Report 2014-120 Recommendation 4 Responses

Report 2014-120: California Public Utilities Commission: It Needs to Improve the Quality of Its Consumer Complaint Data and the Controls Over Its Information Systems (Release Date: April 2015)

Recommendation #4 To: Public Utilities Commission

To ensure that policy makers, enforcement officials, and the general public have access to accurate consumer complaint data in CIMS, the branch should develop and implement tools by September 30, 2015, to measure the quality management team program's effectiveness.

Agency Response*

In 2017, the Branch has secured resources to automate and improve parts of the quality management processes within the CIMS database. Resources include the CPUC's IT Applications Programming and Project Management units as well as a vendor specializing in business analysis. The project was chartered on 11/09/2016 by the CPUC as the "Consumer Information Management System - Audit Response Mitigation for Quality Assurance". The project was approved by the California Department of Technology in a Stage 1 Business Analysis on 01/23/2017. (Public Utilities Commission (8660): 8660-082 CIMS Audit Response Mitigation for Quality Assurance) The project requirements and design phases were approved on 03/17/2017 and 07/05/2017, respectively. The applications development was initiated on 08/14/2017. It is estimated that the project will complete and the automation be in place in mid-2018.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: 6/30/2018
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

The Branch has updated its plan to measure and improve the effectiveness of its quality management team (see attached "CAB Quality Management Team Enhancement Plan"). As described in the plan, the Branch has completed the quality management process analysis described as Phase I. In Phase II, the Branch has begun to analyze baseline measures of its processes. That analysis has been completed for 2013-14 and 2014-15; it is anticipated that the analysis for 2015-16 will be completed in late 2016. Moreover, the Branch is actively pursuing a project to automate and improve parts of the quality management processes (Phases III and IV). As noted in the prior audit status responses, these process improvements will require resources from outside of the Branch, including support from the CPUC's IT unit and the database vendor, as well as additional staffing resources for CAB to ensure optimal quality management. To that end, the Branch's project request to build a database module to automate quality management processes was updated and approved in August 2016. The Branch began work in September 2016 securing funding to use a vendor to create a business analysis for the project. As of September 28, 2016, the Branch received budget approval to move forward with the project. It is anticipated that the project will begin in November 2016, with an estimated duration of six to nine months.

  • Response Type†: Annual Follow Up
  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/30/2016
  • Response Date: October 2016

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


Agency Response*

The Branch has created a draft plan to measure and improve the effectiveness of its quality management team. As part of the draft plan, the Branch has begun to analyze baseline measures of its process. The Branch continues to research the feasibility of automating parts of the quality management processes and continues to research ability of its database to create multiple alerts to enable case progress to be better measured. Preliminary findings are the process improvements will require resources from outside of the Branch, including support from CPUC IT and the database vendor.

  • Response Type†: 1-Year
  • Estimated Completion Date: 4/9/2017
  • Response Date: April 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

Branch has analyzed current QMT processes and is researching the feasibility of automating parts of the processes. Preliminary findings are that process improvements will require resources from outside of the branch, including support from CPUC IT and the CIMS database vendor. Current estimates are that IT resources will not be available until early to mid-2016.

  • Response Type†: 6-Month
  • Estimated Completion Date: Late 2016.
  • Response Date: October 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


Agency Response*

Branch is working with IT to expand its measurement capabilities in CIMS to assist in quality management team efforts.

  • Response Type†: 60-Day
  • Estimated Completion Date: September 30, 2015
  • Response Date: June 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending


All Recommendations in 2014-120

†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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