Report 2016-109 Recommendation 8 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 #8 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 monitor the divisions' decisions and reports on complaints and appeals to ensure that they comply with requirements.
6-Month Agency Response
Education continues to not concur with the recommendation for the reasons set forth in our prior responses, but remains committed to processing complaints and appeals as required.
Education was notified that the Legislature was interested in receiving additional information when the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 1 proposed including the requirement for a report on legislative changes to the UCP process regarding timeframes for completion of investigations and reviews of appeals in the Senate's budget on May 17, 2017. As a result, supplemental report language was included in the 2017-18 state budget that was signed by the Governor on June 27, 2017. Education is now required to submit a report to the Legislature no later than November 30, 2017, with recommendations for any legislative changes to the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) process on timeframes for completion of investigations and reviews of appeals. The required report shall also include an update on Education's efforts to centralize tracking of UCP complaints and appeals and to streamline UCP processes across divisions. Education anticipates follow-up discussions with the Legislature as a result of the information provided in the report.
- Estimated Completion Date: December 2018
- Response Date: August 2017
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending
We will review Education's future responses to assess its efforts in working with the Legislature to address this recommendation.
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, to ensure efficiency and timeliness when processing complaints and appeals, Education is: (1) developing a centralized database that can increase coordination within the department; (2) increasing internal communication when a referral is necessary; (3) having internal discussions on implementing uniform policies and procedures across all division offices processing UCPs; and (4) initiating discussions with the Legislature in regard to establishing consistency in statute.
- Response Date: April 2017
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement
The steps that Education outlines are not adequate to ensure implementation of our recommendation. Without having a formal mechanism to monitor the divisions' decisions and reports on complaints and appeals, Education cannot ensure that its divisions' decisions and reports on complaints and appeals comply with requirements.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.