January 5, 20162015-701
Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:
The State Auditor’s Office aims to provide oversight and to ensure the accountability of government operations. As such, my office conducts independent audits as mandated by the Legislature through statute or the budget process, or through requests directed by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. While our recommendations are typically directed to the agencies we audit, we also make recommendations for the Legislature to consider in the interest of more efficient and effective government operations. This special report summarizes those recommendations we made during calendar years 2014 and 2015 for the Legislature to consider.
In this special report we include recommendations intended to improve the cost‑effectiveness of state programs. For example, our audit of the Department of Health Care Services (Health Care Services) School‑Based Medi‑Cal Administrative Activities programs identified weaknesses in the contracts between the local educational consortia or local governmental agencies and their claiming units that effective Health Care Services’ oversight should have prevented. We recommend that the Legislature enact legislation as soon as possible that requires Health Care Services to prepare a report annually for the administrative activities program in order to help improve and maximize the benefits of the program, as well as to provide enhanced transparency to stakeholders.
In some instances, we make recommendations intended to enhance the safety of California’s citizens. For example, our follow‑up audit of the Department of Justice (Justice) Armed Prohibited Persons System found that Justice has not fully implemented a recommendation from our initial report regarding backlogs in its two processing queues. We recommend that the Legislature require Justice to complete an initial review of cases in the daily queue within seven days and periodically reassess whether Justice can complete these reviews more quickly.
The Appendix that starts on page 57 includes a listing of legislation chaptered or vetoed during the first half of the 2015–16 Regular Legislative Session that was related to the subject matter discussed in our audit reports.
If you would like more information or assistance regarding any of the recommendations or the background provided in this report, please contact Paul Navarro, Chief of Governmental and Legislative Affairs, at (916) 445‑0255.
ELAINE M. HOWLE, CPA