Report 2014-107 Recommendation 14 Responses

Report 2014-107: Judicial Branch of California: Because of Questionable Fiscal and Operational Decisions, the Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Courts Have Not Maximized the Funds Available for the Courts (Release Date: January 2015)

Recommendation #14 To: Administrative Office of the Courts

To ensure that it spends funds appropriately, the AOC should develop and implement controls to govern how its staff can spend judicial branch funds. These controls should include specific definitions of local assistance and support expenditures, written fiscal policies and procedures as the rules of court require, and a review process.

Agency Response*

All judicial branch funds have been appropriately categorized as either state operations or local assistance and the details of the budget can be found on the California Court's website (www.courts.ca.gov/finance.htm). The Judicial Council of California continues to work on further developing policies and procedures to improve controls over spending from these two different types of appropriations.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: November 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented


Agency Response*

The Judicial Council has worked with the Department of Finance to align Operations and Local Assistance expenditures. These adjustments will be reflected in the 2016-2017 Governor's Budget. It is anticipated that a defined set of controls will be ready for submittal to the Judicial Council by the second quarter of 2016.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Estimated Completion Date: Second quarter of 2016
  • Response Date: January 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

The Judicial Council staff, in consultation with Judicial Council advisory bodies, will develop internal controls on expenditures of all judicial branch funds. Council staff anticipates completing this recommendation in the fourth quarter of 2015.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: Fourth quarter of 2015
  • Response Date: July 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

In consultation with the Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee, council staff is updating staff guidelines regarding appropriate uses for Trial Court Trust Fund and Trial Court Improvement and Modernization Fund monies consistent with the audit recommendations. This will include an annual training requirement for staff on use of the guidelines. Council staff anticipates completing the initial guidelines in the third quarter of 2015.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: Third quarter of 2015
  • Response Date: March 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending

The AOC's response only notes that it will implement guidelines. We expect a clear policy that established internal controls over the spending of judicial branch funds, not just guidelines.


All Recommendations in 2014-107

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

*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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