Report 2015-130 Recommendation 10 Responses

Report 2015-130: The CalGang Criminal Intelligence System: As the Result of Its Weak Oversight Structure, It Contains Questionable Information That May Violate Individuals' Privacy Rights (Release Date: August 2016)

Recommendation #10 To: Justice, Department of

As the Legislature considers creating a public program for shared gang database oversight and accountability, Justice should guide the board and the committee to identify and address the shortcomings that exist in CalGang's current operations and oversight. The guidance Justice provides to the board and the committee should address, but not be limited to, developing best practices based on the requirements stated in the federal regulations, the state guidelines and state law, and advising user agencies on the implementation of those practices. The best practices should include, but not be limited to reviewing criminal intelligence, appropriately disseminating information, performing robust audit practices, establishing plans to recover from disasters, and meeting all of the State's juvenile notification law requirements. Justice should guide the board and the committee to develop these best practices by June 30, 2017.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From August 2018

Assembly Bill (AB) 90 (Chapter 695, Statutes of 2017), hereafter referred to as "AB 90", requires Justice (DOJ), with the advice of the Attorney General's Gang Database Technical Advisory Committee (GDTAC), to promulgate regulations governing the use, operation, and oversight of shared gang databases no later than January 1, 2020. These regulations will address many of the concerns outlined in the California State Auditor's (CSA's) report and include, but are not limited to, system integrity, standardized training, review of entered records, equipment security, access to the database, record disclosure, gang member or associate designation criteria, criteria for designating a criminal street gang, retention and purging of records, notice requirements and requests for removal. In addition, the DOJ must promulgate regulations specific to the CalGang database that address periodic audits to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and proper use of the database as well as standardized training for all users.

AB 90, which went into effect on January 1, 2018, eliminated the CalGang Executive Board and provided DOJ with responsibility to "administer and oversee the CalGang database." Since this mandate went into effect, the DOJ has held two GDTAC meetings to discuss regulations drafted by the DOJ, and has attended two California Gang Node Advisory Committee meetings, during which best practices concerning reviewing criminal intelligence information and auditing were reviewed. In addition, the CalGang database now requires users to certify that they have notified individuals, both adults and juveniles, being placed in the database for the first time.

  • Estimated Completion Date: January 1, 2020

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


1-Year Agency Response

Justice management attended the CalGang Executive Board and California Node Advisory Committee meetings in May 2017. At the meetings, the board and committee advised that they had updated the existing Policy and Procedures for the CalGang System manual to incorporate components identified in the audit recommendations. The new language was voted on and approved by the board. Justice did not review or provide input, but was provided a copy of the updated manual after it was approved and implemented by the board. In addition, the board is working to ensure consistency in juvenile notifications across the user agencies.

At the February 2017 board and committee meetings, the board requested that Justice examine the possibility of modifying the Attorney General's Model Standards and Procedures for Maintaining Criminal Intelligence Files and Criminal Intelligence Operational Activities to note that the document represents best practices, not requirements. In light of the pending legislation, it was determined Justice would postpone the request.

Since the introduction of Assembly Bill (AB) 90 and Senate Bill (SB) 505, both of which would implement the recommendations of the audit, Justice has been involved in conversations with the authors' offices, providing technical guidance and suggestions as to best ways to implement.

Justice has begun discussions with the CalGang vendor regarding development of disaster recovery planning.

Justice received funding and position authority from the Legislature for enhancements to the CalGang system with the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-18 budget; however, Justice will have no authority to implement the recommendations made by the California State Auditor (CSA) until legislation is passed.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Dependent on enactment of legislation which would grant Justice the authority to execute and enforce the recommendations.
  • Response Date: August 2017

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


6-Month Agency Response

Justice compiled an internal Cal Gang working group consisting of management and staff from impacted Justice programs that is researching applicable state and federal regulations, law and guidelines, including the California Attorney General's Model Standards and Procedures for Maintaining Criminal Intelligence Files and Criminal Intelligence Operational Activities for future implementation of best practices procedures.

Justice management attended the CalGang Executive Board meetings on September 9, 2016 and February 3, 2017 and the California Node Advisory Committee meeting on February 2, 2017. At the meetings, the committee advised that it had drafted language to modify the existing Policy and Procedures for the CalGang System manual to incorporate the components identified in the audit recommendations. The new language was voted on by the board. The CalGang Executive Board requested that Justice examine the possibility of modifying the Attorney General's Model Standards and Procedures for Maintaining Criminal Intelligence Files and Criminal Intelligence Operational Activities to note that the document represents best practices, not requirements. The Justice working group is reviewing this recommendation from the CalGang Executive Board.

Justice currently has no existing resources, authority or program in place to handle oversight or administration of CalGang; thus, additional resources and funding will be needed to fully implement this recommendation.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2017
  • Response Date: February 2017

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


60-Day Agency Response

Justice has compiled an internal CalGang working group consisting of management and staff from impacted Justice programs and has begun researching applicable state and federal regulations, law, and guidelines, including the California Attorney General's Model Standards and Procedures for Maintaining Criminal Intelligence Files and Criminal Intelligence Operational Activities.

Justice management also attended the recent CalGang Executive Board meeting on September 9, 2016.

Justice currently has no existing resources or program in place to handle oversight or administration of CalGang, however, the department has begun dialogue with the board on each recommendation and will do everything possible to begin implementation until additional resources and funding are granted to the department.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2017
  • Response Date: October 2016

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


All Recommendations in 2015-130

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.