Use the links below to skip to the appendix you wish to view:Appendix A
RECOMMENDATIONS AND STATUS OF ACTIONS TAKEN
Titles and Employment Status of Department Employees Identified in This Report
RECOMMENDATIONS AND STATUS OF ACTIONS TAKEN
Since the issuance of the original report, the oversight agency has not fully implemented any of the recommendations, as detailed below.
Recommendation 1: Given the totality of the director’s improper conduct, the oversight agency should work with the Governor’s office to take appropriate steps to ensure that the director, and any other individual who may occupy her position, cannot take similar actions.
Status: PENDING. As the director retired from state service, the agency did not take any action against her. To prevent any other individuals who occupy the same position from taking similar actions, the agency stated in May 2018 that it would require the department’s future directors to undergo training on the importance of avoiding perceptions of impermissible bias as well as the anti‑retaliation provisions of the California Whistleblower Protection Act. The agency did not provide any relevant training completed by its acting director, who subsequently also retired. In March 2019, the agency provided evidence that the department's chief deputy director attended training about these two topics. Once a permanent director is appointed, the agency stated that it would ensure the new director completes the training within 12 months of his or her appointment.
Recommendation 2: The oversight agency should require the director, the HR chief, and the senior staff member to undergo CalHR or SPB training on the requirements for making good faith appointments.
Status: PARTIALLY IMPLEMENTED. In December 2018, the HR chief and two senior staff members attended a “Best Hiring Practices” course provided by CalHR’s legal division. However, the acting director did not attend this training and has since retired. In February 2019, the agency reported that the department’s chief deputy director completed the training. In March 2019, the agency reported that once the permanent director is appointed, it will direct him or her to complete the training. In addition, the agency informed us that its HR chief position is currently vacant and that once a replacement is hired, it would also require that individual to complete the recommended training. This recommendation will remain partially implemented until the department’s permanent director, when hired, completes the required training.
Recommendation 3: The oversight agency should ensure that the department strengthens its nepotism policy so that it prohibits employees with personal relationships from having any involvement in the selection, appointment, promotion, retention, supervision, and discipline of one another.
Status: PARTIALLY IMPLEMENTED. In August 2018, the agency provided us with a draft of its revised nepotism policy. Our review revealed that, although some improvements were made, the draft policy still allowed the director to grant exceptions; thus, the policy still permitted the director to approve employees with personal relationships to participate in the selection, appointment, retention, supervision and discipline of one another. We recommended to the agency that the policy be revised to specify that if the close relationship involves the director or his or her executive staff, the agency should be required to grant the exception to policy instead of the department director. We also asked that the agency ensure that the policy addresses our recommendation for managers and supervisors with close personal relationships with affected employees to not be involved in the promotion, retention, and discipline of those employees.
The agency agreed to implement the adjustments and in February 2019, the agency provided us with a memorandum the department’s chief deputy director issued to all staff specifically addressing our previously identified deficiencies. However, the actual policy does not appear to include the language contained in the memorandum addressing the identified deficiencies. The agency reported in March 2019 that it would formally incorporate the requested changes into its nepotism policy by May 2019. Until the deficiencies are directly addressed within the department’s nepotism policy, this recommendation is considered partially implemented.
Recommendation 4: The oversight agency should discipline the director’s daughter for her improper activities and document the actions in her official personnel file.
Status: PENDING. In May 2018, the agency asserted that because the daughter resigned from state employment effective April 2018, she was no longer subject to state disciplinary action. We responded that although she was no longer a state employee, the agency still should document in the daughter’s official personnel file that she resigned shortly after we shared our investigation with the agency. The agency stated in February 2019 that it intends to discuss the recommendation with CalHR, SPB, and other appropriate entities prior to making a final decision. In March 2019 the agency stated that it contacted CalHR and SPB and that neither of them had finalized their reviews at that time. The agency stated that SPB anticipated finalizing its review by April 2019.
Recommendation 5: The oversight agency should collect $129,329 from the director’s daughter for her fraudulent claims of time worked.
Status: PENDING. In May 2018, the agency asserted that because the overpayments are tied to the daughter’s associate information systems analyst appointment, it would wait until the SPB completes its investigation into that appointment. We asserted in June 2018 that the daughter’s dishonest and fraudulent timesheets could be acted upon under the department’s power to collect any overpayments it makes. In addition, we reminded the agency that since collection efforts are limited to three years, it should act expeditiously to recover these funds. The agency asserted that it would wait for direction from SPB before it took any action on this recommendation. In February 2019, the agency stated that it intends to also discuss the recommendation with CalHR and other appropriate entities prior to making a final decision. In March 2019 the agency stated that it contacted CalHR and SPB and that neither of them had finalized their reviews at that time. The agency stated that SPB anticipated finalizing its review by April 2019. By delaying action, the agency has already lost the ability to collect $41,560 of overpayments because the statute of limitations has expired.
Recommendation 6: The oversight agency should suspend the director’s daughter’s telecommuting agreement.
Status: RESOLVED. In May 2018, the agency reported that as the director’s daughter had resigned, no valid telecommuting agreement requires suspension. Thus, we determined that this recommendation is resolved.
Recommendation 7: The oversight agency should require the IT manager and the new supervisor to attend external training related to the proper supervision of staff and, in particular, of staff who work remotely.
Status: RESOLVED. In July and August 2018, the agency reported that the IT manager and new supervisor would take CalHR’s supervisory training course by October 2018. We questioned the agency’s proposed action as this training already is mandated biennially by Government Code section 19995.4 and, as evidenced by our findings, did not have the desired effect on the IT manager's and new supervisor’s management skills. The agency defended its decision for these individuals to attend this mandated training because neither employee had taken the mandated training in the past 18–20 years and, by taking the course again, the training would enable the two individuals to more effectively discharge their supervisorial duties. Ultimately, the agency reported to us that the IT manager completed the supervisory training as planned. The new supervisor did not attend the training because she retired. As the new supervisor is no longer employed by the State, we determined that this recommendation is resolved.
Recommendation 8: The oversight agency should require the director, IT manager, and the new supervisor to undergo training by CalHR related to the proper procedures to formalize and manage reasonable accommodations.
Status: PARTIALLY IMPLEMENTED. By October 2018, the agency provided evidence that the IT manager and new supervisor had attended in‑house training relating to reasonable accommodations. Although the training was not provided by CalHR as we originally recommended, the training materials appeared thorough and relevant to the concerns we raised during our investigation. In addition, the department had the HR chief, senior staff member, and all other IT managers and supervisors also attend this training. In March 2019 the agency stated that it would direct the director, when appointed, to complete the training. The recommendation will be deemed partially implemented until the department’s permanent director, when appointed, completes the recommended training. We believe the new permanent director should take the training within the initial 90 days from his or her appointment.
Recommendation 9: The oversight agency should ensure that all staff who are currently permitted to telecommute full time have the proper documentation and justification on file and require that telecommuting agreements be reevaluated annually.
Status: PARTIALLY IMPLEMENTED. In June 2018, the agency informed us that the telecommuting program was removed from the new supervisor’s unit and returned to the HR division. The agency also stated that as part of its implementation, it would update the department’s telecommuting policy to require renewals of all telecommuting agreements annually, develop a communications plan to ensure participants understand their roles and responsibilities, require in‑person meetings with management, and provide quarterly reports to the director and administration chief on its telecommuting program. The agency stated in March 2019 that it intends to memorialize the department's communications plan by April 2019.
In February 2019, the agency provided us with a memorandum that the department’s chief deputy director issued to telecommuting employees and to department supervisors and managers reminding staff that telecommuting agreements must be renewed annually. However, the actual department policy on telecommuting does not include this requirement. The agency reported in March 2019 that it would formally incorporate the requested changes into the department's telecommuting policy by May 2019.
The agency provided to us its first two quarterly reports in October 2018 and February 2019 which indicate about 250 employees are permitted to telecommute for the department, some of whom are permitted to telecommute full time. It also showed the number of agreements it authorized or renewed in each month. Based on the information we reviewed, the department is addressing the renewals of its telecommute agreements on a monthly basis. Nevertheless, until a revised telecommuting policy is provided that specifically notes that telecommuting agreements must be reevaluated by management annually, the recommendation is only partially implemented.
Recommendation 10: See recommendation 1 for status of actions taken.
Recommendation 11: The oversight agency should require the director, HR chief, and the senior staff member to undergo CalHR or SPB training on the requirements for permissible reinstatements, leaves of absences, and pay differentials.
Status: PENDING. In June 2018, the agency told us that it has decided that all department supervisors and managers would receive this training. In December 2018, the agency stated that it had engaged CalHR to design and provide customized training to the department on these topics. The agency reported that the training is scheduled to occur in late March 2019 and that its chief deputy director and other department managers and executives are enrolled in the training. The agency also stated that the senior staff member was removed from her CEA position and no longer functions in a supervisory capacity. Until the training is completed by the director and HR chief, and we are given an opportunity to evaluate the course materials covered, this recommendation is pending.
Recommendation 12: See recommendation 1 for status of actions taken.
Our office forwarded the results of this investigation to SPB and recommended that it void any improper appointments, if appropriate. In addition, we forwarded the results of this investigation to CalHR to review its delegation of authority agreement with the department regarding its hiring practices, and if appropriate, requested that it require the department to collect $13,191 from the executive for the extra pay she received.
|TITLE REFERENCED IN REPORT||EMPLOYMENT STATUS AS OF MARCH 2019|
|Director’s Daughter||Resigned from State Service|
|Chief Information Officer||Retired|
|Hiring Manager||Department Employee|
|Senior Staff Member||Department Employee|
|HR Chief||Department Employee|
|Chief of Staff||Department Employee|
|Reporting Employee||Resigned from State Service|