Report 2015-119 Recommendation 4 Responses

Report 2015-119: State Board of Equalization: Its Tobacco Tax Enforcement Efforts Are Effective and Properly Funded, but Other Funding Options and Cost Savings Are Possible (Release Date: February 2016)

Recommendation #4 To: Equalization, Board of

The investigations division should ensure that investigators charge their time according to division policy and should determine a method to more accurately allocate investigators' time instead of using the predetermined method established in 2005 and since discontinued.

6-Month Agency Response

The Investigation Division (ID) has implemented a new timesheet template, starting with the September 2016 pay period, effectively discontinuing the limited use of the 2005 template. In regards to the integrated cigarette and tobacco codes and how it applies to ID enforcement activities, time study research was completed. A four week time study of a criminal investigator's time related to criminal cigarette and tobacco products investigation activity was gathered along with feedback from an ID senior investigator who, for over 14 years, has participated and overseen more than one hundred cigarette and tobacco felony investigations at the state and federal level. The study's findings are that it is difficult to determine a specific breakdown of time associated with cigarette and tobacco product felony investigation activities and the application of time separately to the interrelated cigarette and tobacco product codes precisely. The optimal result is to split the time equally (50/50) for felony enforcement activities by allocating equal time to the two cigarette and tobacco codes.

  • Completion Date: September 2016
  • Response Date: September 2016

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

60-Day Agency Response

The Investigation Division (ID) will discontinue the use of the timesheet template from 2005. With the development of a replacement template, the ID weekly timesheet template is currently on clearance. Upon approval, the most current Board timesheet and updated ID weekly templates will be distributed to supervisors and staff with instructions on usage of the templates.

An analysis of criminal investigator functions was discussed to determine if a time study is an option to address the allocation of time for the integrated cigarette and tobacco codes for a criminal cigarette and tobacco investigation. A criminal investigator is now completing a two week time study. ID will then determine if the information gathered will be helpful with clarifying the allocation of time to cigarette and tobacco codes for criminal investigations.

ID met (and will continue to work) with the BOE Budget Unit in regards to the allocation of time for the two integrated cigarette and tobacco codes and how it applies to ID enforcement activities.

  • Estimated Completion Date: TPD
  • Response Date: April 2016

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

All Recommendations in 2015-119

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.

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