Report 2018-132 Recommendation 11 Responses
Report 2018-132: Bureau of Gambling Control and California Gambling Control Commission: Their Licensing Processes Are Inefficient and Foster Unequal Treatment of Applicants (Release Date: May 2019)
Recommendation #11 To: Justice, Department of
To ensure that it fairly charges applicants for the cost of its licensing activities, the bureau should establish and implement policies by July 2019 requiring staff to properly and equitably report and bill time and restricting which activities staff may charge to nonbillable and noncase hours. It should also establish clear thresholds for the proportions of time staff may charge to the various categories and require the bureau's management to review compliance with the pertinent restrictions.
6-Month Agency Response
April 23, 2019:
- BGC implemented a policy on time tracking and billing that provides criteria for billable, non-billable, and non-case related work, all of which must be pre-approved by a manager.
June 18, 2019:
- BGC revised its policy to clarify when staff may use non-billable time without management's approval.
- BGC created separate non-billable codes for matters for which applicants are not required to submit a deposit for background investigation costs.
July 1, 2019:
- BGC implemented a policy establishing thresholds for the proportion of time staff may charge to billable, non-billable, and non-case time.
October 24, 2019:
- BGC revised its policy on time tracking and billing, with the aim that staff spend a daily average of 6.5 hours on case-related work. The policy also stipulates additional threshold guidelines, thereby superseding the July 1, 2019 policy on thresholds. The new thresholds are as follows:
o For case-related time on a weekly basis: 87% for case-related and 13% for non-case related.
o For each billable case: 90% billable and 10% non-billable.
BGC management currently reviews all time for analysts in the Licensing Section on a bi-weekly basis. Management reviews non-billable time based on each analyst's total hours and all approved non-case time that exceeds the 13% threshold to determine if the activities comply with policy. The new policy requires a review of all non-billable time for individual cases that exceed the 10% threshold for non-billable time to ensure activities comply with policy.
- Completion Date: October 2019
- Response Date: November 2019
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented
The bureau provided its revised policy, which includes the thresholds in the bureau's response and directs management to assist staff in meeting them. The policy also directs management to provide explanations when staff exceed the limits on non-billable and non-case hours.
60-Day Agency Response
On April 23, 2019, BGC implemented a policy on time-tracking and billing that provides criteria for billable, non-billable, and non-case related work, all of which must be pre-approved by a manager. On June 18, 2019, BGC revised its policy to clarify when staff may utilize non-billable time without management's approval. Additionally, separate non-billable codes were created for cardroom work permits, Third Party Providers of Proposition Player Services (TPPPPS) players, tribal key employees, local ordinance review, and other matters for which applicants are not required to submit a deposit for background investigation costs. In order to determine compliance with the policy, BGC management receives each analyst's time on a weekly basis and meets on a bi-weekly basis to review all analysts' time and determine compliance with the policy.
On July 1, 2019, BGC established thresholds for the proportions of time staff may charge to billable, non-billable, and non-case time: 50% billable, 35% non-billable, and 15% non-case. Non-billable time includes time spent by analysts on matters for which background deposits are not required and cannot be billed to applicants. Over the course of the past two months since the LIS Time Tracking and Billing Policy change, there were marked increases in the billable hours and decreases in the non-case time hours. BGC believes that it will be able to consistently meet these thresholds once staff has acclimated to the changes. If, after additional data is collected, BGC believes that the aforementioned thresholds should be modified, we will provide updated information supported by data metrics in the six-month response.
- Completion Date: July 2019
- Response Date: July 2019
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented
We reviewed the documents the bureau cites in its response. Although the policy directs staff to strive to bill seven hours per day, the thresholds for billable and nonbillable hours do not reflect that directive. When we asked about the thresholds, the bureau explained that some staff work on applications that do not require a background deposit--and for which staff must use nonbillable hours--factor into the overall thresholds. After discussion, the bureau agreed that it will revisit its thresholds to better account for this issue and ensure staff are held to an appropriate amount of billable time. The bureau also indicated it is still in the process of determining the appropriate threshold for noncase time.
- Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
- Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.