Report 2015-130 Recommendation 12 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 #12 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, instructing all user agencies to complete a comprehensive review of the records in CalGang to determine if the user agencies have adequate support for the criteria associated with all the individuals they have entered as gang members. If the user agencies do not have adequate support, they should immediately purge the criteria—and, if necessary, the individuals—from CalGang. In addition, the user agencies should ensure that all the fields in each CalGang record are accurate. Justice should guide the board and the committee to ensure that user agencies complete this review in phases, with the final phase to be completed by September 30, 2019.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From August 2018

AB 90 requires the DOJ, with the advice of the Attorney General's Gang Database Technical Advisory Committee, to promulgate regulations governing the use, operation, and oversight of shared gang databases no later than January 1, 2020. These regulations addresses concerns outlined in the 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, etc. In addition, the DOJ must also promulgate regulations specific to the CalGang database that address periodic audits to ensure accuracy, reliability, and proper use of the database, as well as standardized training for all users.

AB 90, effective January 1, 2018, eliminated the CalGang Executive Board and provided DOJ with responsibility to "administer and oversee the CalGang database." The bill further placed a moratorium on the use of the CalGang database until the DOJ certified that user agencies had reviewed their records and purged any record which did not have adequate support.

The Attorney General certified that the reviews had been completed and lifted the moratorium on March 29, 2018. The DOJ continues to work with the California Gang Node Advisory Committee to ensure it is regularly auditing CalGang records, based on a statistically valid sample, to ensure the criteria is adequately supported. Otherwise, the individual and/or the record will be purged from the CalGang database.

  • Completion Date: March 2018

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

Justice has not provided information to substantiate that all user agencies completed comprehensive reviews of their gang member records and that records were either purged or corrected. Justice informed us that its certification was based on targeting specific gang criteria and reviewing records from a statistical sample, not a comprehensive records review. Justice shared the results of an audit of 30 gang member records performed in May 2018: the audit results reflect that 57 percent of records reviewed [17 of 30] were not supported and needed to be purged from CalGang. This rate of error in the sample confirms that a large number of records in CalGang, despite any reviews that have already taken place, are still erroneous. This recommendation has an implementation due date of September 2019 and the user agencies likely need that time to complete our recommended comprehensive review of their CalGang records.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

1-Year Agency Response

At the California Gang Node Advisory Committee and CalGang Executive Board meetings in May 2017, Justice inquired as to whether a timeline for completion of each phase had been completed and requested a written update on the progress toward completing each review, by node and agency, prior to each quarterly meeting. The committee advised it has established an audit protocol in which a statistically valid sample size of records is to be audited. Currently, the user agencies do not have the resources to complete a comprehensive review of all records in the CalGang system. The committee has not provided a plan for completion to Justice, but members stated that records are being reviewed by user agencies on a quarterly basis.

Additionally, since the introduction of AB 90 and 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 received funding and position authority from the Legislature for enhancements to the CalGang system with the FY 2017-18 budget; however, Justice will have no authority to implement the recommendations made by the CSA until legislation is passed. Justice will continue to work with the board and committee until express authority is granted by the Legislature.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown
  • Response Date: August 2017

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


6-Month Agency Response

Justice management attended the CalGang Executive Board meeting in September 2016 and recommended that the board establish a plan to ensure the completion of this recommendation, including timelines for each phase of the required review. Justice will follow-up with the board periodically to discuss progress of this recommendation, provide guidance and feedback, and help to ensure completion of each phase.

At the recent California Gang Node Advisory Committee and CalGang Executive Board meetings in February 2017, Justice inquired as to whether a timeline for completion of each phase has been completed and requested a written update on the progress toward completing each review, by node and agency, prior to each quarterly meeting. The Advisory Committee stated that it is developing a plan to provide for auditing by other user agencies.

Justice currently has no existing authority, resources or program in place to handle oversight or administration of CalGang, however, Justice 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: September 30, 2019
  • Response Date: February 2017

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


60-Day Agency Response

Justice management attended the CalGang Executive Board meeting in September 2016 and recommended that the board establish a plan to ensure the completion of this recommendation, including timelines for each phase of the required review. Justice will follow-up with the board periodically to discuss progress of this recommendation, provide guidance and feedback, and help to ensure completion of each phase.

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: September 30, 2019
  • 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.