Report I2012-1 Recommendations and Responses in 2014-041

Report I2012-1: Investigations of Improper Activities by State Agencies and Employees: Bribery, Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud, Improper Overtime Payments, Improper Use of Lease Proceeds, Improper Travel Expenses, and Other Violations of State Law

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 Correctional Health Care Services 2 2 2 2 0
Department of Fish and Wildlife 2 3 2 1 0
University of California 2 5 4 4 3

Recommendation To: University of California

The university should revise the policies to allow employees to claim only actual lodging expenses up to established rates for international travel.

Response

Although the university stated in January 2014 that it would not revise its travel policy further to fully address our recommendation, the university reversed its decision in December 2014 and agreed to revise its policy as originally recommended. The university expects the revisions to be implemented by the spring of 2015.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented
  • Estimated Completion Date: Spring 2015
  • Response Date: December 2014

Recommendation To: University of California

To address the improper acts we identified, the university should collect $1,802 from the official for the wasteful expenses he claimed for lodging and meals during his trip to England, the expenses he incurred within the vicinity of his headquarters, and the business meal expenses.

Response

The university's position on this recommendation has remained unchanged since its November 2013 update.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented
  • Estimated Completion Date: Not Completed
  • Response Date: December 2014

Recommendation To: University of California

The university should revise policies to establish defined maximum limits for the reimbursement of domestic lodging costs and establish controls that allow for exceptions to the limits under specific circumstances only.

Response

The university's position on this recommendation has remained unchanged since its November 2013 update.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: No Action Taken
  • Estimated Completion Date: Not Completed
  • Response Date: December 2014

Recommendation To: Correctional Health Care Services, California

Correctional Health Services should discontinue reimbursing employees for expenses claimed in violation of state regulations.

Response

We received a copy of the report regarding the review of travel expense claims. According to the report, the review consisted of an examination of claims submitted between June 2010 and June 2013. The internal auditor who prepared the report concluded that travel expenses totaling $3,969 had been approved in violation of state regulations, and that weaknesses existed in the review and approval process for travel expense claims. The internal auditor recommended that Correctional Health Services and relevant staff at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation review the claims to determine how the improper approvals occurred, develop procedures and training to prevent such improper approvals from occurring, and determine whether any of the improper travel expenses that were approved can be collected. Thus, Correctional Health Services has made efforts to ensure that it does not continue to reimburse employees for travel expenses in violation of state regulations.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: May 2014
  • Response Date: May 2014

Recommendation To: Fish and Wildlife, Department of

Fish and Game should provide training to those involved with the lease to ensure that it properly accounts for and reconciles future work and payments related to the leased property, that it does not pay operational and equipment expenses with proceeds derived from the lease, and that all parties understand what work Fish and Game expects as the result of the agreement.

Response

Fish and Wildlife reported that it provided training in January 2014 that covered its new policy on land lease agreements, required forms and approvals, process flow, fiscal issues, and agreements with outside entities such as resource conservation districts. Fish and Wildlife stated that regional and headquarters staff, including regional managers, program managers, and other regional and headquarters staff, attended the training at its headquarters.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: April 2014

Recommendation To: University of California

The university should clarify policies to include a distance test for expenses that employees incur within the vicinity of their headquarters.

Response

In January 2014, the university provided us with a revised travel policy, which stated, "Regardless of the length of time for business travel, the traveler must be at least 40 miles from the headquarters location or home, whichever is closer, to be reimbursed for an overnight stay." Thus, the university has implemented the recommendation to provide a clear distance test for reimbursable expenses within the vicinity of headquarters..

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: January 2014

Recommendation To: Correctional Health Care Services, California

Correctional Health Services should provide training to the manager and supervisors involved in the claim authorization process regarding the state rules applicable to claiming travel expenses.

Response

Correctional Health Services told us that it provided training regarding state travel rules to the manager, supervisors, and employees who were discussed in our investigative report and who still were employed by the department when it began the training in 2013. It also reported that as of December 2013, it has provided training regarding state travel rules to more than 1,600 additional employees and has developed a database for keeping track of its employees who have traveled on state business and not participated in the training. Correctional Health Services is notifying these untrained employees that they must attend the training. Each month the department also notifies its employees of travel training opportunities.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: December 2013
  • Response Date: January 2014

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2014-041