Report 2016-110 Recommendation 3 Responses
Report 2016-110: Trade Apprenticeship Programs: The State Needs to Better Oversee Apprenticeship Programs, Such as the Air Conditioning Trade Association's Sheet Metal Program (Release Date: November 2016)
Recommendation #3 To: Industrial Relations, Department of
Until it implements new case management software in April 2017, the apprenticeship division should ensure that consultants perform and track their oversight activities. Furthermore, once the software is implemented, the apprenticeship division should ensure that consultants consistently use the software to document their oversight activities. Finally, the apprenticeship division should improve the usefulness of the site visit reports to provide the findings and an evaluation of each apprenticeship program, and it should periodically verify that consultants are performing their required oversight activities, including attending apprenticeship committee meetings and performing site visits.
Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2018
The Division has completely revamped its case management system with the new web-based California Apprenticeship System (CAS). Nearly all the Division's business is conducted through CAS. The Division has also continued to update its Operations Manual to set management expectations for the duties and responsibilities of staff. The Manual details the many new features in CAS and incorporates those features into the Division's oversight activities. CAS allows staff to upload documents, enter notes to describe their activities, record important dates, generate meaningful statistical reports, and issue notifications that serve as reminders to staff for tasks that must be completed. Division management can quickly review, through CAS, whether required oversight activities have been completed.
The Manual now specifies how often consultants must attend committee meetings and perform site visits, and what type of reporting consultants must engage in afterwards. The Division recognizes that it is important for consultants to attend every committee meeting, if possible, to ensure that programs are following rules and regulations and to provide advice for program improvement. All these Division policies are enshrined in the updated Manual.
Reports of meetings and site visits are entered into CAS, which ensures that records are kept in a safe, centralized location. Among other things, consultants can flag issues that need to be addressed by checking a box next to any of 14 program-related categories. The flagged items are placed in a tasks list with dates to remind consultants that the task is pending. Division management can also place tasks on a consultant's list for issues that must be addressed. Management discusses visits and reports with consultants on a monthly basis. Consultants must enter all appointments into CAS so management can track oversight activities. A completed report ensures consultants conduct meaningful site visits and committee meetings.
- Completion Date: September 2018
California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented
1-Year Agency Response
The Department of Industrial Relations received approval from the State's Department of Technology (CDT) to proceed with the project. Phase 1 which covered apprenticeship program development and monitoring, apprentice monitoring, program and apprentice outreach, apprenticeship committee meetings and site visits, and activities calendaring was completed at the end of September 2017. Phase 2 which will address complaints management, program audits and training fund management is scheduled to be completed at the end of January 2018.
- Completion Date: September 2017
- Response Date: November 2017
California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented
The department's response does not address how it is ensuring that consultants are performing their required oversight responsibilities.
- Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation
6-Month Agency Response
The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) is still in the process of seeking approval from the State's Department of Technology (CDT) to start the project. The CDT's approval process has four stages, each of which require CDT approval. DIR has CDT approval for Stage 1. DIR is required to submit to CDT a Reporting Exemption Request (RER) which, if approved, would delegate the project approval to DIR. Anticipating approval of the RER, DIR estimates a project start date of June 1, 2017. The project will be in two phases.
Phase 1 will cover apprenticeship program development and monitoring, apprentice monitoring, program and apprentice outreach, apprenticeship committee meetings and site visits, and activities calendaring. The expected completion date of this phase is the end of August 2017. Phase 2 will address complaints management, program audits and training fund management. The planned completion of this phase is the end of December 2017.
This integrated system provides for an improved monitoring of apprenticeship programs as well as provide a tool in measuring the effectiveness of the Division's consultants in performing their oversight activities. DIR will train the Division's personnel and provide desk procedures in the use of the case management system.
- Estimated Completion Date: 8/1/2017
- Response Date: May 2017
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented
60-Day Agency Response
The Division is currently on schedule to implement its new case management software in April 2017. In the meantime, effective November 2016, the Division reinstituted the use of the "Monthly Time Report" that is widely used throughout the Department to report on how time was spent under specific categories of activities. Management at the Division and Department levels have communicated to consultants that their attendance at regular apprenticeship committee meetings is a priority and they must report on the substance of the meetings to their Senior Consultants.
- Estimated Completion Date: 4/30/2017
- Response Date: January 2017
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.