If the Legislature wishes to better guard against future cost increases under the Lanterman Act, it should amend existing law to require that planning teams document, and that regional centers retain documentation of, vendor cost considerations when they offer comparable services that meet the consumer's needs. Specifically, for consumer needs that the planning team decides will be addressed by a vendor, the Legislature should require the planning team to document the following:
- Whether multiple vendors offer comparable services needed by the particular consumer.
- Whether any particular vendor was deemed unacceptable by the planning team and why.
- Whether the least costly vendor offering comparable services was ultimately selected, and if not, why.
To further ensure that the planning team consistently chooses the least costly vendor when required under state law, the Legislature should direct Developmental Services to audit compliance with the documentation requirements suggested in the previous recommendation.
To ensure that regional centers and their planning teams are using consistent criteria when determining whether multiple vendors offer comparable services, the Legislature should define the phrase "comparable service" for the purpose of the 2009 amendment to the Lanterman Act. One way the Legislature could do this would be to define "comparable service" as a service of the type required in the consumer's treatment plan and that the planning team has reviewed and found as meeting the needs of the consumer.
†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.