Report 2016-126 Recommendation 18 Responses
Report 2016-126: California Department of Social Services: Its Caregiver Background Check Bureau Lacks Criminal History Information It Needs to Protect Vulnerable Populations in Licensed Care Facilities (Release Date: March 2017)
Recommendation #18 To: Justice, Department of
To ensure that Social Services receives criminal history information within 14 days of receiving an individual's fingerprint information, as state law requires, by July 2017 Justice should analyze its process, including delayed transmissions, implement changes to address problems it identifies, and regularly measure itself against the requirement to determine whether it is meeting its statutory requirement.
Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From March 2019
The DOJ has analyzed its processes, including delays in fingerprint information transmissions, and implemented both procedural and system changes to meet the statutory mandate requiring the DOJ to send criminal history information to Social Services within 14 days of receipt of an individual's fingerprint information. Processing improvements that shows an improvement in the DOJ's delivery response times to the Social Services were demonstrated in a summary report provided to the CSA, the "12-month Response to 2016-126 Stat Comparison," included as an attachment.
Primary procedural and system changes implemented included the introduction of a manual review of incoming transactions to triage those criminal histories that were complete and those that contained one or more entry that required research. The manual review of criminal history records to identify "open arrests" was automated March 7, 2019. Past system changes included identification of criminal history record information that appeared in both the California and FBI responses, and flagging transactions based on the type of transaction and length of time it was in the system. Examples demonstrating the flagged transactions, e.g., far left asterisk ('*') and highlighted in red, are included with our report. Other processing enhancements implemented, are internal system process changes that are not visible on a user interface.
- Completion Date: March 2019
California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented
Justice also reported separately to the Legislature that it was committed to evaluations of its timeliness. We agree that, provided Justice monitors its success rate in meeting the 14-day deadline, it has fully addressed our recommendation.
1-Year Agency Response
The DOJ analyzed its processes, including delayed fingerprint information transmissions, and implemented changes to meet the statutory mandate requiring the DOJ to send criminal history information to Social Services within 14 days of receipt of an individual's fingerprint information. As recommended, the DOJ has evaluated current response times, presented in the "12-month Response to 2016-126 Stat Comparison," to ensure its compliance.
With process and system changes implemented, the delivery of criminal record background-check responses to the Social Services has greatly improved. However, due to resource constraints, there are times when a response to Social Services may be delayed, given that there are certain manual activities cannot be automated, specifically, the evaluation of the contents of an individual criminal history record to determine what information on the criminal history record can/cannot be disseminated pursuant to statute.
Nonetheless, DOJ will continue to assess its manual and automated processes, make system enhancements, and monitor process improvement efforts to ensure Social Services requests for criminal history information are sent within 14 days of receiving an individual's fingerprint information, as state law requires.
The DOJ is committed to its ongoing process improvement efforts, e.g., evaluation of internal workloads, automated systems, and evaluation of processing times, to deliver responses in a timely and consistent manner as mandated by law.
- Completion Date: January 2018
- Response Date: March 2018
California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented
As it discusses in its response, Justice has provided evidence that its response time to Social Services following receipt of fingerprint information has improved. However, Justice has not provided evidence substantiating the system and process changes that it described in its response.
- Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
6-Month Agency Response
The DOJ is further reviewing and restructuring its manual processes to minimize delays and ensure a consistent 14-day timeline. In addition, the DOJ is evaluating opportunities to enhance automated processes as well. Most recently, a change was implemented to notify staff when transactions are in the system for longer than seven days.
The DOJ is working to resource and implement the recommendations offered by the CSA, specifically to assess processes, implement changes, and monitor to ensure responses to CDSS criminal record check requests are provided within the statutorily required 14-days.
- Estimated Completion Date: The DOJ continues to evaluate tasks and timelines required to fully implement this recommendation.
- Response Date: September 2017
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending
60-Day Agency Response
In this initial 60-day period, the DOJ has restructured some of its manual processes to minimize processing delays. The DOJ continues to analyze, not only internal manual processes, but also its automated transaction processing systems and business unit staffing levels to ensure the DOJ is able to respond to the CDSS within the mandated 14 days consistently. The DOJ has also begun discussions with DOJ technical staff regarding system enhancements, and has begun assessing workload statistics to determine the appropriate staffing levels in order to meet the processing requirements.
- Estimated Completion Date: Unknown
- Response Date: May 2017
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.