Report 2014-107 Recommendation 18 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 #18 To: Judicial Council of California

To make the AOC's budget more understandable, the Judicial Council should require the AOC to report its budget in a more understandable and transparent manner, and in a manner that readily allows stakeholders and the public to know the full amount of the AOC's spending. Further, the Judicial Council should require the AOC to prepare and make public a high-level summary of how the judicial branch's budget relates to the appropriations from the State's budget.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2016

The Governor's 2016-17 budget included detailed spending displays for both trial court spending, including funding not distributed to the courts, as well as spending by the various offices of the Judicial Council of California (Judicial Council). Further, the Judicial Council's public website (www.courts.ca.gov/finance) also contains similar information so interested parties need not search the Governor's budget for this information.

  • Completion Date: December 2016

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


1-Year Agency Response

As part of the 2016-2017 Governor's Budget, a special display of expenditures for the Judicial Council broken out by office, fund, and positions will provide greater clarity and transparency for stakeholders and the public. This display will complement an update to the existing special display in the Governor's Budget to further clarify Local Assistance expenditures for the trial courts. It will more clearly distinguish those expenditures made directly by trial courts from those made on behalf of trial courts or other entities.

In addition, following adoption of the 2016 Budget Act, the California Courts public website will display a chart identifying how the appropriations in the State Budget are broken down by branch entity. The chart will be updated annually when the Governor's Proposed Budget is released and again after a budget is enacted.

  • Completion Date: January 2016
  • Response Date: January 2016

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


6-Month Agency Response

Working with the Judicial Council's Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee, and in consultation with the Department of Finance, council staff is evaluating options to more clearly display the council's budget to stakeholders and the public, and to prepare a high-level summary of how the budget relates to the appropriations from the State budget. We anticipate that this recommendation will be fully implemented in the first quarter of 2016.

  • Estimated Completion Date: First quarter of 2016
  • Response Date: July 2015

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


60-Day Agency Response

Working with the Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee, and in consultation with the Department of Finance, council staff is evaluating options to more clearly display the council's budget to stakeholders and the public, and to prepare a high-level summary of how the budget relates to the appropriations from the State budget. We anticipate that this recommendation will be fully implemented in the first quarter of 2016.

  • Estimated Completion Date: First quarter of 2016
  • Response Date: March 2015

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


All Recommendations in 2014-107

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


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