Report 2013-130 Recommendation 8 Responses

Report 2013-130: California Public Utilities Commission: It Fails to Adequately Ensure Consumers' Transportation Safety and Does Not Appropriately Collect and Spend Fees From Passenger Carriers (Release Date: June 2014)

Recommendation #8 To: Public Utilities Commission

The commission should require staff to examine and formally report on the feasibility of impounding the vehicles of passenger carriers that refuse to comply with commission orders or that refuse to pay citation penalties and also on the feasibility of making use of the Tax Board's program for intercepting income tax refunds, lottery winnings, and unclaimed property payments to collect unpaid citation penalties.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

TEB's formal report on impound feasibility and Tax Board collaboration is posted on the CPUC website

  • Completion Date: September 2016

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

The commission published a report regarding the feasibility of impounding the vehicles of passenger carriers and also on the feasibility of making use of the Tax Board's program for intercepting income tax refunds, lottery winnings, and unclaimed property payments to collect unpaid citation penalties.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

1) The TEB Report regarding the feasibility of impounding passenger carrier vehicles is posted on the CPUC website. In sum, CA Public Utilities Code 1046(b) et seq authorizes peace officers to impound vehicles, but not the CPUC. For example, LAX routinely impounds vehicles driven by unlicensed and noncompliant carriers. PU Code 1044 allows the CPUC to petition for an injunction, including vehicle impounds, in Superior Court. 2) As stated in TEB's 2016 Annual Plan, TEB will complete protocols and safeguards to enable individual sting operations with pre-paid credit cards in December 2016, under guidance from the Department of General Services. The CPUC obtained full cooperation from the CHP to impound vehicles of noncompliant carriers on behalf of the CPUC once DGS approves the CPUC's credit card-handling protocols. 3) State Accounting rules (obtain cite from Fiscal) prohibit TEB from pursuing fine collection, as the entity that issues the citation and resulting fine may not conduct collection activities. The CPUC Fiscal Office routinely issues collection letters to recover outstanding or delinquent fines. The CPUC could also pursue fine recovery through a contract with a collection agency or through civil or small claims court. 4) In 2016, TEB learned that the CPUC enrolled in the Franchise Tax Board's Income Intercept Program in (month, year), which enables the CPUC to make claims to collect unpaid fines owed by sole proprietors through Social Security numbers.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2016

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

See one-year response.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2015

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


1-Year Agency Response

TEB and the Franchise Tax Board have discussed a potential partnership or collaboration possibilities. The CPUC will enroll in FTB's Interagency Intercept Collection Program in July 2015.

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2015
  • Response Date: June 2015

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


6-Month Agency Response

TEB and the Franchise Tax Board have discussed potential partnership/collaboration possibilities and challenges. TEB concludes that the most feasible and least-cost approach to step up collection of fines and penalties, as well as to assist the Fiscal Office with audits, is to obtain an individual with financial auditing and collection skills. TEB seeks to aquire those skills through a position upgrade or request.

Status: In progress. CPUC plans to submit position request to DOF in next budget cycle.

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

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


60-Day Agency Response

TEB and the Franchise Tax Board have discussed potential partnership or collaboration possibilities. Next step is to develop a preliminary impound and towing program and quantify associated costs and anticipated revenues. TEB will evaluate each enforcement option and report the results to the Commissioners.

  • Estimated Completion Date: November 2014
  • Response Date: August 2014

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


All Recommendations in 2013-130

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


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