Report 2012-110 Recommendations and Responses in 2014-041

Report 2012-110: Special Interest License Plate Funds: The State Has Foregone Certain Revenues Related to Special Interest License Plates and Some Expenditures Were Unallowable or Unsupported

Department Number of Years Reported As Not Fully Implemented Total Recommendations to Department Not Implemented After One Year Not Implemented as of 2013-041 Response Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
California Natural Resources Agency 1 2 2 n/a 2
Department of Motor Vehicles 1 5 4 n/a 4
Department of Parks and Recreation 1 1 1 n/a 1
Emergency Management Agency 1 5 1 n/a 1

Recommendation To: Natural Resources Agency, California

To ensure that the governor and Legislature have sufficient and appropriate information with which to make decisions on the most effective use of environmental fund money, Resources should submit to the governor and Legislature the annual and triennial reports containing the information that state law requires.

Response

The information was provided to the legislature with the Governor's Budget January 10, 2014

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

Recommendation To: Motor Vehicles, Department of

To ensure that programs supported by special plates receive appropriate amounts of revenues due to them, Motor Vehicles should annually collect all fees for special plates that are no longer on a vehicle but are retained by the plate owner.

Response

The Information Services Division (ISD) within DMV is planning and completing the computer programming for the cancelation and purge of special license plates with unpaid retention fees. This will ensure these plates become available for new purchasers.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: October 2014

Recommendation To: Motor Vehicles, Department of

Motor Vehicles should ensure that the fees it lists in its application for special plates, as well as any other publications, are supported by the appropriate statutes.

Response

The DMV updated its website and forms to ensure consistent and correct information is provided to the public. In addition, the ISD is completing the computer programming to ensure the $1 fee discrepancy is corrected.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

Recommendation To: Motor Vehicles, Department of

Motor Vehicles should assess the extent to which it has charged fees for special plates that are not consistent with those prescribed in statutes and take appropriate action.

Response

The changes being made for the $1 reflectorized fee will be put into place by December 2014 once all system programming by ISD has been completed.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

Recommendation To: Motor Vehicles, Department of

Motor Vehicles should periodically assess the cost and benefits of updating its automated systems to reflect current per-plate administrative costs. If Motor Vehicles determines that doing so is cost-effective, it should update its automated systems to reflect the up-to-date administrative costs for all these plates.

Response

The computer programming of the revised changes for the ASF for all plate programs is still in progress.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: October 2014

Recommendation To: Emergency Management Agency

To make certain that money from the special plate funds pay only for allowable and supportable activities, Cal EMA should maintain documentation to support its charges to the antiterrorism fund. For example, it should ensure that employees submit signed time reports to support the time they spend on antiterrorism-related activities.

Response

The State Auditor found that Cal OES did not adequately support expenditures for salaries and indirect cost distributions paid for through fees generated from Vehicle Code section 5066 which must be used for antiterrorism activities.

The Vehicle Code section 5066 (e) defines antiterrorism activities. It specifically states, "Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, hiring support staff to perform administrative tasks. . . and other equipment expenditures." Therefore, pursuant to this statute, Cal OES is entitled to use Antiterrorism Funds to pay for support staff to perform administrative tasks. By statutory definition, these costs are directly related to antiterrorism activities.

There is nothing in the statute that prohibits charging a portion of the administrative costs that Cal OES incurs for antiterrorism activities. The five (5) percent limitation only applies to efforts supporting local antiterrorism. (Vehicle Code Section 5066(c)(1)(A).) Cal OES is focused on statewide antiterrorism activities.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: April 2013
  • Response Date: October 2014

Recommendation To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To make certain that money from the special plate funds pay only for allowable and supportable activities, Parks and Recreation should ensure that environmental fund money budgeted to its offices is supported by the proportion of the offices' activities that state law allows.

Response

In 2012 the California Legislature passed both the California State Parks Stewardship Act of 2012 (AB 1589) and AB 1478. This legislation called for the formation of a multidisciplinary advisory council to conduct an independent assessment of the current State Parks System and make recommendations to the California Legislature and Governor on future management, planning, and funding proposals that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the State Parks System. The Parks Forward Commission is designed to fulfill these directives. The Department is currently working with the Parks Forward Commission staff on Park Unit Costing. Part of the Park Unit Costing is to figure out what type of funds each park should be allocated. During this process a methodology for allocating the Environmental License Plate Fund will be created. We will update you as soon as this is finalized. The Parks Forward report is due out November 2014.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: 7/1/2015
  • Response Date: September 2014

Recommendation To: Natural Resources Agency, California

To make certain that money from the special plate funds pay only for allowable and supportable activities, Resources should use all appropriate funding sources to pay for any expenses that benefit multiple programs in proportion to the benefits these programs actually receive. Further, it should ensure that its allocation of such expenses to different funds is equitable and supported.

Response

Will not implement. The statute does not require allocation of administrative costs in the manner described by the report. Expenditures will continue to be used in a manner consistent with the statute and as specified in the budget appropriated by the Legislature.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: April 2014

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2014-041