Report 2018-132 Recommendation 5 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 #5 To: Justice, Department of
To ensure that it approaches its remaining backlog strategically and that it establishes accountability for its use of resources, the bureau should develop and initiate a formal plan by November 2019 for completing the remaining backlogged applications. The plan should identify the license types the bureau will target and the order in which it will target them, along with its rationale for the planned approach. The plan should also include clear goals that identify the numbers of applications it will complete and its time frames for doing so.
6-Month Agency Response
On October 30, 2019, BGC completed its strategic plan for addressing its backlogged applications. As of June 30, 2019, there were 1,785 pending applications, 940 of which were backlogged; regulations define the backlog as applications that have been at BGC for over 180 days. Based on a review of current active cases and average hours spent per case, the BGC is set to eliminate the backlog of cardroom owners, cardroom key employees, work permits, and Third-Party Providers of Proposition Player Services (TPPPPS) license types by December 31, 2021. BGC will work to shift staff assignments from the cardroom to the TPPPPS program and eliminate the remaining TPPPPS owner and supervisor license types backlog by 2022. BGC will continue to improve coordination and cooperation between program units and prioritize cases by application date, assigning older cases first. Analysts periodically have downtime due to pending information requests on current active cases; the BGC will optimize analysts' time by redirecting efforts in the interim to other program's pending cases as needed.
BGC will continue to monitor the number of assigned and completed cases in each of the program areas and adjust the assignment as necessary.
- Completion Date: October 2019
- Response Date: November 2019
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented
The bureau submitted its backlog strategic plan document which includes a timeline for completing its backlogged applications. The plan indicates that the bureau will clear all backlogged cases other than third party supervisors and owners by December 31, 2021. The plan states that it will clear any remaining backlogged applications in those categories during the following year. Upon our request, the bureau provided a rationale for its prioritization of applications. Although not in the document, this rationale focuses primarily on where it has assigned its staffing resources.
To support its timeline to clear the backlog, the plan includes updated data regarding the amount of time it takes staff to complete application reviews. Some, but not all, of these numbers are smaller than those we identified during our audit and in the bureau's 2019 budget request. Although this may indicate progress in some areas, the bureau's projected dates for completing the backlog are later than those we estimated during our audit. On page 26 of our report, we estimated that the bureau should be able to clear its backlog by June 2021. The interventions the bureau has taken in response to our other recommendations, which it reports in its 6-month response, are still very recent. For example, the bureau finalized its new time reporting policy—which sets thresholds designed to ensure staff devote sufficient time to their caseloads—as well as its new card room and third party owner procedures, in October 2019. If the bureau adheres to the changes it has made, we would expect it to continually improve its efficiency. As such, we urge the bureau to periodically update this strategic plan to identify efficiency gains and shorten its timeline for clearing its backlog; in doing so, it should also update and include its rationale based on its staffing resources.
60-Day Agency Response
CSA's recommendation was to develop and initiate a formal strategic plan for completing the remaining backlogged applications by November 2019. BGC has reviewed its current data to determine the appropriate staffing levels in the cardroom and Third Party Providers of Proposition Player Services (TPPPPS) units within the Licensing Section and has preliminarily determined that resources should be moved from the cardroom owner unit to the TPPPPS player unit. Additionally, analysts are being cross-trained to review different licensure types to assist other units as directed by management to address the pending workload. BGC is working to establish a comprehensive plan to address all the current and future pending workload and in the interim has set goals for the TPPPPS and cardroom owner units to complete certain cases by July 2019.
- Estimated Completion Date: November 2019
- Response Date: July 2019
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending
The activities the bureau describes in its response are consistent with assessing and addressing the needs that motivated our recommendation. Once the bureau provides us documentation of its analysis and formal strategic plan, we will assess the completeness of its efforts.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.