Departments 95, 95A and 95B were reviewed by the Administrator. All minute orders showed compliance as to the DOJ Notice with the exception of one matter, which involved a highly unusual situation, for which the judicial assistants received additional corrective training.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 31, 2014
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #5 To: Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

To ensure that it is reporting all court determinations that prohibit an individual from possessing a firearm, by December 31, 2013, Los Angeles Court's Criminal Justice Center should revise its court procedures regarding these determinations so that court
administrative staff are notified when a finding related to mental competency occurs.

6-Month Agency Response

On March 7, 2014, the court approved a court-wide Criminal Policy and Procedure entitled Firearm Prohibition/Firearm Prohibition Release Report (Mental Health Issues: Reporting to the Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms). This signed and approved policy was disseminated to all criminal locations and staff via e-mail on March 27, 2014. A copy is also posted on the court's Criminal intranet site for staff to refer to as well.

  • Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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

This policy provides specific instructions for court locations, including its Criminal Justice Center, to follow in order to report firearm prohibitions to the Department of Justice.


60-Day Agency Response

A directive was issued to all Criminal court locations within the Los Angeles County Superior Court on October 15, 2013 to inform staff of the required reporting procedures whenever a finding related to mental competency occurs. The court is also in the process of revising its policy and procedure on Firearm Prohibition Orders. This revised procedure will be addressed by the court's Criminal Litigation Committee at its next meeting on January 15, 2014. A finalized procedure will be approved, signed and in place prior to March 31, 2014.

Staff are also using the most recent revision (April 2013) of the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms form entitled Superior Court Report of Firearm Prohibition/Release.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 31, 2014
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #6 To: Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

Los Angeles Court should review its compliance with state law's firearm prohibition reporting requirements at each of the other courthouse locations within its court and make the necessary adjustments to courthouse policies and practices so that it fully complies with state law by March 31, 2014.

6-Month Agency Response

On March 7, 2014, the court approved a revised court-wide Criminal Policy and Procedure entitled Firearm Prohibition Notice to Affected Person. This signed and approved policy was disseminated to all criminal locations and staff via e-mail on March 27, 2014. A copy is also posted on the court's Criminal intranet site for staff to refer to as well.

  • Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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

The policy provides specific instructions for court locations to follow in order to report firearm prohibitions to the Department of Justice.


60-Day Agency Response

A directive was issued to all Criminal court locations within the Los Angeles County Superior Court on October 15, 2013 informing staff of the requirements when reporting firearm prohibition matters to the Department of Justice. A revision to the court's policy and procedure on Firearm Prohibition Orders is currently being worked on by the court's Criminal Litigation Committee. The draft version of the policy and procedure will be addressed at the Committee's next meeting on January 15, 2014. A final, signed and approved version of the policy and procedure will be in place before March 31, 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 31, 2014
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #7 To: Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino

To ensure that it reports all required prohibited persons to Justice, San Bernardino Court should implement its new procedures for both its criminal and its probate divisions at the central courthouse by December 31, 2013, so that it reports all types of court determinations state law requires.

60-Day Agency Response

In response to recommendation #7: The court implemented revised reporting procedures for the mental incompetency cases, criminal and probate cases. These include PC1026, PC1370, PC1372 and Mentally Disordered Offender cases. These changes ensure full reporting consistent with statutory requirements. The procedures have been communicated to staff in the San Bernardino Criminal Division and all criminal divisions court- wide. Follow-up training was provided by supervisors at each location. This was completed by December 31, 2013.

The court implemented procedures for the Probate Division with regard to the 180 day post certification hearings. We implemented procedures to ensure required reporting for any 180 day post certification hearings and these procedures have been communicated to staff in the Probate and Guardianship Division. This was completed by December 31, 2013.

The court implemented revised procedures to include the 5350 conservatorship early termination in our reporting. The 5350 conservatorship early termination are being reported as required. The procedures have been communicated to staff in the Probate and Guardianship Division and follow-up training has been provided by supervisors in those units. This was completed by December 31, 2013. Attached are a copy of the revised procedures.

  • Completion Date: December 2013
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #8 To: Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino

San Bernardino Court should review its compliance with state law's firearm prohibition reporting requirements at each of the other courthouse locations within its court and make the necessary adjustments to courthouse policies and practices so that it fully
complies with state law by March 31, 2014.

60-Day Agency Response

In response to recommendation # 8: The Probate Division at the Central Courthouse and all criminal divisions have been provided with revised court procedures and are in full compliance with sate law firearm prohibition reporting requirements. This was completed by December 31, 2013

  • Completion Date: December 2013
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #9 To: Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

To ensure that it reports all required prohibited persons to Justice, Santa Clara Court's probate division should revise its court policies and practices by December 31, 2013, so that it reports all types of court determinations state law requires. Further, Santa Clara Court's criminal division at its Hall of Justice should follow its new reporting and monitoring procedures to ensure that it reports all required determinations to Justice.

6-Month Agency Response

We have revised our policy as requested. The revised policy will be sent as noted below.

  • Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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

The revised policy directs staff to report court ordered commitments to a mental health facility regardless of whether the court order specifically contained language that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm.


60-Day Agency Response

We have fully implemented procedures in Criminal effective August 2013 and Probate effective December 2013. The procedure will be emailed as it is too long to contain herein.

  • Completion Date: August 2013
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

Santa Clara Court provided evidence that demonstrated it is reminding its criminal court staff about the revised procedures for reporting to the Department of Justice. However, the revisions to the court's probate procedures appear to direct staff to report court ordered commitments to a mental health facility only when the court order specifically includes a firearm prohibition. This differs from state law, which does not require the court order to specifically include a firearm prohibition in every instance. Specifically, when a court has determined that a person is a danger to others as a result of mental illness, that finding itself results in a firearm prohibition pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code 8103(a). Although the court has assured us that it intends to report all of these cases regardless of the specific language of the order, we believe clarifying the court's new procedures would help make the expectation to report in all cases clear to staff.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #10 To: Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

Santa Clara Court should review its compliance with state law's firearm prohibition reporting requirements at each of the other courthouse locations within its court and make the necessary adjustments to courthouse policies and practices so that it fully complies with state law by March 31, 2014.

60-Day Agency Response

We have fully implemented procedures in Criminal effective August 2013 and Probate effective December 2013. The procedure will be emailed as it is too long to contain herein.

  • Completion Date: August 2013
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented

Although we assessed the court's response to recommendation number 9 as only partially implemented, this was due to the court's new probate procedures and not due to its criminal procedures. Because the court's probate division is only located at a courthouse we visited during our audit, the only relevant procedures for other courthouse locations are the criminal procedures that meet the requirements in state law. For that reason, we consider this recommendation fully implemented.


Recommendation for Legislative Action

The Legislature should amend state law to specify that all mental health-related prohibiting events must be reported to Justice within 24 hours regardless of the entity required to report.

Description of Legislative Action

Assembly Bill 1591 (Achadjian/Gray, Chapter 141, Statutes of 2014) requires a court to notify the Justice of a court order finding a person to be a danger to others as a result of a mental disorder or illness, or adjudicated to be a mentally disordered sex offender as soon as possible, but not later than one court day after issuing the order.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: January 2015

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

Assembly Bill 1591 requires the court to notify Justice as soon as possible, but not later than one court day after issuing the order. In order to fully implement our recommendation, the Legislature should consider amending state law to require the notification within 24 hours.


Recommendation #12 To: Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Santa Clara courts should follow the requirements in state law related to how quickly to report individuals to Justice.

6-Month Agency Response

The Mental Health Court implemented a Department of Justice Reporting Procedures Policy on July 17, 2013. The instructions require the judicial assistants to send the Notice to Department of Justice to the clerks office at the end of each day. Each morning the Notices are placed in a basket for priority processing by clerical staff. A designated employee is instructed to process the Notices and place them in the outgoing mail bin on the same day. Mail is picked up by 9:00 a.m. each day.

Backup staff has been trained fully to cover when the designated employee is absent. The supervisor in the clerks office monitors the basket daily and makes certain that no notices are left prior to processing the outgoing mail. Since the initial 60 day response to the Auditors Recommendations, the Mental Health Court continues to ensure that all Department of Justice Notices are mailed within the statutory time frame, i.e., within 48 hours, of the Courts order.

  • Completion Date: July 2013
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Mental Health Court implemented a Department of Justice Reporting Procedures Policy on July 17, 2013. The instructions require the Notices to Department of Justice to be mailed within 24 hours of receipt of the Notices from the courtroom. The judicial assistants send the notices to the clerk's office at the end of each day. Each morning the notices are placed in a basket for processing by clerical staff. A designated employee is instructed that these notices are to be processed and placed in the outgoing mail bin that same date. Backup staff has been trained fully to cover when the designated employee is absent. The supervisor in the clerk's office monitors the basket daily and makes certain that no notices are left prior to processing the outgoing mail. Outgoing mail is picked up by 9:00 a.m. the following working day.

The Criminal court locations are using the Superior Court Report of Firearm Prohibition/Release BOF 4076 (Rev. 04/2013) to report all cases where a defendant's mental incompetency or when competency has been restored to the Department of Justice. Staff fill out this form, place a completed copy inside the confidential envelope inside the case file, and mail the original completed form to the address on the bottom of the form. The original forms are mailed out within 48 hours of the court proceeding. A directive was sent out to all Criminal court locations informing staff of these requirements on October 15, 2013. The first full month of compliance would be November 2013.

  • Completion Date: November 2013
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

Although Los Angeles Court states that it is compliant with its directive to mail report forms within 48 hours, formal procedures for the criminal court locations have not yet been finalized. However, procedures for reporting in compliance with state law now exist at its Mental Health Courthouse.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #13 To: Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino

Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Santa Clara courts should follow the requirements in state law related to how quickly to report individuals to Justice.

6-Month Agency Response

On January 15, 2014, the Court revised the electronic reporting in our case management system so that the Firearm Prohibition for these cases is now reported to the Department of Justice electronically within 24 hours.

  • Completion Date: February 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

In response to recommendation #13: Though we were in full compliance in our reporting to the Department of Justice, we revised procedures to provide better documentation as to the date of mailings by including the date that the Reporting Form BOF4076 was mailed and now update the case management system to make note of the date the form was mailed to Department of Justice. The revised procedures were communicated to staff in the Probate and Guardianship Division and follow-up training was provided by supervisors in those units. This was completed by December 31, 2013. The criminal cases currently report to DOJ with the electronic transmission of the JUS 8715 every 7 days. The court is currently working to revise the electronic reporting in the case management system with the goal of reporting the firearm prohibition for these cases within 2 days.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 31, 2014
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

San Bernardino Court has updated its procedures to direct staff to record the date that the court mails its report forms to the Department of Justice (Justice). However, it has not yet included direction to its staff about how quickly to report to Justice in its procedures. Further, on page 24 of our original audit report, the court's district manager acknowledged that information about mental incompetence (which are criminal case findings) was not included in the court's electronic transmissions. The court has since implemented a policy to submit paper reports of such findings. Therefore, the court's efforts to improve its electronic reporting likely would not impact the speed with which it reports information about mental incompetence.


Recommendation #14 To: Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Santa Clara courts should follow the requirements in state law related to how quickly to report individuals to Justice.

60-Day Agency Response

We have fully implemented procedures in Criminal effective August 2013 and Probate effective December 2013. The procedure will be emailed as it is too long to contain herein.

  • Completion Date: August 2013
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented

The procedures Santa Clara Court provided, if followed, should ensure that the court complies with the requirement in state law related to how quickly to report individuals to the Department of Justice.


Recommendation #15 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that it keeps an accurate and up-to-date list of all mental health facilities that are required to report individuals with mental illness, at least twice a year Justice should update its outreach list of mental health facilities by obtaining a list of facilities from Health Care Services.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

The Department is working with the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to receive a list of all mental health facilities on a monthly basis. The Department will review and compare its list against the list received from DHCS. If there are any discrepancies found, the Department will work with DHCS to resolve them. The manager over the Mental Health Unit will do a high-level review each month and note any concerns on the list for the analyst to address.

DHCS stated they will continue to update their website on a quarterly basis. The Department is comparing its list with the website list each quarter and noting any discrepancies. A new procedure has been added to forward the list to the unit's manager for a thorough supervisory review to ensure staff have identified and corrected all discrepancies. The manager will make any necessary notations on the spreadsheet for the analyst to explain or correct. In addition, the manager will sign and date the bottom of each page to acknowledge that the supervisory review has been completed. The Department will continue to work with DHCS to resolve any discrepancies.

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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


1-Year Agency Response

DHCS provided the Department with a website link, in which they update the list of designated facilities on a quarterly basis. The Department will review the updated list twice a year, each January and June to verify that all designated facilities on the list are providing the required information. If any discrepancies are found, the Department will work with DHCS to resolve. All new designated facility information will be forwarded to the Training, Information and Compliance Section manager in order to schedule training regarding the mental health prohibition reporting process.

  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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

In its response regarding the status of its implementation of this recommendation after the state auditor's report was published, Justice asserted that it had fully implemented this recommendation. Based on our review of documentation provided by Justice at that time, we assessed the recommendation as fully implemented. However, during a follow-up audit, which entailed a more in-depth review of actions Justice has taken to address this recommendation, we found that Justice has not fully implemented the recommendation. The state auditor issued its follow-up audit titled Follow-Up—California Department of Justice: Delays In Fully Implementing Recommendations Prevent It From Accurately and Promptly Identifying All Armed Prohibited Persons With Mental Illness, Resulting in Continued Risk to Public Safety(Report 2015-504), in July 2015.


6-Month Agency Response

The Department has established an open line of communication with DHCS to obtain information about all facilities required to submit mental health information to the Department.

The Department received a list of mental health facilities from DHCS at a meeting held on January 15, 2014. During this meeting, both agencies also discussed:

1) discrepancies on the list The Department will reach out to facilities to fix any discrepancies;

2) ways to work together to enhance the facility licensing process DHCS stated that the County Board of Supervisors and County Mental Health Directors designate and approve the 5150 facilities. They then notify DHCS of these facilities. DHCS will work to ensure they receive this information;

3) methods for better educating facilities The DOJ Mental Health Unit manager will forward all relevant facility information to the Training Information and Compliance Section (TICS) manager. The TICS staff will contact the facility to schedule training and forward all relevant information regarding the mental health prohibition reporting process; and

4) ways to follow up on low or non-compliance reporting facilities. The Department received information in January 2014. The Mental Health Unit then contacted all of the facilities included on the list and verified that all facilities are providing the required information to the Department. The Department will contact DHCS and request an updated list of mental health facilities in June 2014, and will continue to do so every January and June. The Department will also reach out to any new facilities on an on-going basis.

  • Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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

Justice describes its first meeting with the Department of Health Care Services and the resulting actions that Justice took after the meeting. However, it did not provide documents that would indicate the results of this meeting. As such, we continue to consider this recommendation partially implemented and anticipate reviewing the results of Justice's second meeting with Health Care Services at the one-year response.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department sent a letter on November 19, 2013, to Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Director Tobey Douglas. Subsequently, we were contacted by Lanette Castleman, Chief of DHCS Oversight and Compliance Branch. Chief Castleman advised that a list of designated facilities is currently on the DHCS website. AC Buford requested DHCS review the website listing and forward a copy under agency letterhead indicating the list had been reviewed and verified to be the most current. Additionally, the Department and DHCS agreed to meet in mid-January 2014 on the following topics: 1) identify any discrepancies in the list submitted by DHCS: 2) discuss ways both agencies can work together to enhance the facility licensing process; 3) suggest methods to better educate facilities regarding state mandated reporting of danger to self/others mental health patients; and 4) conduct follow-up with facilities when facility reporting statistics indicate low or non-compliance with required reporting.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #16 To: Justice, Department of

As soon as it identifies mental health facilities that have not yet received information about reporting requirements and the online reporting system, Justice should send these facilities the related information.

6-Month Agency Response

System enhancements for quarterly/date range reports were completed by HDC staff and deployed to production on April 17, 2014; however, the Department has not identified any facilities that have not been reporting as required. The Department has also implemented an outreach process to disseminate mental health prohibition reporting information and offer training for new and existing facilities. This program identifies the mental health facilities required to report mental health information and provides the necessary training and support to ensure compliance with the reporting requirements. When the Department identifies a facility that has not received information about the reporting requirements via MHRS or a new facility is identified, the Mental Health Unit will provide technical support and assistance to the facility on the MHRS user enrollment process. The unit manager will forward all relevant facility information to the Training Information and Compliance Section (TICS) manager. The TICS staff will contact the facility to schedule training and forward all relevant information regarding the mental health prohibition reporting process.

  • Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department is pursuing system enhancements to the Mental Health Firearms Prohibition System (MHFPS) as needed to produce quarterly and/or other date range reports needed to track individual mental health facility reporting. AC Buford submitted a management change request to the Department's Hawkins Data Center (HDC) on November 4, 2013, requesting the needed system enhancement. HDC estimates that work on the needed system enhancements will begin in February 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

As indicated in its response to recommendation 15, the Department of Justice is planning to meet with representatives from the Department of Health Care Services to discuss, "methods to better educate facilities regarding state mandated reporting of danger to self/others mental health patients." While these discussions are ongoing, the implementation of this recommendation is pending.


Recommendation #17 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that it continues to receive information from facilities that currently report individuals with mental illness and that should continue to report such individuals, by January 31, 2014, and at least twice a year thereafter Justice should implement a review of the number of reports it receives from individual mental health facilities. These reviews should focus on identifying any significant drops in a facility's reporting levels and include follow up with facilities that may require additional assistance in reporting.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

The Department has revised its procedures to send quarterly reports to all mental health facilities regardless whether the facility has shown a decline in reporting from month to month. A letter addressed to the facility director, along with a bar chart illustrating the data from the previous 14 months of reports submitted to the Department, will be sent to 1/3 of each reporting mental health facility on a monthly rotating basis. This will ensure that each mental health facility receives this report on a quarterly basis. A sample copy of the letter and bar chart will be provided for reference.

The Department continues to contact facilities that show a 30% or more reduction in reporting to gather information as to the reason for the reduction. All facilities that show a reduction of 30% or more are offered training by the Department. If the facility wishes to schedule training, the Mental Health Unit will work with the Training, Information, and Compliance Section to schedule training.

  • Completion Date: September 2014

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


1-Year Agency Response

System enhancements to produce quarterly and/or date range reports to track individual mental health facility reporting were implemented on October 16, 2014. Desk procedures were implemented for MHU staff to pull these reports at least twice a year to identify any significant reductions in a facility's reporting level and to contact the facility to assess the reason. If applicable, MHU staff will forward any relevant information to the Training, Information and Compliance Section manager to schedule training with the mental health facility.

  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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

In its response regarding the status of its implementation of this recommendation after the state auditor's report was published, Justice asserted that it had fully implemented this recommendation. Based on our review of documentation provided by Justice at that time, we assessed the recommendation as fully implemented. However, during a follow-up audit, which entailed a more in-depth review of actions Justice has taken to address this recommendation, we found that Justice has not fully implemented the recommendation. The state auditor issued its follow-up audit titled Follow-Up—California Department of Justice: Delays In Fully Implementing Recommendations Prevent It From Accurately and Promptly Identifying All Armed Prohibited Persons With Mental Illness, Resulting in Continued Risk to Public Safety(Report 2015-504), in July 2015.


6-Month Agency Response

The Department is pursuing system enhancements to the Mental Health Firearms Prohibition System (MHFPS) as needed to produce quarterly and/or other date range reports needed to track individual mental health facility reporting. AC Buford submitted a management change request to the Departments Hawkins Data Center (HDC) on November 4, 2013, requesting the needed system enhancement. HDC is on-track to complete the needed system enhancements in June 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department is pursuing system enhancements to the Mental Health Firearms Prohibition System (MHFPS) as needed to produce quarterly and/or other date range reports needed to track individual mental health facility reporting. AC Buford submitted a management change request to the Department's Hawkins Data Center (HDC) on November 4, 2013, requesting the needed system enhancement. HDC estimates it will begin work on the needed system enhancements by February 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #18 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that all applicable information from State Hospitals is communicated to Justice, by March 31, 2014, Justice and State Hospitals should establish a written understanding of the method and frequency with which State Hospitals will report prohibited individuals to Justice.

1-Year Agency Response

The MOU to formalize the working agreement to develop an automated electronic process for DSH to report state hospital patient data to the Department was approved and signed by both agencies.

  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

A subsequent conference call meeting was held on February 26, 2014 with staff from the Department and DSH. DSH stated that they were working on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize the working agreement of developing the automated electronic process for DSH to report state hospital patient data to the Department. In the meantime, DSH is continuing to utilize MHRS to report mental health prohibition information to the Department. On April 11, 2014, the Department sought an update from DSH regarding the status of the drafting of the MOU. DSH provided a draft MOU on April 21, 2014. The MOU is being routed for review and/or edits. A signed MOU is expected to be completed by July 1, 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 1, 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department sent a letter on November 19, 2013 to Acting Director of the Department of State Hospitals (DSH), Cliff Allenby. The letter addressed the establishment of regular meetings and development of an agreement between DOJ and DSH relative to timely reporting of mental health determinations as necessary to implement the State Auditor's findings and recommendations. Subsequently on December 12, 2013, DSH Attorney Nicole Harrigan and AC Buford met to discuss the reporting to DOJ by state hospitals. Currently, state hospitals only report Welfare and Institution Code section 5150, 5250, and 5270 patients to DOJ. However, AC Buford advised Attorney Harrigan that state hospitals also house and process patients with Penal Code section 1026 and 1370 commitments which are also reportable. Attorney Harrigan indicated that 90% of state hospital patients who fall under sections 1026 and 1370 should be reported to DOJ by state superior courts at the time of adjudication. Attorney Harrigan further indicated that requiring state hospitals to reports these types of determinations would result in a voluminous increase in state hospital reporting, thus requiring a more robust electronic reporting process. Consequently, DSH and DOJ agreed on a plan to hold a subsequent meeting on January 14, 2014, to discuss development of a more robust and automated electronic process for DSH to report state hospital patient data to DOJ. In the interim, DSH will continue using the Department's electronic Mental Health Reporting System (MHRS) to report 5150, 5250, and 5270 patient data to DOJ.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #19 To: State Hospitals, Department of

To ensure that all applicable information from State Hospitals is communicated to Justice, by March 31, 2014, Justice and State Hospitals should establish a written understanding of the method and frequency with which State Hospitals will report prohibited individuals to Justice.

1-Year Agency Response

The Department of State Hospitals (DSH) continues to successfully share with the Department of Justice (DOJ) the required information about armed prohibited persons on an ongoing basis. Pursuant to the audit recommendation that it would be beneficial to implement a formal agreement with DOJ regarding the method and frequency of the information sharing, DSH's Executive Team approved and provided to DOJ for review a draft Interagency Agreement (IA). On October 14, 2014, DOJ approved and returned to DSH the IA.

  • Completion Date: November 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

The Department of State Hospitals (DSH) continues to successfully share with the Department of Justice (DOJ) the required information about prohibited persons on an ongoing basis. Pursuant to the audit recommendation that it would be beneficial to implement a formal agreement with DOJ regarding the method and frequency of the information sharing, DSHs Executive Team has approved a draft Interagency Agreement (IA). On February 26, 2014, DSH met with DOJ to discuss the implementation of an IA, and subsequently provided the approved draft IA to DOJ for review. Prior to implementation of the IA, if necessary, DSH and DOJ will meet again to discuss any proposed changes thereto.

  • Estimated Completion Date: May 30, 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department of State Hospitals (DSH) continues to successfully share with the Department of Justice (DOJ) the required information about prohibited persons on an ongoing basis. Pursuant to the audit recommendation that it would be beneficial to implement a formal agreement with DOJ regarding the method and frequency of the information sharing, DSH has drafted a preliminary Interagency Agreement between DSH and DOJ, which is currently being vetted by DSH's Executive Team. Additionally, DSH has a meeting scheduled with DOJ on January 14, 2014, to discuss the current status of the information sharing and the implementation of the audit recommendation.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 06/30/2014
  • Response Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #20 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that it makes correct determinations about whether an individual is an armed prohibited person, by January 31, 2014, Justice should implement quality control procedures over APPS unit staff determinations. These procedures should include periodic supervisory review of staff determinations to ensure that staff decisions correctly identify all armed prohibited persons.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

The Department added two additional Criminal Identification Specialist (CIS) III positions in the APPS unit to conduct the quality control review of APPS determinations. The quality control review process was implemented for prohibited determinations effective September 2014 and July 2015 for non-prohibited determinations. The CIS IIIs are responsible for reviewing 10% of each analyst's daily prohibited and non-prohibited determinations. The DOJA performs a random audit of no less than 10% of the determinations reviewed by the CIS IIIs.

  • Completion Date: July 2015

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


1-Year Agency Response

The Department added two additional Criminal Identification Specialist (CIS) III positions in the APPS unit to conduct the quality control review of APPS determinations. Both positions were advertised several times, however, only one position was filled as an Out-Of-Class (OOC) Assignment. Some of the hurdles associated with being unable to fill the second vacant position are: lack of interested candidates, lack of well-qualified candidates, and an expired CIS III cert list. The Department will re-advertise the vacant position once a new CIS III exam has been administered in hopes of acquiring a larger well-qualified candidate pool.

The Department advertised the Department of Justice Administrator I (DOJA I) position, conducted interviews, and selected a candidate. The candidate is currently undergoing the DLE background investigation as part of the hiring process.

Effective March 1, 2014, an acting DOJA I was placed in the position and immediately began drafting the quality control procedure. In September 2014, the newly appointed CIS III (OOC) began administering the quality control procedures check.

  • Completion Date: August 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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

In its response regarding the status of its implementation of this recommendation after the state auditor's report was published, Justice asserted that it had fully implemented this recommendation. Based on our review of documentation provided by Justice at that time, we assessed the recommendation as fully implemented. However, during a follow-up audit, which entailed a more in-depth review of actions Justice has taken to address this recommendation, we found that Justice has not fully implemented the recommendation. The state auditor issued its follow-up audit titled Follow-Up—California Department of Justice: Delays In Fully Implementing Recommendations Prevent It From Accurately and Promptly Identifying All Armed Prohibited Persons With Mental Illness, Resulting in Continued Risk to Public Safety(Report 2015-504), in July 2015.


6-Month Agency Response

The Department added two additional Criminal Identification Specialist III positions in the APPS unit to conduct the quality control review of APPS determinations. Both positions were advertised twice with no success in finding an eligible and qualified candidate. These positions will be re-advertised a third time in April 2014 in hopes of filling these vacancies. The Department is also in the process of administering a new Department of Justice Administrator I (DOJA I) exam and it is expected that the open manager position in the APPS unit will be filled after the exam is completed in September 2014.

In the meantime, effective March 1, 2014, an acting DOJA I was placed in this position and immediately began drafting the quality control procedures. These procedures are expected to be tested in May 2014 as part of the review process.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department is working to establish additional positions within the APPS unit to conduct the quality control review of APPS determinations recommended in the audit. As of December 16, 2013, the Department worked to establish two new Criminal Identification Specialist III positions to conduct the quality control reviews. The positions were advertised December 18, 2013. The Department is also in the process of backfilling the vacant APPS unit manager. Once the APPS unit manager position is filled, work will begin on developing quality control procedures.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #21 To: Justice, Department of

To maximize Justice's ability to identify armed prohibited persons, Justice should pursue a cost-effective method of reviewing alias information in the DMV database.

1-Year Agency Response

The Department is pursuing system enhancements to the APPS database to incorporate the inclusion and review of DMV alias name data into the APPS electronic review process. A request for the system enhancements was submitted to the Department's Hawkins Data Center (HDC) on November 4, 2013. The information technology team assigned to complete these enhancements is also responsible for maintaining several firearms-related data base systems, as well as developing and implementing system enhancements required as a result of chaptered legislation. Since legislatively mandated system enhancements take precedence over other projects, it is hard to determine when HDC will initiate our requested APPS enhancements. However, once the enhancements are initiated, they will take approximately six months to complete. In the interim, the Department has implemented a manual procedure to maximize the analysts' ability to identify armed prohibited persons by conducting background checks on Alias names.

  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

The Department is pursuing system enhancements to the APPS database as needed to incorporate the inclusion and review of DMV alias name data into the APPS electronic review process. A request to the Departments Hawkins Data Center (HDC) was submitted on November 4, 2013, requesting the needed system enhancements. The information technology team assigned to complete these enhancements is also responsible maintaining several firearms-related data systems as well as developing and implementing system enhancements needed to implement recently passed legislation which required priority implementation. HDC estimates it can begin work on the needed system enhancements in September 2014, and will take approximately six months to complete.

  • Estimated Completion Date: February 2015
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department is pursuing system enhancements to the APPS database as needed to incorporate the inclusion and review of DMV alias name data into the APPS electronic review process. AC Buford submitted a management change request to the Department's Hawkins Data Center (HDC) on November 4, 2013, requesting the needed system enhancement. HDC estimates it can begin work on the needed system enhancements in September 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #22 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that its implementation of reviews of armed prohibited persons is consistent with state law, Justice should seek legislative change to confirm whether its practice of reviewing firearm records only back to 1996 is appropriate.

1-Year Agency Response

On February 21, 2014, Assembly Member Ridley-Thomas introduced Assembly Bill 2300, which seeks to amend Penal Code sections 30000 and 30005 to reflect that the Consolidate Firearms Information System (CFIS) contains information about the ownership or possession of a firearm on or after January 1, 1996, not January 1, 1991. This bill is sponsored by the Attorney Generals Office.

Assembly Bill 2300 was chaptered by the Secretary of State on July 23, 2014.

  • Completion Date: July 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

On February 21, 2014, Assembly Member Ridley-Thomas introduced Assembly Bill 2300, which seeks to amend Penal Code sections 30000 and 30005 to reflect that the Consolidate Firearms Information System (CFIS) contains information about the ownership or possession of a firearm on or after January 1, 1996, not January 1, 1991. This bill is sponsored by the Attorney Generals Office.

Assembly Bill 2300 is currently making its way through the legislative process. The bill passed through the Assemblys Public Safety Committee on April 8, 2014 and was referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it will be heard on April 30, 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department is reviewing options to obtain the legislative clarification recommended in the audit.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #23 To: Justice, Department of

To reduce the risk that it may not identify an armed prohibited person, Justice should revise its electronic matching process to use all personal identifying numbers available in its databases.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

With the passage of Senate Bill 1235 (2016) and Proposition 63 (2016), the Department will be conducting system enhancements to the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) database necessary to implement this legislation. The Department is mandated to implement Senate Bill 1235/Proposition 63 by July 1, 2019. The enhancements necessary to Fully Implement this recommendation are part of the system enhancement to implement Senate Bill 1235/Proposition 63.

In the interim, the Department is fulfilling the objectives of this recommendation through a manual procedure that maximizes the analysts' ability to identify armed prohibited persons by conducting background checks utilizing all identifying numbers

  • Estimated Completion Date: 7/1/2019

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

The Department will implement the system enhancements to the APPS database necessary to incorporate the inclusion and review of all personal identifying information (e.g., social security numbers, military identification, out of state driver's license numbers) into the APPS electronic review process. This system upgrade will occur as soon as our information technology professionals complete a variety of statutorily mandated improvements and maintenance for firearms-related data base systems. In the interim, the Department is fulfilling the objectives of this recommendation through a manual procedure that maximizes the analysts' ability to identify armed prohibited persons by conducting background checks utilizing all identifying numbers.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unable to determine at this time

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

The Department is pursuing the system enhancements to the APPS database necessary to incorporate the inclusion and review of all personal identifying information (e.g., social security numbers, military identification, out of state driver's license numbers) into the APPS electronic review process. The Department submitted a management change request to the Department's Hawkins Data Center (HDC) on August 21, 2013, requesting the needed system enhancements. The information technology team assigned to complete these enhancements is also responsible for maintaining several firearms-related data base systems, as well as developing system enhancements necessary to implement recently enacted state laws. After the Department successfully complies with these statutory mandates, the HDC will immediately initiate our requested APPS enhancements. However, once the enhancements are initiated, they will take approximately six months to complete. In the interim, the Department has developed a manual procedure to maximize the analysts' ability to identify armed prohibited persons by conducting background checks utilizing all identifying numbers.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unable to determine

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


1-Year Agency Response

The Department is pursuing system enhancements to the APPS database to incorporate the inclusion and review of all personal identifying information (e.g., social security numbers, military identification, out of state driver's license numbers) into the APPS electronic review process. The Department submitted a request for the system enhancement to the Department's Hawkins Data Center (HDC) on August 21, 2013. The information technology team assigned to complete the enhancements is responsible for maintaining several firearms-related data base systems, as well as developing and implementing system enhancements required as a result chaptered legislation. Since legislatively mandated system enhancements take precedence over other projects, it is hard to determine when HDC will initiate our requested APPS enhancements. However, once the enhancements are initiated, they will take approximately six months to complete. In the interim, the Department has developed a manual procedure to maximize the analysts' ability to identify armed prohibited persons by conducting background checks utilizing all identifying numbers.

  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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

Justice acknowledges in its response that the system enhancements necessary to implement our recommendation are not yet completed. The manual procedure that Justice describes its analysts perform utilizing all identifying numbers is a procedure performed after Justice's electronic matching process is already completed. Therefore, it will not address our original concern that not all personal identifying numbers were part of the matching process. We continue to assess this recommendation as partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

6-Month Agency Response

The Department is pursuing system enhancements to the APPS database as needed to incorporate the inclusion and review of all personal identifying information (e.g., social security numbers, military identification, out of state drivers license numbers) into the APPS electronic review process. The Department submitted a management change request to the Departments Hawkins Data Center (HDC) on August 21, 2013, requesting the needed system enhancement.

The information technology team assigned to complete these enhancements is also responsible maintaining several firearms-related data systems as well as developing and implementing system enhancements needed to implement recently passed legislation which required priority implementation. HDC has committed to begin work on the needed system enhancements by September 2014 and will take approximately six months to complete.

  • Estimated Completion Date: February 2015
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department is pursuing system enhancements to the APPS database as needed to incorporate the inclusion and review of all personal identifying information (e.g., social security numbers, military identification, out of state driver's license numbers) into the APPS electronic review process. AC Buford submitted a management change request to the Department's Hawkins Data Center (HDC) on August 21, 2013, requesting the needed system enhancement. HDC has committed to begin work on the needed system enhancements by September 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #24 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that timely information is available for its efforts to identify armed prohibited persons and confiscate their firearms, Justice should manage staff priorities to meet both its statutory deadline for firearms background checks and its internal deadline for initially reviewing potential prohibited persons. Justice should report annually to the Legislature about the backlog of unreviewed potential prohibited persons and what factors have prohibited it from efficiently reviewing these persons.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

The Department was successful in identifying funding that allowed for the hiring of additional staff in both the APPS and Dealer Record Of Sale (DROS) Units, thereby increasing the Department's ability to meet both the DROS statutory processing requirements and internal processing deadlines for reviewing potentially prohibited persons. The APPS Unit added one additional Criminal Identification Specialist II (in the recruitment phase of hiring), and two additional Criminal Identification Specialist I positions (filled). DROS has added an additional 12 Criminal Identification Specialist II positions. As positions become vacant, the Department actively recruits to fill the vacancies in DROS and/or APPS.

With the passage of AB 1999, and implemented January 1, 2017, California Penal Code section 30020 was added, in part, to read: (a) The Department of Justice shall complete an initial review of a match in the daily queue of the Armed Prohibited Persons System within seven days of the match being placed in the queue and shall periodically reassess whether the department can complete those reviews more efficiently.

The Department continues to make every effort to review all Prohibited Triggering Events (PTE) within the seven days of hitting the queue. Since January 10, 2017, the Department has not exceeded the seven-day mandated review of the daily queue of APPS. The ten days the Department was unable to achieve this mandate was due to unprecedented DROS transactions in the latter portion of 2016 (over 1.3 million DROS transaction in 2016).

  • Completion Date: January 2017

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

The Department has been successful in identifying funding that will allow for the hiring of additional staff in both the APPS and DROS Units, thereby increasing the Department's ability to meet both the DROS statutory processing requirements and internal processing deadlines for reviewing potentially prohibited persons. The APPS Unit added one additional Criminal Identification Specialist II (in the recruitment phase of hiring), and two additional Criminal Identification Specialist I positions (filled). DROS has added an additional 12 Criminal Identification Specialist II positions. The Department is actively recruiting to fill the remaining 8 vacancies in DROS. The Department is set to administer a new exam for the Criminal Identification Specialist II classification in the November/December 2016. Once the new list is established, the Department believes that all vacancies will be filled.

The Department continues to review all Prohibited Triggering Events (PTE) within a few days of hitting the queue. The PTE queue has remained under the 400-600 daily count recommended by BSA. With the additional staffing, the Department does not believe there will be a backlog, however, should circumstances beyond our control create a backlog, the Department will report to the Legislature annually (March of each year) with a status of unreviewed potential prohibited persons and any factors that have prevented the review of these individuals.

  • Completion Date: April 2016

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

In a follow-up discussion, Justice confirmed that it has not yet reported in writing to the Legislature about the backlog of potential prohibited persons. Further, we determined that Justice could not corroborate its claim that it reviews all PTEs within a few days. Accordingly, this recommendation remains pending.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

The Department has been successful in filling all vacancies in the Background Clearance Unit. Additionally, the Department received approval to hire an additional CIS II (the candidate is currently undergoing the mandatory Division of Law Enforcement background). Furthermore, the Department has worked with Budget staff to identify funding that will allow for the hiring of additional staff in both the APPS and DROS Units, thereby increasing the Department's ability to meet both the DROS statutory processing requirements and internal processing deadlines for reviewing potentially prohibited persons. It is expected that the advertisement of these positions will be completed in October 2015, and that the positions will be filled by March 2016.

The Department will report to the Legislature annually (March of each year) with a status about the backlog of unreviewed potential prohibited persons and any factors that have prevented the review of these individuals.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 2016

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


1-Year Agency Response

The Department continues its efforts to hire personnel to work the backlog; however we continue to face challenges of finding well-qualified candidates. Existing staff routinely work overtime to ensure statutory deadlines are met for firearms background checks, and analysts working in other sections are redirected as necessary. Since July 2014, enforcement teams have worked 7,839 cases and seized 3,969 firearms.

The Department continues to gather the necessary information to meet the reporting requirements mandated by Senate Bill 140 and will comply with the due date of March 2015 and then annually thereafter.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 2015
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

The Department has been attempting to hire personnel to work the backlog; however, our efforts have been hampered by a lack of qualified candidates. As we continue in our hiring efforts, the workload assignment for existing staff is adjusted as needed and overtime is routinely worked to ensure the statutory deadline for firearms background checks is met.

In the mean time, the Department is currently gathering all of the information needed to meet the reporting requirements mandated by Senate bill 140 and will comply with the due date of March 2015 and then annually thereafter.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 2015
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

As stated in the Department's October 10, 2013 response to the BSA Audit, the Department will comply with this reporting requirement in March 2015, as outlined in Senate Bill 140 which was signed into law in May 1, 2013.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 2015
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #25 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that potential armed prohibited person cases do not wait too long for their first review by the APPS unit, by December 31, 2013, Justice should revise its goal for the daily queue to a more challenging level of no more than a maximum of 400 to 600 cases. Justice should monitor its performance against this goal and manage staff priorities as needed to meet it.

1-Year Agency Response

The Department will continue to monitor workload and adjust APPS processing goals as necessary. Absent unforeseen workload increases in APPS resulting from high profile public safety incidents, pending firearms law changes, or other matters beyond our control, the Department's goal is to have no more than 600 cases in the daily queue at any one time. At a minimum, the APPS Section Manager checks the queue twice a day to ensure the Department's goal is maintained. Since July 2014, APPS staff has maintained 600 or less cases in the queue.

  • Completion Date: July 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

The Department will continue to monitor workload and adjust APPS processing goals as necessary. Absent unforeseen workload increases in APPS resulting from high profile public safety incidents, pending firearms law changes, or other matters beyond our control, the Departments goal will be to have no more than 600 cases in the queue at any one time. Although staff have been made aware of the goal, full implementation of this finding requires additional staffing resources. Once the additional staff is hired, metrics will be monitored to ensure the goal is met. Please note that at the present time, existing staff are committed to working the APPS historical backlog, along with working the daily queue.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

DOJ will continue to monitor workload and adjust APPS processing goals as necessary. Absent unforeseen workload increases in APPS resulting from high profile public safety incidents, pending firearms law changes, or other matters beyond our control, the Department's goal will be to have no more than 600 cases in the queue at any one time.

  • Completion Date: December 2013
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

Although the department states here that it has revised its goal for the daily queue to have no more than 600 cases in the queue at any one time, we did not see that this goal had been communicated to staff in the APPS unit or that the department was measuring itself against that goal to determine if it needs to adjust staffing levels.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #26 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that it can adequately demonstrate that it has made efforts to address outstanding APPS database cases, Justice should require APPS unit staff to document key efforts to resolve these cases and retain this documentation.

1-Year Agency Response

The Department enhanced the APPS database to allow staff to document their efforts to make determinations. In addition, the Department established a procedure which indicates how often outstanding APPS database cases should be reviewed and the required documentation.

  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

The Department created an APPS Determination Review Form that each APPS unit analyst will complete on a daily basis. Each time a subject is deemed prohibited by an APPS unit analyst, the analyst will document the subjects prohibition and identifying information on the form. Each week, the APPS unit supervisor will perform a random audit of the analysts work. Monthly, the APPS unit manager will perform a random audit of the units work. Additionally, the Department created a monthly statistics spreadsheet to monitor and track the findings from the random audits performed by the APPS unit supervisor and manager. Forms will be retained by the APPS unit and filed in the managers office.

  • Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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

Justice describes its process for reviewing prohibited determinations that staff in the APPS unit have made. However, this recommendation directs Justice's APPS unit staff to record their reasons for being delayed in making a determination. In follow-up discussions, Justice clarified that it is still planning to enhance the APPS database to allow staff to document their efforts to make a determination, as it mentioned in its 60-day response. Accordingly, this recommendation remains partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department is pursuing system enhancements to the APPS database as needed to enable staff to continually document APPS determination efforts in an effort to comply with the finding recommendation. AC Buford submitted a management change request to the Department's Hawkins Data Center (HDC) on November 4, 2013, requesting the needed system enhancement. HDC is committed to begin work on the needed system enhancements by July 2014. In the interim, BOF management directed APPS staff to document all APPS determination efforts in an Excel Spreadsheet to be maintained on the Bureau of Firearms shared network drive.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #27 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that it regularly follows up and attempts to resolve APPS database cases that remain outstanding, by December 31, 2013, Justice should establish a specific time interval for how long cases can remain pending for review before becoming a higher priority for follow-up work and how often, at a minimum, its staff should perform follow-up work on these higher priority cases. Justice should establish a written policy that addresses both of these expectations.

1-Year Agency Response

The Department enhanced the APPS database to allow staff to document their efforts to make determinations. In addition, the Department established a procedure that indicates how often outstanding APPS database cases should be reviewed and the required documentation. The Department will process each case as relevant information is made available in order determine if a subject is prohibited.

  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

The Department is working to establish additional positions within the APPS unit to conduct the quality control review of APPS determinations. As of December 16, 2013, the Department established two new Criminal Identification Specialist III positions to conduct the quality control reviews. The positions were advertised on December 18, 2013, however no qualified applicants applied for the positions. The positions were re-advertised on February 6, 2014, and a single eligible applicant applied. However, that applicant failed a reference check and thus was not hired for the open position. The Department will re-advertise the positions for a third time in mid-April 2014. The Department is also backfilling the vacant APPS unit manager position. However, the Department is in the process of administering a new Department of Justice Administrator I (DOJA I) exam and it is expected that the open manager position in the APPS unit will be filled after the exam is completed in September 2014. Once the APPS unit manager position is filled, work will begin on the development of quality control procedures.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

To accomplish this recommendation the Department is working to establish additional positions within the APPS unit to conduct the quality control review of APPS determinations. As of December 16, 2013, the Department worked to establish two new Criminal Identification Specialist III positions to conduct the quality control reviews. The positions were advertised December 18, 2013. The Department is also backfilling the vacant APPS unit manager. Once the APPS unit manager position is filled, work will begin on developing quality control procedures.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #28 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that it meets its goal of eliminating the historical backlog of reviewing firearms owners by the end of 2016, Justice should manage its staff resources to continually address the backlog, and should notify the Legislature if it believes that it will not be able to fully process this backlog by its goal date. To help guide this effort, Justice should establish benchmarks that will indicate whether it is on track to meet its goal.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

The Department was able to completely address the historical backlog ahead of schedule, clearing the queue on March 16, 2016. In addition, the Department was successful in adding additional permanent resources to the APPS Unit, in order to maintain their processing requirements in a timely manner. One additional Criminal Identification Specialist II (in the recruitment phase of hiring), and two additional Criminal Identification Specialist I positions (filled) have been added to the APPS Unit.

  • Completion Date: March 2016

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

In order to address both the daily queue and historical backlog the Department has taken the following actions: 1) Directed all APPS Unit staff to work a minimum of 48 hours of overtime per month; 2) Redirected three full-time Criminal Identification Specialist (CIS) IIs from another unit in the Bureau of Firearms to assist the APPS Unit; 3) Redirected three Bureau of Firearms CIS IIs to assist the APPS Unit on overtime (40 hour mandatory commitment); 4) Recruited twelve analysts from other departmental bureaus to work 40 hours of overtime a month in the APPS Unit; 5) Conducted interviews and selected candidates to fill two vacant CIS II positions in the APPS Unit (both in place as of July and October 2015); 6) Received departmental approval to hire an additional CIS II in the APPS Unit (currently undergoing the mandatory Division of Law Enforcement background); 7) Currently working with the Department's Hawkins Data Center on one-time programming scripts to automate the processing of specified record types.

Additionally, the Department is working with Budget staff to identify funding that will allow for the hiring of additional staff in the APPS Unit on a permanent basis.

The Department is committed to eliminating the APPS historical backlog by December 31, 2016.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2016

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


1-Year Agency Response

The Department continues to work diligently on reducing the historical backlog number. As of October 1, 2014, the historical backlog was at 277,065. In order to eliminate the backlog, staff was notified in September of 2014 that they would need to work 11,500 cases each month to meet the December 2016 deadline. The Department authorized additional overtime and resources necessary to achieve this goal.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2016
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

Since December 2013, the Department has reduced the APPS historical backlog from 334,000 to 312,381 as of April 2014. This is a monthly average reduction of 5,405 from the APPS historical backlog. The Department has had difficulty filling numerous vacancies in APPS but is diligently working on recruiting new staff. Existing staff are committed to working the APPS historical backlog and are focused on the elimination of the APPS historical backlog by December 2015, a full year ahead of scheduled December 2016 deadline.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2015
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

Since August 2013, the Department has reduced the APPS historical backlog from 380,000 to 334,000 as of December 2013. This is a monthly average reduction of 15,300 from the APPS historical backlog. The Department is committed to a minimum monthly average reduction of 13,500 from the APPS historical backlog. This will see the elimination of the APPS historical backlog by December 2015, a full year ahead of scheduled December 2016 deadline.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2015
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #29 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that it processes all reports it receives about persons with mental illness, by January 31, 2014, Justice's mental health unit should develop and implement quality control procedures over staff entry of reports into the mental health database. These procedures should include periodic supervisory review to ensure that all reports are entered correctly. Additionally, Justice should conduct a supervisory review of all staff decisions to delete records from the database before their deletion.

1-Year Agency Response

The Criminal Identification Specialist II to conduct quality control review was hired and started in May of 2014. MHU desk procedures were updated to include the quality review process, and supervisory review of decisions to delete records from the database.

  • Completion Date: June 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

The Department established an additional position within the Mental Health Unit (MHU) to conduct quality control review of mental health records in MHFPS. On January 28, 2014 the Department selected a Criminal Identification Specialist (CIS) II candidate to move forward in the background phase of the hiring process. The MHU manager updated the units processing procedures to include steps for reviewing documents prior to data entry along with the process for supervisory approval for deleting records from MHFPS. Unit staff was trained on the procedures and process for supervisory approval prior to deleting MHFPS records. Clearance to offer the CIS II position to the candidate was given on April 14, 2014. The candidate accepted and will start May 1, 2014. Beginning in May 2014, the new process will be refined and quality review procedures of MHFPS records will be fully implemented.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department is working to establish an additional position within the Mental Health Unit to conduct the quality control review of mental health records entered into MHFPS by Department staff. As of December 16, 2013, the Department created one new Criminal Identification Specialist II position to conduct the quality control reviews. The position was advertised December 18, 2013. The unit manager has updated the unit's processing procedures to include steps for reviewing documents prior to data entry along with the process for obtaining supervisor approval for deleting records from MHFPS. Unit staff has been trained on the new procedures and process for requesting the unit's supervisor's approval prior to deleting any MHFPS records. Once the new CIS II is hired, global implementation of the new procedures and quality control review of mental health entries made by the unit staff will be fully implemented.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

The department provided evidence that it is seeking new staff to administer quality control procedures. Additionally, in subsequent conversations the department indicated that draft procedures for the mental health unit have been created and are currently in the review process. Accordingly, this recommendation has been partially implemented.


Recommendation #30 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that mental health determinations reported to its criminal information unit are quickly available for review, Justice should assess whether the criminal information unit can prioritize the entry of reports regarding mental health determinations without a negative effect on the entry of all other criminal information into its system.

6-Month Agency Response

Effective January 1, 2014, the Departments Bureau of Criminal Information and Analysis Unit began utilizing Office Assistant General staff to scan paper dispositions and to pull documents remarkable for Penal Code sections 1026, 1368, 1370 and 1370.1, as well as Welfare and Institutions Code section 8103 to prioritize handling and update to the Automated Criminal History System (ACHS).

Procedures were developed and instituted for Office Assistant General staff to use when scanning for the Code sections specified above as they review dispositions received on paper and those that were submitted electronically, but fell out of the ACHS update process due to error.

When one of the specified Code sections is identified, the disposition is removed from the normal workflow and updated to the ACHS in an expedite process within two to three business days.

  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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

Justice's procedures direct its criminal information unit's staff to prioritize the entry of reports regarding mental health determinations.


60-Day Agency Response

The Department's Bureau of Criminal Information and Analysis (BCIA) has assessed the personnel and operating resources needed to scan about 560,000 paper dispositions to pull documents remarkable for Penal Code sections 1026, 1368, 1370 and 1370.1, as well as Welfare and Institutions Code section 8103. The code section notations may be in various places on the paper dispositions and also may be designated by a box checked or in narrative form. Once identified these paper dispositions would have to be labeled for expedited update to the Automated Criminal History System. The BCIA is reclassifying a Program Technician position to an Office Assistant - General position to enable this additional scanning function of paper dispositions received by the DOJ. It is anticipated this function will begin January 1, 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #31 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that information about individuals with mental illness does not go unexamined, Justice should document its effort to offer training to mental health facilities that continue to report on paper, and it should ensure that individuals whom these facilities report on paper are promptly entered into the mental health database.

6-Month Agency Response

The Bureaus Training, Information, and Compliance Section (TICS) continues to provide training to mental health facilities as requested by the facilities or through referral from the DOJ Mental Health Unit. As of November 22, 2013, TICS conducted twelve (12) mental health training sessions throughout the state. Field Representatives conducting the training sessions ensure attendance sheets are provided for attendees to complete and sign. These documents, along with the request or referral for training, evaluation sheets and any handouts provided during the training, are reviewed by the TICS manager and maintained in the TICS office area. The TICS manager continues to work with the Mental Health Unit manager in identifying facilities that make errors in their reporting or facilities that have had a significant decrease in the number of records reported from one period to the next.

In addition, no paper reports have been received since July 2013.

  • Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department has established a process to administer sign up sheets and training evaluation forms at all future mental health facility training venues. At the end of each training session, the sign up sheets and training evaluation forms will be collected and reviewed by the Bureau of Firearms, Training Information and Compliance Section (TICS) manager. Subsequently, the sign-up sheets and training evaluation forms will be filed in a cabinet in the TICS work area. In June 2012, the Department distributed an Information Bulletin to statewide public and private mental health facilities introducing the new electronic Mental Health Reporting System (MHRS). MHRS enables the facilities to report danger to self/others voluntary and involuntary mental health patients to DOJ immediately. Justice will promptly enter individuals whom these facilities report on paper into the MHRS and provide training to these facilities on the electronic reporting system requirements.

  • Completion Date: November 2013
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

In its response the department describes steps it is taking to administer documents related to its ongoing training of mental health facilities. Additionally, the department states that it will enter information about any individuals that mental health facilities report on paper into its mental health database and contact any facilities that report on paper to provide training on electronic reporting. In subsequent conversations, the department stated that it had not received any mental health facility paper reports since July 2013. Because the department would only have an opportunity to implement the recommendation if it received paper reports, we assess the status of this recommendation as pending and will reassess again at the six-month response.


Recommendation #32 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that it retains appropriate records related to mental health firearms prohibitions, by March 31, 2014, Justice should review its record retention schedule for documents used by the mental health unit and adjust any retention periods it determines
are inappropriate. Justice should then ensure that its mental health unit follows its retention schedule.

1-Year Agency Response

The revised Record Retention Schedule was submitted to the Department's Division of Administrative Services on October 7, 2014 for routing to the Department of General Services (DGS) for approval. DGS approved the revised Record Retention Schedule on October 23, 2014. Staff continue to retain documents in accordance with the retention schedule.

  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

The Department's revised record retention schedule has been drafted but needs to be forwarded to and approved by other governing agencies, including DGS.

In the mean time, the Mental Health Unit implemented requested revisions to the retention schedule to ensure documents are retained for the appropriate amount of time. A new filing system was implemented and unit staff was trained on the procedures and process for retaining documents in accordance with the retention schedule.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department is in the process of updating its record retention schedule and will provide training to ensure unit staff follow the retention schedule.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #33 To: Justice, Department of

Justice should update and maintain its system documentation for the mental health and APPS databases to ensure that it can efficiently and effectively address modifications and questions about these databases.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

The Department reconfirmed with the Hawkins Data Center (HDC) staff that reestablishing APPS and MHFPS database documentation due to the loss of key personnel, and the number of years that have elapsed is not easily done, and is not a cost effective process. It is estimated that the reestablishing of database documentation would cost the Department an estimated $200,000 in personal services and consultant contracts, and take approximately 16 - 20 months to be completed, while pushing back other critical data and legislatively mandated system enhancements. However, HDC has been in contact with the BSA Auditor to discuss documentation necessary to fully implement this recommendation. HDC produced Data Dictionary and Entity Relationship Diagram documentation related to APPS and MHFPS.

  • Completion Date: October 2016

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

The Department reconfirmed with the HDC staff that reestablishing APPS and MHFPS database documentation due to the loss of key personnel, and the number of years that have elapsed is not easily done, and is not a cost effective process. It is estimated that the reestablishing of database documentation would cost the Department an estimated $200,000 in personal services and consultant contracts, and take approximately 16 - 20 months to be completed, while pushing back other critical data and legislatively mandated system enhancements.

The Department has completed its re-design for the APPS Law Enforcement Interface, which went into production in September 2014. The vendor who completed the APPS interface re-design, Palantir, in cooperation with HDC personnel, provided documentation of the database re-design. This re-design provided the Department with streamlined and enhanced data sharing, improved data analysis between systems, with a more robust and technological system.

  • Completion Date: September 2014

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

In addition to the documentation Justice's vendor developed for its APPS Law Enforcement Interface, Justice provided evidence that an outside consultant developed system documentation for its mental health and APPS databases. However, at the time of Justice's response, some of the documentation did not contain the level of detail Justice would need to efficiently and effectively address modifications and questions about these databases. Therefore, we assess this recommendation as partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

1-Year Agency Response

The Department reconfirmed with the HDC staff that reestablishing APPS and MHFPS database documentation due to the loss of key personnel, and the number of years that have elapsed is not easily done, and is not a cost effective process. It is estimated that the reestablishing of database documentation would cost the Department an estimated $200,000 in personal services and consultant contracts, and would take approximately 16 to 20 months to be completed, while pushing back other critical data and legislatively mandated system enhancements.

The Department has completed its re-design for the APPS Law Enforcement Interface, which went into production in September of 2014. The vendor and HDC completed the APPS interface re-design, and provided documentation of the database re-design. This re-design provided the Department with streamlined and enhanced data sharing, improved data analysis between systems, and a more robust and technological system.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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

Justice confirmed that they have engaged with a vendor to develop system documentation for the APPS and mental health databases. However, Justice also confirmed that, as of the date of its response, the vendor had not yet delivered that system documentation due to resource availability and the prioritization of workload. As a result we continue to assess this recommendation as pending.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

The Department reconfirmed with HDC staff that reestablishing APPS and MHFPS database documentation due to the loss of key personnel, and the number of years that have elapsed is not easily done, and is not a cost effective process. It is estimated that the reestablishing of database documentation would cost the Department approximately $200,000 in personal services and consultant contracts, and take approximately 16 to 20 months to be completed, while pushing back other critical data and legislatively mandated system enhancements.

The Department is currently moving forward with finding vendors and hiring programming personnel to redesign the APPS and MHFPS systems with current software technology and infrastructure architecture. These upgrades will provide the Department with streamlined and enhanced data sharing, improved data analysis between systems, more robust and technological systems, and will include many of the other information analytical suggestions BSA made in their audit of these systems.

  • Completion Date: October 2013
  • Response Date: April 2014

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

Justice is moving forward with finding vendors to help it in developing system documentation for the APPS system. As these efforts are still in the early stages, we assess this recommendation as pending.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department was advised by HDC staff that it is unable to reestablish APPS and MHFPS database documentation due to the number of years that have elapsed. However, HDC has committed to developing and maintaining system documentation from October 1, 2013 forward.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

The department states that it has committed to maintaining system documentation from October 1, 2013 forward. However, in a subsequent conversation the department stated it had no documentation to provide at this time. Also in subsequent discussions, the department stated that resource availability and other established priorities led to the conclusion that it could not reestablish system documentation. However, it did not have an analysis to demonstrate that reestablishing this documentation would be cost prohibitive. We continue to believe that the documentation of these systems would benefit the department as it troubleshoots or modifies these databases. Therefore, this recommendation remains pending implementation.


Recommendation #34 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that it fully supports its decision to apply federal prohibition terms to individuals, Justice should review all applicable federal and state laws and continue to seek clarification from the ATF and any other appropriate federal agencies to determine whether California's firearms restoration process meets federal criteria and, if not, why it does not. Justice should issue a report to the Legislature, within one year, detailing the results of its review and, if applicable, communicate why California's restoration process does not meet federal criteria and the impact that it has on prohibited persons who live in California.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

The Department contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations' (FBI) National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) requesting a review of California's process for restoration of firearms rights due to mental health prohibitions. BATFE responded indicating that California should implement statutory changes to its state process for restoration of firearms rights due to mental health prohibitions in order to be in compliance with the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007. The Department is reviewing the suggested changes and intends to prepare proposed legislative fixes to the governing statutes.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

The Department contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) and requested a review of California's process for restoration of firearms rights due to mental health prohibitions. The Department has requested a response from BATFE by the end of 2016.

  • 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 2015

The Department is still awaiting a determination from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) regarding a review of California's process for restoration of firearms rights due to mental health prohibitions. The Department sent emails to the BATFE counsel in March, April and October 2014 requesting to speak regarding the status of their determination. The Department will continue to seek a response from BATFE. A fourth request will be sent again in November 2015.

  • Completion Date: September 2014

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

Justice has not yet reported to the Legislature about the results of its review of all applicable federal and state laws related to firearm restorations.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

1-Year Agency Response

The Department is still awaiting a determination from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) regarding a review of California's process for restoration of firearms rights due to mental health prohibitions. The Department sent emails to the BATFE counsel in March, April and October of 2014 requesting to discuss the status of their determination.

  • Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

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

Justice has reached out to the ATF and has indicated in its response that it is still waiting for a response. However, Justice has not yet reported to the Legislature about the results of its own review of the California restoration process and how that restoration process does or does not meet federal criteria. As a result, we continue to assess this recommendation as partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

The Department is still awaiting a determination from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) regarding a review of Californias process for restoration of firearms rights due to mental health prohibitions. The Department sent emails to BATFE counsel in March and April 2014 requesting to speak with them regarding the status of their determination.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department sent a letter to both ATF and FBI NICS on November 7, 2013 requesting a review of California's process for restoration of firearm rights due to mental health prohibitions. Subsequently, on November 12, 2013, Bureau of Firearms Chief Stephen Lindley received a call from ATF Counsel Jeanne Miller. DAG IV Kimberly Granger spoke to ATF Counsel Miller on November 19, 2013, and was advised that ATF is conducting research on California's restoration processes.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


All Recommendations in 2013-103

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


Report type

Report type
















© 2013, California State Auditor | Privacy Policy | Conditions of Use | Download Adobe PDF Reader