Take appropriate corrective action against the district engineer and the supervisors for their participation in or failure to address the conflict of interest.
The Water Board has continued to follow up with the FPPC but even as recently as November 2017, it has not received a response from the FPPC to help determine the appropriate corrective actions to take against the district engineer.
The Water Board has continued to follow up with the FPPC but still has not received a response from the FPPC to help determine the appropriate corrective actions to take against the district engineer.
The Water Board stated that in November 2016, it served counseling memos to the district engineer's supervisors and placed the memos in their official personnel files. In addition, the Water Board reported that it has followed up with the FPPC several times and is waiting for a response before it proceeds with corrective action against the district engineer.
The Water Board reported that it is preparing corrective actions to take against the district engineer's supervisors. In addition, it stated that it sought advice from the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) regarding corrective actions to take for the district engineer. The Water Board stated that it will use the FPPC's recommendations to determine the appropriate corrective actions regarding the district engineer.
Through training and other appropriate means, take steps to ensure the district engineer and others in similar positions do not participate in decisions involving their own economic interests.
The Water Board stated that its revised conflict-of-interest code became effective in December 2016 and has now been implemented, along with its updated training modules, regarding how to recognize a conflict of interest. It stated that more than 250 employees had taken the training module. Lastly, the Water Board reported that in February 2017, it distributed a memorandum to all managers and supervisors, explaining the importance of conflict-of-interest reviews, when to consult counsel for advice, and the Water Board's review process to help avoid conflict-of-interest code violations.
The Water Board reported in August 2016 that it learned staff in its division of drinking water were still in decision-making roles on a few remaining projects. Thus, the Water Board stated that it would transfer these responsibilities to its division of financial assistance as soon as possible, as it had previously instituted the change in responsibilities between the two divisions. In September 2016 the Water Board informed us that it completed the transfer of financial assistance contracting decisions and invoice approvals to the division of financial assistance. In addition, the Water Board revised its conflict-of-interest code in September 2016 and sent the revised code to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for approval. After the FPPC approved the revised conflict-of-interest code, the Water Board sent the approved code to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL), which will file the code with the Secretary of State. The Water Board stated that it anticipated the new code would take effect in late November 2016. Finally, the Water Board stated that it had drafted training modules that are under review. It stated that it anticipated the training modules will be fully updated by November 2016.
Provide training to those responsible for reviewing statements of economic interests regarding how to identify conflicts of interests and when to consult with legal counsel.
The Water Board reported that in February 2017 it distributed a memo prepared by its chief counsel that explained the importance of conflict-of-interest reviews, when to consult counsel for advice, and the Water Board's new review process to help avoid conflict-of-interest violations. In addition, the Water Board stated that it would develop a training module for its supervisors and managers to review annually on its intranet site.
The Water Board reported that due to the timing of developing a best practices memo, it determined that it was impractical to train all supervisors and managers before the annual due date for the annual statement of economic interests. Thus, the Water Board distributed the best practices memo with instructions for supervisors and managers to contact the Water Board's legal staff with any questions. It also provided executive management with instructions on implementing these procedures. Further, the Water Board stated that, as part of developing a training curriculum for supervisors on best practices for human resources-related issues, it would include the review processes in this future training.
The Water Board reported that its new process is in place and being implemented. However, the Water Board has not described to us how it will provide training to staff responsible for reviewing statements of economic interests.
The Water Board informed us that its Division of Administrative Services management will perform an initial screening of all statements of economic interests that staff submit. If division management notes potential conflicts of interest, the Water Board will refer the issue to the appropriate highest level manager for resolution.
Refer this case to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) so it can determine whether further action is warranted.
The Water Board informed us that it provided a copy of the final investigative report and the district engineer's identity to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and pledged to assist with any investigation the FPPC conducts.
Conduct a review of all staff in the former section chief's division to ensure that all appropriate personnel have completed the required ethics training within the last two years, as state law requires.
Health Care Services stated that it directed all division managers to review immediately the files of the staff members who directly reported to them to verify that those staff members had current ethics training certificates on file. As of July 2016, Health Care Services asserted that all of its designated division staff, including managers and supervisors, had met the ethics training requirement. It provided satisfactory evidence to us indicating that all relevant staff are current with their ethics training requirement.
Designate a specific individual within the former section chief's division to track division staff's completion of ethics training. Health Care Services should ensure it maintains a copy of the staff's certificates of completion for five years as required by state law and department policy.
As of June 2016, the division had designated a training coordinator to track and log all of the division staff members' mandatory ethics training. As with all other mandated training, all supervisors are required to keep records of their staff training. The division now also requires that all training is reported by each supervisor and manager to the division training coordinator. The division coordinator tracks all training and reports directly to the division chief.
Develop procedures for handling similar situations involving the one-year ban on former state employees engaging in prohibited communications should they occur in the future.
In September 2016, Health Care Services sent an email to division staff informing them of a new policy entitled, "One Year Ban Notification." The policy informs staff of the prohibitions in effect for one year after leaving state employment in accordance with the Political Reform Act of 1974. In addition, the policy informs current staff of their requirements for reporting any contact they may receive from a former staff person who may be violating the one-year ban. Further, the policy required each employee and his or her supervisor to sign the notification form. Health Care Services stated that all division staff have signed the "One Year Ban Notification" form, which the training coordinator maintains.
Immediately cease any further reimbursements to the official for travel from Sonoma County to Sacramento.
Public Health reported that effective July 11, 2016, it ceased reimbursing the official for all travel from Sonoma County to Sacramento.
Ensure that all Public Health records reflect the official's headquarters as Sacramento.
Public Health provided documentation to support that it updated the official's headquarters as Sacramento in the official's California Automated Travel Expense Reimbursement System profile as well as in Public Health's time leave reporting system.
Public Health reported that its records reflect the official's headquarters as Sacramento, and it updated the California Automated Travel Expense Reimbursement System in September 2016, to reflect the official's headquarters as Sacramento. Although Public Health reported that it had made these corrections, it did not provide substantiation to support the changes made in the records.
Determine whether it should have reported the official's reimbursements as a taxable fringe benefit and, if so, amend any relevant tax documents.
Public Health reported that in March 2017 it completed and sent to the State Controller's Office (SCO) the applicable forms to report the official's taxable fringe benefits. It stated that the SCO will process the forms and generate corrected W-2 forms for the official to report additional taxable income for the last three years that can still be amended.
Public Health reported that it determined that the official's travel reimbursements should have been reported as taxable fringe benefits and that it will issue or amend the appropriate tax documents.
Public Health reported that it requested a review on the fringe benefit determination and reporting requirements, and it anticipates a response in October 2016.
Revise its policies regarding travel expense processing to ensure that its travel unit staff looks for travel patterns and other indications of improper travel expense claims.
Public Health reported that the supervisor discussed in detail with the travel staff the "Guidelines for Reviewing Travel Expense Claims to Prevent Fraudulent Expense Charges." These guidelines include specific examples of the patterns and indicators of improper travel expense claims that trigger staff to look into the travel claims further and when to inform their supervisor of possible improper claims, unusual travel patterns, or fraudulent claims. The guidelines were reviewed and discussed again in a follow-up meeting with the travel unit staff in January 2017 to ensure the guidelines are being followed.
Public Health reported that its accounting supervisor and its remaining travel staff received training in August 2016. Public Health also reported that the accounting staff is compiling more specific guidelines for staff to follow when looking for travel patterns and other indications of improper travel expense claims, and it will include these steps in its internal desk procedures manual. Further, Public Health provided a copy of the training roster for the CalATERS training it conducted in October 2016.
Public Health reported that it will remind managers and supervisors of the importance of determining employee headquarters locations during regular CalATERS training sessions; the next training is scheduled for October 2016. In addition, Public Health stated that its policies are in place and during a travel unit meeting in August 2016, the travel unit staff was reminded of the importance of verifying employee headquarters as well as looking for inappropriate travel patterns and identifying safeguards to prevent improper travel expenses. Public Health provided the meeting agenda, a list of attendees, and a copy of the travel procedures and safeguards to prevent fraudulent expense charges.
We notified Public Health that although its policy for safeguards to prevent fraudulent expense charges is a good start, it did not specifically address the recommendation to ensure that travel staff look for travel patterns and other indications of improper travel expense claims. Further, Public Health did not provide substantiation to support that the travel unit staff who were not present at the unit meeting were provided with the same information.
Provide training to all approving supervisors and managers who oversee staff who travel for work purposes to ensure that they understand how to properly determine and establish headquarters locations for their employees.
Public Health reported that the official's immediate supervisor reviewed the training material regarding how to properly determine and establish headquarters locations for employees.
Public Health reported that its accounting section will provide guidance to the official's immediate supervisor in February 2017. Public Health also clarified that the official's last working day was in September 2016, but the official will be using accrued leave until October 2017.
Public Health provided a copy of the training roster for the CalATERS training held in October 2016 as well as the modified user profile section presented at that training. In addition, Public Health reported that effective September 2016, the official no longer works there and is using accrued leave. Further, it reported that the accounting section will work with the official's immediate supervisor to determine an appropriate time to provide training to her since the supervisor did not attend the October 2016 training.
Public Health reported that it modified its user profile section of the California Automated Travel Expense Reimbursement System (CalATERS) training for submitters and approvers to properly determine and establish employee headquarters locations. Public Health also provided a copy of the revised CalATERS Global training agenda, but it did not provide substantiation to support that supervisors or managers received the training.
Pursue rent and utility payments due from the mobile home park's tenants on a regular and timely basis. This will require that Caltrans develop a means to read the submeters of the mobile home park's tenants.
In an effort to keep the tenants in good standing and prevent further delinquent accounts, Caltrans reported that the district staff sent a courtesy notice when monthly rent or utilities are not received by close of business on the 10th of each month as outlined in the rental agreements. Caltrans also reported that it sold the property on March 20, 2017. All tenants were either in good standing or had been evicted, with the exception of one tenant, at the time of the sale.
Caltrans provided us with sample copies of the 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, the 5-Day Notice to Quit, the 60-Day Notice of Termination of Mobilehome Tenancy, and Unlawful Detainers that it served to or filed in court against the tenants who owed rent. Caltrans also provided a spreadsheet itemizing each tenant, the outstanding amounts owed for rent and utilities, and the action it has taken to pursue the rent and utilities. However, this spreadsheet apparently was last updated in May 2016 and did not include up-to-date information on all actions that Caltrans has taken toward its collection efforts. Further, Caltrans reported that it has a company in place that will read meters at the mobile home park. Caltrans stated that the readings will be forwarded to a billing company that will provide tenants with utility statements.
Caltrans stated that it has assigned a full-time right-of-way agent to manage the mobile home park to ensure timely actions, payments, and notices. Caltrans also stated that it has provided delinquent tenants with the appropriate notices for payment and that it plans to initiate actions for those tenants who fail to pay.
Initiate appropriate collection procedures and, if necessary, eviction procedures for tenants who are delinquent in the payment of rent, utilities, or late fees.
In March 2017, Caltrans provided us with a copy of the city bill to confirm that the $3,640 credit was applied to its account in August 2016. In addition, Caltrans reported that it began legal action against another illegal occupant. The unlawful detainer paperwork was delayed because it had to verify the legal owner of the mobile home with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Housing and Community Development before it could serve the legal owner of the mobile home as well as the occupant in possession of the mobile home. Further, Caltrans reported that it sold the property on March 20, 2017. All tenants were either in good standing or had been evicted, with the exception of one tenant, at the time of the sale. From July 2016 to March 2017 Caltrans collected $116,474 for current rent and utilities, and overdue rent, late fees, and utilities.
Caltrans reported that the program is still working on reconciling the delinquent tenants. In addition, Caltrans provided an email from a city employee that shows Caltrans was credited $3,640, which was applied to its August and September utility bills. Caltrans also provided a spreadsheet, although it did not have the most up-to-date information, that recorded the collection efforts it has made, including unlawful detainer filings. Further, Caltrans reported that it has a company in place that will read meters. The readings will be forwarded to a billing company that will provide tenants with utility statements.
Caltrans stated that it began an audit of all of the mobile home park tenant accounts and expected to complete its audit in late July 2016. In addition, Caltrans stated that as of June 2016, nine tenants have paid their delinquent rent and late fees for the previous 12 months, a time limitation mandated by civil procedures. Caltrans also stated that the city in which the mobile home park is located is reviewing its trash service bill to verify the correct billing amount. Further, Caltrans stated that it had entered into two contracts, one for meter reading and one for billing each tenant based on actual utility use, and that the sub-meters at the mobile home park were read in July 2016.
Immediately begin eviction procedures against the two individuals illegally occupying two mobile homes within the mobile home park.
Caltrans reported that it evicted one illegal occupant in December 2016, and it evicted the other illegal occupant in January 2017. However, Caltrans was unable to secure a judgment for back rents since neither occupant had a rental agreement with Caltrans. Caltrans also provided information about another illegal occupant of another mobile home within the mobile home park. The unlawful detainer paperwork was delayed because Caltrans had to verify the legal owner of the mobile home with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Housing and Community Development before it could serve the legal owner of the mobile home as well as the occupant in possession of the mobile home. Caltrans stated that it anticipated filing the unlawful detainer paperwork with the Superior Court on March 22, 2017, and serving the tenant on the same day. Finally, at the time Caltrans sold the property on March 20, 2017, all tenants were either in good standing or had been evicted, with the exception of one tenant.
Caltrans reported that in August 2016 it filed unlawful detainers against the two individuals. In October 2016, the court issued a judgment to allow forceable entry for one of the individuals. Caltrans stated that it has a court date in December 2016 regarding the unlawful detainer filed against the other individual.
Caltrans stated it served notices in June 2016 to begin the eviction process.
Take appropriate corrective or disciplinary action against the officer for failing to follow policy in accepting items of value from a vendor who did business with State Parks.
State Parks reported that in July 2016 it served the officer with a disciplinary action of a 10 percent pay reduction for six pay periods (six months). The officer requested a Skelly hearing, which resulted in a five percent pay reduction for six pay periods instead. State Parks approved the change and served the officer with an amended disciplinary action in August 2016.
Take appropriate corrective or disciplinary action against the supervisor for his failure to properly direct the officer to take appropriate action regarding the sunglasses and for purchasing a pair of the sunglasses.
State Parks reported that the supervisor received corrective action counseling, which it documented via a corrective counseling memorandum.
Provide training to relevant staff on the appropriate actions to take if they receive something of value from any individual or entity that does business with State Parks.
State Parks stated that all permanent staff in the district read and signed the statement of incompatible activities, which includes instructions regarding the acceptance of gifts. In addition, all of the supervisors and managers in the district have completed the online ethics training provided by the State.
Take appropriate corrective or disciplinary action against the executive for wasting $2,970 by failing to explore placing the employee in an additional position.
State Hospitals reported that it would not take corrective or disciplinary action against the executive because he did not fully understand the "hiring into a second position" process. In addition, because of the executive's job classification, State Hospitals should have afforded him specific rights under the Peace Officer Bill of Rights. For example, State Hospitals should have notified the executive in advance of his interview that he was a subject, which would have provided him with the opportunity to record the interview as well as have representation with him during the interview. Also, State Hospitals would have been required to notify the executive within 30 days of the completion of his interview that it would impose discipline against him.
Request that CalHR conduct the necessary assessment to determine whether additional appointments are permissible if State Hospitals deems it necessary to have employees perform duties not related to their current positions.
In August 2016, the director of State Hospitals sent a memo regarding additional appointments to all State Hospitals' human resource directors, personnel officers, labor relations officers, and personnel transactions supervisors, as well as to all executive directors and hospital administrators, to ensure that CalHR policies are implemented as mandated. In addition, the memo stated that State Hospitals is not authorized to make any new additional appointments. However, the memo stated that if a mission-critical need for an additional appointment is identified, a request must be submitted to its human resource section in Sacramento for review and submission to CalHR, which would make the final determination. Thus, State Hospitals reported that having its director remind its management that they should follow the process set forth in the CalHR memorandum mitigates and resolves our recommendation.
Cease allowing the investigator to perform communications operator duties unless she is appointed to an additional position after a competitive selection process.
State Hospitals reported that the investigator ceased to perform the communications operator duties as of March 22, 2016.
Provide training to the executive about when full-time employees may perform duties that are significantly different from those of their own job classifications and how to make additional appointments when permissible.
State Hospitals reported that in August 2016, the Napa State Hospital executive director provided training to the executive to clarify existing policies and procedures at State Hospitals and the California Department of Human Resources regarding permissible additional appointments.
Determine the total cost of the charges that the supervisor incurred due to her misuse of the state-issued cell phone and seek repayment.
State Parks reported that the cost of charges incurred by the supervisor due to her misuse of the state-issued cell phone totaled $126, which the supervisor has paid in full.
Determine whether the supervisor misused state-compensated time to conduct personal business during her normal work hours by reviewing her cell phone records and identifying the time and duration of calls that occurred during her workdays.
State Parks determined that the majority of the cell phone misuse occurred while the supervisor officially was off duty.
Take appropriate corrective and disciplinary action against the supervisor for misusing her state-issued cell phone for personal purposes and, if applicable, for conducting private business during state-compensated time.
State Parks issued a counseling memorandum to the supervisor in October 2016, which she signed, regarding her misuse of the state-issued cell phone for personal purposes.
Provide training to right-of-way agents and their supervisors in District 10 regarding the challenges it faces with this mobile home park.
Caltrans reported that it completed its training of right-of-way agents and their supervisors in District 10. Caltrans also stated that we did not specifically recommend the analysis of inventory, rent collection, property inspections, and rent determinations that it identified in previous responses. Thus, its inclusion in the response is not required. Regardless, Caltrans is contuining with this analysis.
Caltrans provided us with the following documents: a copy of the statewide memorandum it sent in July 2016; the agenda and roster for the training regarding mobile home residency laws that it provided to appropriate staff and supervisors in September 2016; a copy of its updated Right of Way Manual, which reiterates the information that was disseminated in the statewide memorandum in July 2016; and a copy of the statewide memorandum it sent in September 2016, updating its practices regarding delinquent property accounts. Caltrans reported that it is still waiting for a response from the program to provide a status update of the analysis of inventory, rent collection, property inspections, and rent determinations.
Caltrans stated that its legal staff has provided guidance and advice concerning mobile home residency law applicable to the management of the mobile home park. In addition, Caltrans stated that it will develop and provide training about specific mobile home residency laws to appropriate staff and supervisors in the district in September 2016. Caltrans also reported that to reflect guidance on the acquisition, ownership, management, and disposition of mobile home parks, it sent a statewide memorandum on July 29, 2016, and will update its Right of Way Manual by December 31, 2016. Further, Caltrans stated that by September 30, 2016, it plans to distribute a statewide memorandum to update its practices regarding delinquent real property accounts. This memorandum will also identify performance and accountability measures. Moreover, Caltrans reported that it recently began a comprehensive analysis of inventory, rent collection, property inspections, and rent determinations. It stated that it will use the analysis to better identify areas of improvement in the management of its real property statewide and identify properties that it no longer needs.