Report 2016-126 All Recommendation 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 for Legislative Action

To ensure that Social Services receives all necessary information for making exemption decisions, the Legislature should amend state law to require Justice to send Social Services all available sentencing information for all convictions. Additionally, the Legislature should amend state law to require Justice to send juvenile criminal history information related to serious and violent felony offenses as well as any other juvenile criminal history that Social Services identifies as valuable to its exemption reviews.

Description of Legislative Action

Senate Bill 420 (Monning, Chapter 333, Statutes of 2017) includes sentencing information in the state summary criminal history record and requires that information to be provided whenever the information is to be used for employment, licensing, or certification purposes.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure that any entity authorized by state or federal law to receive state or federal criminal history information subsequent to receiving the initial RAP sheet is informed of all criminal activity of an individual, the Legislature should amend state law to clearly direct Justice to transmit all convictions it receives to the entities authorized to receive subsequent criminal history and require Justice to obtain and transmit subsequent federal RAP sheets to all entities authorized to receive subsequent California criminal history information and to report to the Legislature periodically about its implementation efforts.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure that all applicable entities share their administrative actions with each other as state law intends, the Legislature should amend state law to require that Social Services, the Department of Aging, Public Health, Health Care Services, Medical Services, and county agencies provide each other their administrative action information.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #4 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that Social Services receives all appropriate criminal history information, Justice should immediately update its procedures to accurately reflect that staff should disseminate nonreferable arrests when there is a corresponding conviction and ensure that staff follow these updated procedures.

60-Day Agency Response

As previously reported to the CSA, the DOJ updated its Applicant Procedures on 1/17/2017 to direct staff to disseminate, non-referable arrests when there is a corresponding conviction; specifically to include the entire arrest cycle in the response. The procedure change was noted in the document's change log, and a copy of the updated procedures were provided to the CSA on 2/15/2017. A description of the program's response verification process is outlined in the Applicant Procedures. To ensure all Applicant program staff are aware of the requirement, the supervisors have met with there respective teams to discuss the updated requirement and changes to the Applicant Procedures, completed transactions have been spot checked, and a follow up email reminding staff of the specific procedure change was recently issued by the Section Manager.

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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


Recommendation #5 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that it more effectively shares, receives, and uses administrative action information, Social Services should develop and maintain a centralized database containing its own administrative actions and those received from other state departments, in order to share this information among these departments as required by state law. Social Services should seek funding if it believes additional resources are necessary.

6-Month Agency Response

Due to unforeseen circumstances, progress on this item has been delayed. The Department and the four departments identified above are collaborating to finalize the Interagency Agreements by December 2017.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

The Department is expanding an existing database which will contain all administrative actions filed by the Departments of Public Health, Health Care Services and Aging, the Emergency Medical Services Authority, and all 58 counties. Once operational, the state departments and counties will be able to enter administrative action information, into the database, when the action is finalized. Additionally, authorized users, including authorized exemption analysts, will now have access to all administrative actions in the database.

The Department is providing the Interagency Agreement amendment language that requires actions to be shared as soon as finalized, and no later than five days after the end of the month the action becomes final to the other four state departments. In addition, the Department also will include language in the agreements to change the term of the agreements to indefinite.

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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


Recommendation #6 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that it more effectively shares, receives, and uses administrative action information, until a centralized database can facilitate real-time information transmittal, Social Services should amend its interagency agreements to specify that the departments should share their administrative action information as soon as possible after the action is final, but no later than five business days after the end of the month in which it became final. It should begin amending its interagency agreements by July 2017.

6-Month Agency Response

Based on additional changes, the Interagency Agreements have been returned to the four participating departments for review and approval. The departments are to finalize the agreements by December 2017. It is anticipated that the Interagency Agreements will be implemented by January 25, 2018 with the terms of these agreements being indefinite.

  • Estimated Completion Date: January 25, 2018
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

See response to Recommendation 1.

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

In its response, Social Services refers to recommendation one. This number is different than the numbers assigned to recommendations on our website. Social Services is referring to the recommendation that we have numbered five.


Recommendation #7 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that it more effectively shares, receives, and uses administrative action information, Social Services should amend its interagency agreements so that the agreements remain in effect indefinitely. It should begin amending its interagency agreements by July 2017.

6-Month Agency Response

See response to Recommendation 5.

  • Estimated Completion Date: January 25, 2018
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

See response to Recommendation 1.

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

In its response, Social Services refers to recommendation one. This number is different than the numbers assigned to recommendations on our website. Social Services is referring to the recommendation that we have numbered five.


Recommendation #8 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that it more effectively shares, receives, and uses administrative action information, Social Services should, as it receives administrative action information from other departments, share this information with the county agencies that perform licensing duties on its behalf.

6-Month Agency Response

See response to Recommendation 5.

  • Estimated Completion Date: January 25, 2018
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

Social Services indicates in its response to recommendation 5 that it is hoping to finalize the interagency agreements to share administrative action information by December 2017. We look forward to seeing Social Services' progress at the one-year response date.


60-Day Agency Response

See response to Recommendation 1.

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

In its response, Social Services refers to recommendation one. This number is different than the numbers assigned to recommendations on our website. Social Services is referring to the recommendation that we have numbered five.


Recommendation #9 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that it more effectively shares, receives, and uses administrative action information, Social Services should direct its exemption analysts to review the administrative action information as part of their background check reviews.

6-Month Agency Response

The Department issued the Administrative Action Exchange Procedures to all exemption analysts in August 2017. These procedures provide direction regarding completing a review of administrative action from other departments when processing an exemption (see Attachment A).

  • Completion Date: August 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

Social Services did not provide to us procedures that provide direction to review administrative action information as part of their background check reviews. Instead, the procedures provide direction on processing administrative action information from other departments. To reach full implementation, Social Services should direct its analysts to review the available administrative action information whenever they are processing a background check.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

All analysts were informed of the requirement to include a review administrative action information. The Department will have final procedures requiring exemption analysts to review this information as part of background check review process by May 31, 2017.

  • Estimated Completion Date: May 31, 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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


Recommendation #10 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that Social Services evaluates the risk individuals may pose to vulnerable populations in its licensed care facilities as quickly as possible, by July 2017 Social Services should establish time frames for staff to evaluate individuals who are present in their facilities and who have received administrative actions from other departments. In addition, it should monitor and follow up with the appropriate staff regarding the status of their assessments of these individuals and their final decisions.

6-Month Agency Response

The Department has developed a process and tool for monitoring the timeframes set forth in the Interagency Exchange Procedures (see Attachments A and B).

  • Completion Date: March 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

The documentation Social Services provided to demonstrate that it is monitoring itself against the time frames in its administrative action exchange procedures shows the department is tracking the progress of cases, but not that it is measuring itself against the time frames or that it is following up in cases where it appears the department may have exceeded the time frames.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

These procedures require a review of other departments' administrative actions and request for information from the other departments within five days. Once all information is received, the analyst will conduct a triage and review with Legal, make the determination, and obtain necessary management and Legal review within 20 days. The process and tool for monitoring these cases is included in the response to Recommendation 8 below - monitoring of exemption cases. Additionally, we have identified the recommended changes to be made to the Evaluator Manual. (See Attachment 1.)

  • Completion Date: March 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

Social Services has established time frames for how quickly staff must review information about administrative actions that is provided by other departments. When such actions are based on conviction information, Social Services' procedures indicate that it will follow its exemption processing time frames. It has also established a time frame for resolving cases that do not involve convictions (conduct related cases). However, it has not demonstrated that it is monitoring conduct related cases to ensure that the time frames it has established are being met.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation for Legislative Action

To better ensure the safety of clients in licensed facilities, the Legislature should amend state law to require that Social Services receive state and federal RAP sheets for individuals before allowing them access to licensed facilities.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To better ensure the safety of clients in licensed facilities, the Legislature should amend state law to expand the list of nonexemptible crimes to include the eight crimes we identified and any other crimes it deems appropriate.

Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #13 To: Social Services, Department of

To comply with state law and better protect vulnerable populations in California's licensed care facilities, Social Services should immediately change its policy to require that its exemption analysts evaluate all infraction convictions, other than minor traffic violations, before granting exemptions to individuals. If Social Services believes it is not feasible to evaluate all of these convictions, it should report to the Legislature by June 2017 how it ensures that vulnerable populations are not at risk and should request that the Legislature change the law to eliminate infraction convictions as a crime category that Social Services must evaluate in order to grant an exemption.

6-Month Agency Response

Remains Not Implemented/Disagree with Recommendation. The Department's current process focuses on evaluating more serious risks posed by criminal offenders, and the Department believes that it is neither feasible nor effective at this time to include a review of thousands of additional infractions.

  • Response Date: November 2017

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

As we discussed at the 60-day response period, Social Services states its belief that its process focuses on evaluating more serious risks and that it is not feasible nor effective to review infraction convictions. As we indicated in our report, infraction convictions are a type of conviction that state law requires Social Services to review unless the conviction is for a minor traffic violation. We also reported that infraction convictions can sometimes be for crimes such as theft, selling liquor to a minor, and leaving a child under six years of age in a vehicle without supervision. Therefore, we stand by our recommendation. If Social Services believes it is not feasible to evaluate all of these convictions, it should follow our recommendation and issue a report to the Legislature describing how it ensures vulnerable populations are not at risk and requesting that the Legislature change the law to eliminate infraction convictions as a crime category that Social Services must evaluate in order to grant an exemption.


60-Day Agency Response

The Department's current process focuses on evaluating more serious risks posed by criminal offenders, and the Department believes that it is neither feasible nor effective at this time to include a review of thousands of additional infractions.

  • Estimated Completion Date:
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

Social Services states its belief that its process focuses on evaluating more serious risks and that it is not feasible nor effective to review infraction convictions. As we indicated in our report, infraction convictions are a type of conviction that state law requires Social Services to review unless the conviction is for a minor traffic violation. We also reported that infraction convictions can sometimes be for crimes such as theft, selling liquor to a minor, and leaving a child under six years of age in a vehicle without supervision. Therefore, we stand by our recommendation. If Social Services believes it is not feasible to evaluate all of these convictions, it should follow our recommendation and issue a report to the Legislature describing how it ensures vulnerable populations are not at risk and requesting that the Legislature change the law to eliminate infraction convictions as a crime category that Social Services must evaluate in order to grant an exemption.


Recommendation #14 To: Social Services, Department of

To comply with state regulations and its policies, the CBCB should immediately ensure that its background check case files support its exemption decisions by including complete decision summaries and all required supporting documents. Also, it should immediately update its exemption-needed letter to identify all of the documents its policies require exemption analysts to evaluate when deciding whether to grant an exemption. The letter should also eliminate requests for documents that Social Services does not believe can be used if the applicant obtains them, such as law enforcement reports.

6-Month Agency Response

The Department has implemented a quality assurance process, described above, to verify case files are complete and support the decisions made by the exemption analysts. The Department has updated the criminal record exemption letters to remove the requests for arrest reports (Attachment D).

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

Social Services has removed the request for law enforcement reports from its exemption-needed letter. However, its letter still does not request additional documents that the department's policies require it to evaluate when deciding whether to grant an exemption. Specifically, the letter does not request proof of restitution, documentation that shows successful completion of formal probation, or criminal history self-disclosure forms from individuals requesting exemptions on their own.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department has implemented a policy requiring the Caregiver Background Check Bureau (CBCB) managers to conduct a random sampling of analysts' files to ensure a complete decision summary and all supporting documents are present and support the decision. This sampling will include cases where final decisions have not been issued as well as completed cases. If management finds through these reviews that case files are not complete, the findings will be reviewed with the analysts and if necessary, re-training will occur. As appropriate, any missing documentation will be obtained. The Department has also implemented a tracking log for managers to document outcome of these reviews. The Department has also revised its criminal record exemption letters to remove requests for arrest reports.

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

Social Services demonstrated that it is reviewing the content of the background check case files its analysts assemble. However, it has not provided evidence that its exemption-needed letter has been revised to include all items that its exemption analysts are required to review and eliminate the request for law enforcement reports.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #15 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that its exemption analysts are receiving information that Social Services believes is necessary and relevant to make exemption decisions, Social Services should immediately revise its policy to require that exemption analysts obtain law enforcement reports on behalf of individuals who seek exemptions.

60-Day Agency Response

Effective February 16, 2017 the Department began ordering arrest reports for all individuals seeking an exemption. The Criminal Background Check Bureau staff were notified of this change via an All Staff Memo. By May 2017 the Department will also have revised the exemption letters to improve and clarify understanding of what is required to submit a complete exemption request. (See Attachment 2.)

  • Completion Date: February 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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


Recommendation #16 To: Social Services, Department of

Until the Legislature requires that Social Services receive both California and federal criminal history information before issuing a clearance or processing an exemption, to better protect vulnerable populations, Social Services should immediately revise its policy to require its regional offices to obtain all self-disclosure forms for individuals who submit fingerprints to Justice as part of an application to be present in a licensed facility. The regional offices should then forward to the CBCB all self-disclosure forms that identify a conviction.

6-Month Agency Response

The Department has drafted a Provider Information Notice (PIN) to reinforce the existing requirement that all self-disclosure forms must be on file with the licensee. The PIN is expected to be released November 2017. The Department continues work to develop an automated system or web-portal for the individuals/licensees to upload the self-disclosure information. This automated process will ensure the most expeditious clearance for individuals with no criminal history.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

The Department is issuing a Provider Information Notice to reinforce the existing requirement that all self-disclosure forms must be on file with the licensee, and that any time an individual has indicated there is criminal history that form must be provided to the department prior to the individual being present in the facility. Further management and staff in regional offices will be provided clear written guidance for processing self-disclosure information.

The Department will develop an automated system or web-portal for the individuals/licensees to upload the self-disclosure information, similar to the process used to apply for the Home Care Services Registry. This automated process will ensure the most expeditious clearance for individuals with no criminal history.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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


Recommendation #17 To: Social Services, Department of

Until the Legislature requires that Social Services receive both California and federal criminal history information before issuing a clearance or processing an exemption, to better protect vulnerable populations, Social Services should immediately change its practice of allowing individuals who have not submitted a self-disclosure form to Social Services to have access to licensed facilities, thus reflecting the requirements of state law. In addition, the CBCB should develop a process to ensure that individuals cannot receive a clearance or an exemption without the CBCB first receiving both California and federal criminal history information if a regional office does not have a self-disclosure form for the individual.

6-Month Agency Response

See response to Recommendation 16.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

The Department is issuing a Provider Information Notice to reinforce the existing requirement that all self-disclosure forms must be on file with the licensee, and that any time an individual has indicated there is criminal history that form must be provided to the department prior to the individual being present in the facility. Further management and staff in regional offices will be provided clear written guidance for processing self-disclosure information.

The Department will develop an automated system or web-portal for the individuals/licensees to upload the self-disclosure information, similar to the process used to apply for the Home Care Services Registry. This automated process will ensure the most expeditious clearance for individuals with no criminal history.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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


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.

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


Recommendation #19 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that it has complete disposition information, Justice should coordinate with the Judicial Council at least once a year to share information about court reporting gaps and to determine the need to distribute additional information to courts about reporting requirements and the manner in which to report. In addition, Justice should reconvene its advisory committee and meet on a regular basis to discuss, at a minimum, improving the frequency and timeliness with which courts report dispositions to Justice and law enforcement agencies report arrest information to Justice.

6-Month Agency Response

The Attorney General's Advisory Committee will reconvene on September 26, 2017 at 10 a.m. Committee participants include representatives from the California Police Chiefs Association, California Peace Officers Association, California State Sheriff's Association, Judicial Council of California, California District Attorneys Association, California Court Clerks' Association, Chief Probation Officers' Of California, Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, California Highway Patrol, Senate Committee on Rules, Speaker of Assembly, Office of Emergency Services, and the Director of Finance. The agenda for the meeting is included with this response.

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 26, 2017
  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

Letters soliciting representatives from various criminal justice organizations, including the Judicial Council, to participate in the Attorney General's Advisory Committee were mailed, requesting responses back by the end of April 2017. This committee will focus on data standardization and the frequency and timeliness that criminal record information is reported to the DOJ. The DOJ anticipates the next committee meeting will be held in September 2017.

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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


Recommendation #20 To: Justice, Department of

To ensure that it is receiving all arrest information from law enforcement agencies, at a minimum, Justice should consider trends in the number of arrest reports each law enforcement agency sends it and the number of reports that it might expect to receive from an agency given the agency's size, location, and reporting history. Whenever Justice identifies a law enforcement agency that it determines may not be reporting all required information, it should request that the agency forward all required arrest information.

6-Month Agency Response

As indicated in the DOJ's initial audit response, the DOJ is not charged with enforcing arrest and disposition-reporting requirements imposed on the courts and local enforcement agencies, nor does it have a program or resources or any practical means of ensuring that the courts and local enforcement agencies report arrests and dispositions in a timely manner. However, the DOJ is continuing to explore options to collect disposition information electronically and remains supportive of all statewide reforms or efforts to identify agency noncompliance with state law.

The only means DOJ has to assist in this effort is by providing outreach/messaging regarding disposition reporting obligations, pursuant to statute, with the focus on training and supporting agencies that utilize the DOJ's electronic disposition reporting services. The DOJ is leveraging its' partnerships with criminal justice association conference and committee venues to reach the criminal justice community more quickly. For example, in November 2017, the DOJ will host two sessions on disposition reporting at the California Law Enforcement Association of Record Supervisors (CLEARS) 44th Annual Training and Technology Seminar.

The DOJ is working to resource and implement the recommendations offered by the CSA, specifically a more complete criminal history repository including staff to provide internal/external training and staff to support electronic disposition reporting agencies.

  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

As indicated in the DOJ's initial audit response, the DOJ is not charged with enforcing arrest and disposition-reporting requirements imposed on the courts and local enforcement agencies, nor does it have a program or resources or any practical means of ensuring that the courts and local enforcement agencies report arrests and dispositions in a timely manner. However, the DOJ has been exploring options to collect disposition information electronically, specifically a new on-line function by which an agency could submit "cite and release" information electronically, and remains willing to participate in any statewide reforms or efforts to identify agency noncompliance with state law.

  • Response Date: May 2017

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

Justice repeats its perspective that it is not responsible for ensuring that courts and local enforcement agencies comply with their reporting obligations. However, as we stated in our original report, Justice is the only entity that is aware of the extent to which courts and law enforcement agencies statewide are reporting and the timeliness of their reporting. Therefore, we continue to believe that Justice needs to participate in any effort to identify noncompliance with state law and remind entities that may not be reporting, or may not be promptly reporting, about their obligations. We look forward to hearing more from Justice in subsequent responses to this recommendation about how it is identifying gaps in the criminal history information it collects and following up with law enforcement agencies to ensure they forward all applicable information.


Recommendation #21 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that Social Services processes criminal history reviews as quickly as possible so that delays do not impede individuals whose presence in a licensed facility would pose no risk, by July 2017 the department should establish formal time frames and monitor the stages of the exemption process. At a minimum, Social Services should establish time frames for notifying individuals and facilities that a criminal history exemption is required, evaluating information it receives, and making decisions on exemptions. As part of monitoring, Social Services should identify when cases become backlogged and work to swiftly conclude those exemption reviews. In addition, if it determines that its staffing levels are insufficient to meet its time frames, it should seek additional resources.

6-Month Agency Response

The Department has developed timeframes for each step of the exemption process (Attachment E) that are monitored by their managers (Attachment G). This process has resulted in a reduction of the previously backlogged cases, reduced current processing timeframes and provides "triggers" for managers and analysts of cases approaching the 120 days. Additionally, the Department is developing an electronic dashboard to be used by the CBCB managers to monitor case progress.

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

Social Services provided evidence that it has monitored case processing times. Although at the time of its 60-day response the department had identified backlogged cases and mentions in this response that the backlog has been reduced, it provided no documentation showing the reduced backlog. We look forward to reviewing such documentation when the department provides its one-year response to this recommendation.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department has developed timeframes for each step of the exemption process. A Caregiver Background Check Bureau All Staff Memo has been issued and an all-staff meeting was held on April 28, 2017 to provide the training to Bureau staff. The exemption analysts are required to send exemption letters to the individuals and licensees within ten days from the date of receipt of the criminal history information from the Department of Justice. Upon receipt of all exemption information, the analyst will make a determination and obtain necessary management and Legal review within 20 days. The Department has completed the identification of cases open over 120 days and is currently working to alleviate the backlog by December 2017. CBCB managers are monitoring workflow to ensure cases nearing 120 days are processed timely. Additionally, the Department is developing a dashboard to be used by the CBCB managers to monitor case progress. (See Attachment 3.)

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

Social Services has established time frames for the steps in its exemption process. It has also identified cases that have been open for more than 120 days and has made final conclusions about some of those cases. We look forward to assessing the effect that Social Services' ongoing monitoring of exemption case time frames has on its backlogged cases as part of its six-month response.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #22 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that Social Services processes legal actions as quickly as possible so that delays do not impede individuals whose presence in a licensed facility would pose no risk, by July 2017 the department should establish formal time frames and monitor the stages of the legal process. At a minimum, Social Services should establish time frames for assigning cases to attorneys. Further, it should regularly monitor itself against the 120-day time frame for serving an accusation after the Legal Division receives a case.

6-Month Agency Response

Legal Management continues monitoring the 120-day timeline by regularly holding Open Case Status Conferences. As of April 2017, the Legal Division has reduced the number of late filing by more than half. In addition, the Department has developed policies and procedures to implement and monitor the 120-day timeline. The polices can be grouped into three phases: case intake and assignment, review and evidence collection, case development and drafting and approval and service of pleading. Cases are assigned to attorneys within 15 business days of receipt in Legal. Each phase has been assigned its own timeline so that the department can better monitor and isolate any inefficiencies. Management regularly monitors process including regular meetings with individuals to review work progress, use of assignment tracking logs and random spot checks.

The Department originally anticipated eliminating the backlog no later than November 2017. However, there has been a sharp increase in the number of cases being referred to the Legal Division for administrative action due to the implementation of new programs. It is expected that this will impact the 120-day timeline for filing actions. (See Attachments U, V, W, X, Y, Z, AA and AB.)

  • Estimated Completion Date: January 1, 2019
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

As it describes, Social Services has established time frames within which key actions should occur in a case. We look forward to reviewing documentation that the department is performing the monitoring actions it describes as part of the department's one-year response.


60-Day Agency Response

As of March 1, 2017, Social Services has established formal timelines requiring legal actions to be served within 120 days from receipt of the case in the Legal Division. Legal management will regularly monitor the 120-day timeline. The developed procedures clearly set forth expectations and require that if the timeframe is exceeded, staff shall notify his or her supervisor. In addition, the reason for missing the timeline must be documented in the case file and Open Case Status report. This process also requires managers to meet and review staff caseload progress on a quarterly basis and prepare a report summary for review by the Senior Assistant Chief Counsel. If an attorney has an unserved case on the Open Case Status report that is older than 120-days, the attorney and manager will develop a drafting plan. The manager will schedule monthly follow-up meetings with the attorney to monitor the case progress.

Social Service anticipates eliminating its case backlog and being able to file cases within the 120-day timeline no later than November 2017.

  • Estimated Completion Date: November 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

Social Services indicates that it has implemented, as of March 2017, a 120-day time frame for serving legal actions from the time a case is received by the Legal Division. However, this time frame already existed at the time of our audit.


Recommendation #23 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that it can accurately monitor its pending cases, by May 2017 Social Services should develop a work plan to identify and address its exemption process backlog by September 2017. At a minimum, the work plan should include reviewing the cases its database identifies as open without activity 150 days after receiving a RAP sheet and closing the cases in its database where Social Services already performed its final exemption decision action.

6-Month Agency Response

See 60-day response to Recommendation 21.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

Social Services' response to recommendation 21 states that it has developed time frames for its exemption process. However, the department has not provided a work plan to address its backlog nor provided documentation to demonstrate how many cases remain in its backlog.


60-Day Agency Response

The Department has developed a monitoring process that will identify and address overdue cases, including those currently open over 120 days without activity. The Community Care Licensing Division recently began receiving the raw data from the CBC Database and is developing dashboards for the managers and analysts to use to monitor their case work. These dashboards will allow both management and analysts to easily identify aging cases. The dashboards will also be utilized to develop the reports to the Deputy Director noted in the response to Recommendation 11.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

In its response, Social Services refers to recommendation 11. This number is different than the numbers assigned to recommendations on our website. Social Services is referring to the recommendation that we have numbered 21.


Recommendation #24 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that Social Services processes arrest-only cases as quickly as possible, it should immediately follow its arrest-only and investigation policies, and monitor against those time frames for the various stages of the process.

6-Month Agency Response

The Caregiver Background Check Bureau continues to track and review arrest cases (see Attachments H, I and J) and provide ongoing training to staff as needed. On September 20, 2017, the Investigations Branch trained staff on updated procedures for researching arrest cases. A pilot of the new procedures began October 2, 2017 with an evaluation of effectiveness scheduled to occur in January 2018.

  • Estimated Completion Date: January 2018
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented


60-Day Agency Response

The Caregiver Background Check Bureau has developed a monitoring tool and is utilizing this to track and review arrest cases including the preliminary review of the RAP. The Arrest Unit received additional verbal direction and instruction to adhere to existing procedures. This verbal direction was followed up with formal training on April 20th as noted in the response to Recommendation 20.

  • Completion Date: March 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

Social Services is monitoring its arrest only cases against its established processing time frames. We look forward to reviewing whether Social Services' monitoring efforts are resulting in faster processing of arrest only cases as part of its six-month response.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #25 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that its regional offices consistently verify that excluded individuals are no longer present at licensed facilities, at a minimum, Social Services should immediately revise its policy to require that regional offices conduct site visits after it issues exclusion orders. In addition, it should formalize the verification process it develops in its procedures, train all regional offices, and monitor compliance with the process.

6-Month Agency Response

The Department implemented a process to ensure that excluded individuals are no longer present at licensed facilities through Regional Office Memo "Serving Immediate Exclusion Orders." Staff were trained on this memo in April 2017 (see prior Attachment 4 and Attachment M).

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

Social Services has not yet provided evidence that it is monitoring the implementation of the guidance on an ongoing basis. We look forward to reviewing the additional steps Social Services is taking as part of its one year response.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department implemented a process to ensure that excluded individuals are no longer present at licensed facilities through Regional Office Memo "Serving Immediate Exclusion Orders." Staff were trained on this memo in April 2017. (See Attachment 4.)

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

Social Services has distributed a new procedures document that outlines the steps that staff at regional offices must take to verify that excluded individuals are not present in licensed facilities. However, it has not yet provided evidence that it trained staff on this new guidance or that it is monitoring the implementation of the guidance on an ongoing basis. We look forward to reviewing the additional steps Social Services is taking as part of its six-month response.

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

Recommendation #26 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that regional offices pursue legal actions in a timely manner, by July 2017 Social Services' headquarters should identify a resource—such as a unit—to monitor and follow up with the regional offices regarding the status of their legal actions related to substantiated address matches of registered sex offenders at licensed facilities.

6-Month Agency Response

Further analysis of this issue has determined that a Statement of Facts required for legal actions is only necessary if the RSO appeals (see prior Attachment 5 and Attachment K). Follow-up tracking on RSO legal actions and reporting to the Deputy Director is provided if any RSO appeals are received.

  • Completion Date: July 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

Social Services has not provided documentation showing that it is tracking registered sex offender legal action information. During our audit, we identified two instances in which regional offices were not progressing with legal action in cases where a substantiated match had occurred and the headquarters office was unaware that these actions were not moving forward. We look forward to reviewing evidence that Social Services is tracking the status of legal actions related to substantiated address matches of registered sex offenders at its one-year response.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department has developed a tool that provides a uniform process to track the status of Registered Sex Offenders by the Program Administrators. Beginning July 2017, the Deputy Director will receive regular reports on the status of Registered Sex Offenders. (See Attachment 5.)

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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


Recommendation #27 To: Social Services, Department of

The CBCB should update its procedures manual so that it is a centralized document staff are able to use for the most up-to-date guidance in performing their duties. In addition, it should update the CBCB-specific policies and combine them into a centralized document.

6-Month Agency Response

The Department has updated the procedures manual (Triage writing guidelines, questions and answer resource tool, and sample triage document) and made it available to all staff via SharePoint. (See Attachments N and O).

  • Completion Date: July 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

Social Services has compiled CBCB-specific policies in a centralized location. It has not provided to us documentation of an updated procedures manual.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department is actively working to combine procedures located in the Caregiver Background Check Bureau's SharePoint site into centralized documents to ensure thorough, clear, and complete procedures are available for all staff.

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

Social Services did not provide an update regarding its progress in implementing the first part of our recommendation to update its procedures manual. We look forward to hearing more about its progress in its six-month response to this recommendation.


Recommendation #28 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that its procedures are consistent and clear, Social Services should update its arrest-only case procedures and document its process for addressing subsequent arrest-only cases.

6-Month Agency Response

In October 2016, the Investigations Branch fully implemented procedure changes to include information related to subsequent arrest-only cases (see Attachments H, Arrest Only Process, P, Training Tracker, and T, Special Investigator Assistant Staff Meeting Agenda).

  • Completion Date: October 2016
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

As we explain in our report, our concern was that Social Services had not yet documented its process for handling subsequent arrest-only cases. We agree that the department has implemented new procedures related to these cases. However, as we explain in our report, the assistant chief of the CBCB agreed that there were slight differences to how subsequent arrest-only cases are handled when compared to initial arrest only cases and therefore it would be beneficial to document the process for subsequent arrest-only cases. We look forward to reviewing documentation, such as a flow chart, that shows the subsequent arrest-only case process.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #29 To: Social Services, Department of

The CBCB should follow its new schedule for its refresher training sessions on the exemption process and continue to offer sessions as managers or staff identify a need.

6-Month Agency Response

The Caregiver Background Check Bureau has scheduled Refresher trainings (see Attachment Q). Three refresher training sessions have occurred: Intake Refresher Training on February 17, 2017, Arrest Only Process Refresher training on April 13, 2017, and Triage Training on May 17, 2017 (see Attachments R and S). Full Exemption Analyst Training was also provided for new analysts on May 8, 2017 (see Attachment S).

  • Completion Date: May 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

Social Services provided its schedule for refresher training, and in its previous response it provided evidence of its Intake Refresher training. However, the department did not provide documentation of the additional refresher training sessions it states it has provided.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

The Caregiver Background Check Bureau has conducted two refresher training sessions: Intake Refresher Training on February 17, 2017, and the Arrest Process on April 13, 2017. Scheduled future trainings include: TrustLine/Home Care/Administrator Certification on June 15, 2017; Additional Information/Arrest Report and Court Document Requests on August 10, 2017; Laws and Regulations on October 12, 2017; and Triage Training on December 14, 2017. Full Exemption Analyst Training for new analysts begins on May 9, 2017 and will be conducted twice a year.

  • Completion Date: February 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

Social Services has provided intake refresher training as it describes. We look forward to reviewing its continued implementation of its training schedule as part of its six-month response to our recommendation.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #30 To: Social Services, Department of

The CBCB's arrest-only unit should develop and periodically conduct trainings on the aspects of the arrest-only process for which its analysts have not yet received training.

6-Month Agency Response

The Department is conducting training for existing staff in the Arrest Unit on the Arrest Only Processes. The first training occurred on April 20, 2017, as referenced in the six-month response to Recommendation 24 (see Attachment H). The ongoing training with the Arrest Only Unit will cover all aspects of the Arrest Only Process including details on how to process all aspects of Arrest Only cases. Furthermore, quality assurance reviews conducted by management are being used to identify any staff specific training needs. In addition, the Department has implemented training on Arrest Only procedures that will be given to all new CBCB employees.

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

As we described in our assessment of Social Services' 60-day response to this recommendation, the April 2017 training that Social Services refers to in its response is a training it had already provided its staff during our audit and is a training we specifically comment on in our report. The remainder of Social Services' response indicates it has not yet provided additional training on the arrest-only process. We look forward to reviewing its progress in offering additional training when Social Services submits its one-year response.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department will be conducting training for existing staff in the Arrest Unit twice yearly. The first training occurred on April 20, 2017. This training will also be provided to new unit staff at the time of hire.

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

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

Social Services provided evidence that it conducted a training on April 20, 2017. However, the training materials were identical to those provided to us during the audit and correspond to the training that Social Services offered to its staff in September 2016; a training that we already acknowledged in our audit report. Specifically, we stated that this training provided an overview of the arrest-only process, but offered minimal guidance to the arrest-only analysts on how to process cases. To fully implement this recommendation, Social Services must determine what areas of its arrest only process its staff have not yet received training in, develop a schedule for training in those areas, and provide the scheduled training.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #31 To: Social Services, Department of

The CBCB should implement its planned changes for ensuring that files in the file room are in the appropriate place and filed correctly.

6-Month Agency Response

Additional shelving was installed in the file room which houses all case files that are appropriately filed (see Attachment S). As of April 2017, the Caregiver Background Check Bureau has redirected one existing Office Technician to be the designated File Clerk to ensure the case files are appropriately tracked in and out of file room.

  • Completion Date: April 2017
  • Response Date: November 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

The CBCB has made the physical modifications to its file room. However, it did not submit evidence that it has designated a single office technician to be a file clerk responsible for filing cases appropriately.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

All Recommendations in 2016-126

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.