Report 2016-109 Recommendation 7 Responses

Report 2016-109: Uniform Complaint Procedures: The California Department of Education's Inadequate Oversight Has Led to a Lack of Uniformity and Compliance in the Processing of Complaints and Appeals (Release Date: January 2017)

Recommendation #7 To: Education, Department of

To ensure that it consistently processes complaints and appeals in a timely manner and that it investigates and reviews all UCP complaints and appeals in compliance with state law and regulations, by July 2017 Education should designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals. This central office should establish and distribute a standard investigation report format that includes the required elements for the divisions to use when processing UCP complaints.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2018

This recommendation contains two separate corrective actions requiring an update response. Since Education continues to not concur with the first recommended corrective action, full resolution is unattainable. The first part of the recommendation from the CSA states that Education should designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals. This recommendation is duplicated in recommendations 3 through 8. Specifically, Education does not concur with the CSA's determination that a central office would ensure consistent, timely responses in compliance with state laws and regulations for all UCP complaints and appeals. In fact, a central office would add time to the process in the beginning and the end as well as provide excessive administratively burdensome demands on staff who do not have the necessary expertise or familiarity for the complex programs covered under the UCP process. Also, Education would require additional resources in order to implement a dedicated centralized UCP office.

The second part of the recommendation calls on Education to work with divisions to develop policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the UCP requirements. Education is in the process of developing centralized policies, procedures, and templates for all UCP complaints and appeals.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2019

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


1-Year Agency Response

While a standard investigation report is not required in law, Education addressed this recommendation by implementing the use of a customized central database, which requires entering standard information for the UCP appeals.

  • Completion Date: September 2017
  • Response Date: February 2018

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

The documentation that Education provided does not demonstrate that the database it refers to in its response is designed to generate a standard investigation report format that includes the required elements.

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

6-Month Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in the response. However, while a standard investigation report is not required in law, Education will address existing policies and procedures for processing complaints and appeals as deemed necessary.

  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement

As we stated in the report, we believe that a central office for receiving complaints and appeals would help eliminate complainants' confusion about where to send a complaint or appeal and would streamline the process by preventing complaints and appeals from going to an incorrect division.


60-Day Agency Response

Education continues to not concur with the recommendation to designate a central office to receive all complaints and appeals for the reasons set forth in the response. However, while a standard investigation report is not required in law, Education will address existing policies and procedures for processing complaints and appeals as deemed necessary.

  • Response Date: April 2017

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

As we stated in the report, we believe that a central office for receiving complaints and appeals would help eliminate complainants' confusion about where to send a complaint or appeal and would streamline the process by preventing complaints and appeals from going to an incorrect division.

Nevertheless, Education's response indicates that it will address existing policies and procedures for processing complaints and appeals as deemed necessary.


All Recommendations in 2016-109

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.