Report 2014-301 Recommendation 4 Responses

Report 2014-301: Judicial Branch Procurement: Five Superior Courts Did Not Consistently Follow Judicial Branch Contracting Practices (Release Date: November 2014)

Recommendation #4 To: Superior Court of California, County of Alameda

To improve its payment practices and comply with the judicial contracting manual, the Alameda court should ensure that all purchases are for allowable purposes.

6-Month Agency Response

The court reviewed with staff the conditions and policies as outlined in the judicial and local contracting manual. The court concurs with recommendation and has fully implemented by meeting with with personnel to ensure understanding of policies and ensure additional care is taken regarding improper payments, namely, that they do not occur in the future resulting in either advance or overpayments to vendors. Court personnel has complied with the judicial contracting policies, procedures,and guidelines.

  • Completion Date: February 2015
  • Response Date: May 2015

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

60-Day Agency Response

The Court has reviewed the audit and will continue to provide water for court staff and jurors; lower cost alternative approaches to water provision will however be explored. We agree with the recommendation with regard to improper and unallowable payments specifically overpayments and advance payments and will follow the Judicial Branch Contract Manuel for direction in the future.

  • Completion Date: December 2014
  • Response Date: January 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

Although the judicial contracting manual does not specify whether bottled water is allowable, the California Judicial Branch Contract Law (judicial contract law) requires the manual's policies and procedures to be substantially similar to provisions in the State

Administrative Manual and the State Contracting Manual. These manuals generally prohibit the purchase of bottled water for staff, except in limited circumstances, such as when the building water does not meet health standards. Thus, we believe the court should not be using court funds to purchase water for court staff and jurors except where allowed.

All Recommendations in 2014-301

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.