Report 2018-120 Recommendation 8 Responses
Report 2018-120: San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission: Its Failure to Perform Key Responsibilities Has Allowed Ongoing Harm to the San Francisco Bay (Release Date: May 2019)
Recommendation #8 To: San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
To ensure that it maximizes the efficiency and effectiveness of its enforcement and permitting programs, the commission should by January 2020 develop and implement procedures to ensure that its management adequately reviews staff enforcement decisions. These procedures should include requirements detailing how staff should document and substantiate violations, case resolutions, and their rationale for imposing fines. Further, the procedures should require staff to conduct proactive enforcement, such as site visits, as resources allow.
Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2020
The Program Manager has developed new written case review and management procedures. The procedural changes include a weekly meeting to receive updates on staff's handing of cases. Procedural improvements also include sending "initial contact letters" to elicit a response within weeks from the alleged violator regarding actions they have undertaken to resolve the violation and/or facts that staff should consider to determine the proper case resolution process. In addition, while funding and staffing limitations and the COVID-19 emergency measures have complicated staff's ability to conduct site visits for every new report, visits have been undertaken in some cases and these have included conversations with property owners and managers regarding the actions to resolve violations and avoid future violations. Procedures updated to integrate Administrative Civil Penalty Policy and Supplemental Environmental Project guidance in proposed regulation amendments.
- Completion Date: September 2020
California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented
1-Year Agency Response
A new Program Manager was hired in 2019, and since then, new case review and management procedures have been developed and implemented and are being refined in response to knowledge gained through the pursuit of individual cases. These procedural improvements include "Initial Contact" letters to elicit prompt response when reports of violations are received; implementation of certification of compliance forms; tagging monitoring reports stored electronically to ensure monitoring compliance; and defining and implementing a process for monitoring report review. Staff and funding limitations prevent some proactive enforcement measures, including immediate site visits for all new reports of violations. Procedures are in place to document the case resolution rationale and the assessment of fines.
- Estimated Completion Date: September 2020
- Response Date: May 2020
California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending
6-Month Agency Response
Not Fully Implemented. BCDC was authorized to create an Enforcement Policy Manager position in FY 19-20 and the new Enforcement Policy Manager has been hired. Staff and the new Manager are continuing to develop more robust procedures to document management and/or legal review of various decisions, including case resolutions and notices regarding violations. These will ensure that case files reflect management review.
- Estimated Completion Date: January 2020
- Response Date: November 2019
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending
60-Day Agency Response
Staff and the Regulatory Division Manager have been developing additional procedures to document management and/or legal review of various decisions, including case resolutions and notices regarding violations. Procedures are also being implemented to ensure that case files reflect management review.
- Estimated Completion Date: 01/01/2020
- Response Date: July 2019
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending
The commission's response addresses part of the recommendation related to documenting and reviewing enforcement decisions; however, it does not address the part of the recommendation related to conducting site visits.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.