Report 2017-030 Recommendation 9 Responses

Report 2017-030: The State Bar of California: It Needs Additional Revisions to Its Expense Policies to Ensure That It Uses Funds Prudently (Release Date: June 2017)

Recommendation #9 To: Bar of California, State

To ensure that its costs are reasonable and appropriate, the State Bar should update its meal and catering policy to align with the meal policy of the State's Executive Branch and should require individuals attending committee meetings for the State Bar to comply with standard meal per diem rates.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2018

The State Bar has adopted a travel and business-related expense policy that requires individual employee travel meal reimbursements and onsite catering costs to match the State's Executive Branch per diem rates. Since the separation of the Sections from the State Bar in January of this year, very few off-site meetings are held. While every effort will be made to arrange for catering at off-site events within these same per diem rates, it is not feasible to require this limitation in every situation.

  • Completion Date: July 2017

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

Although the State Bar adopted a travel and business-related expense policy that requires individual employee travel meal reimbursements and onsite catering costs to match the State's Executive Branch per diem rates, it does not intend to apply this policy to offsite catering events. The State Bar asserts it is not feasible to apply those same per diem rates to offsite catering events and that it holds very few events offsite. However, as we noted on page 25 of our report, the intent of our recommendation is to address all catering costs, not just those incurred on-site.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

1-Year Agency Response

On July 10, 2017 the State Bar adopted Executive Branch per diem limits for onsite catering expenditures and modified its travel and expense policy accordingly.

  • Completion Date: July 2017
  • Response Date: June 2018

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

Although the State Bar adopted a travel and business-related expense policy that requires individual employee travel meal reimbursements and onsite catering costs to match the State's Executive Branch per diem rates, it does not intend to apply this policy to offsite catering events. The State Bar asserts it is not feasible to apply those same per diem rates to offsite catering events and that it holds very few events offsite. However, as noted on page 25 of our report, the intent of our recommendation is to address all catering costs, not just those incurred on-site.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

On July 10, 2017 the State Bar adopted Executive Branch per diem limits for onsite catering expenditures and modified its travel and expense policy accordingly.

  • Completion Date: August 2017
  • Response Date: December 2017

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

The State Bar adopted a travel and business-related expense policy that requires individual employee travel meal reimbursements and onsite catering costs to match the State's Executive Branch per diem rates. However, its action does not fully address our recommendation because State Bar confirmed that it does not intend to impose the same per diem limits on offsite catering, citing that it has few offsite events. The intent of our recommendation is to address all catering costs, not just those incurred on-site. As we indicate on page 25 of our report, the State Bar should limit the costs of catering at off-site events to the State's meal per diem rates.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

On July 10, 2017 the State Bar adopted Executive Branch per diem limits for onsite catering expenditures and modified its travel and expense policy accordingly.

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

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

The State Bar adopted a travel and business-related expense policy that requires individual employee travel meal reimbursements and onsite catering costs to match the State's Executive Branch per diem rates. However, its action does not fully address our recommendation because State Bar confirmed that it does not intend to impose the same per diem limits on offsite catering, citing that it has few offsite events. The intent of our recommendation is to address all catering costs, not just those incurred on-site. As we indicate on page 25 of our report, the State Bar should limit the costs of catering at off-site events to the State's meal per diem rates.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

All Recommendations in 2017-030

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.