Report 2020-104 Recommendation 4 Responses
Report 2020-104: Calbright College: It Must Take Immediate Corrective Action to Accomplish Its Mission to Provide Underserved Californians With Access to Higher Education (Release Date: May 2021)
Recommendation #4 To: Calbright College
To ensure that it uses state resources responsibly, Calbright should do the following:
1. Immediately commence the process of hiring a procurement director with significant experience in public sector procurement.
2. By July 2021, complete the development of a fully functioning procurement process that aligns with state law, regulations, and to the extent practicable, the State Contracting Manual. That process should include policies and procedures that ensure that all of Calbright's contracts provide clear expectations of the work that contractors will perform. It should further include strong contract management processes for ensuring that contractors perform that work satisfactorily before receiving payment.
3. By August 2021, provide training on relevant laws, policies, and procedures related to procurement to all staff involved in approving or managing contracts.
60-Day Agency Response
Calbright has taken all the necessary steps to fully implement this recommendation. Calbright immediately commenced the process to hire a procurement coordinator with significant experience and expertise in public sector procurement. The procurement coordinator position was authorized at the Board of Trustees Executive Committee meeting on April 21, 2021. The position description was then subsequently posted on the Calbright website and several job boards. Due to insufficient applications, the position description was then reposted in June 2021. We continue to monitor and actively promote the position description and are exploring the possibility of leveraging a loaned staff from the California Community College system or someone with significant experience in public sector procurement to support this work in the interim.
To implement the recommendation to develop a fully functioning procurement process that aligns with state law, regulations, and to the extent applicable, the State Contracting Manual, Calbright developed a "Procurement, Purchasing, and Contracting Handbook." We obtained best practices from other California Community Colleges and the Foundation for California Community Colleges, including staff involved in procurement processes; identified best practices from the State Contracting Manual regarding contracting and procurement practices; and leveraged subject matter experts and consulted with counsel in the development of the Handbook with policies and procedures that align with state law, regulations, and best practices. Building on the Handbook, Calbright has scheduled training for all employees on July 26, 2021, which will be conducted in conjunction with legal counsel specialized in District laws, policies, and procedures related to procurement and contracting. Going forward, all hires will be trained as part of an interactive onboarding process on relevant laws and Calbright's procurement policies and procedures.
- Completion Date: July 2021
- Response Date: July 2021
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented
Calbright provided its procurement handbook, which includes policies for establishing expectations of the work that contractors will perform and contract management processes. Calbright also provided evidence that many of its managerial and executive staff attended a training on procurement laws, policies, and procedures. Finally, Calbright provided evidence that it has posted a position for a procurement coordinator.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.