Report 2018-030 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2018-030: State Bar of California: It Should Balance Fee Increases With Other Actions to Raise Revenue and Decrease Costs (Release Date: April 2019)

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Recommendations to Bar of California, State
Number Recommendation Status
9

To enable it to effectively determine its budget, State Bar should continue to annually prepare five-year projections.

Pending
10

To ensure that it maximizes the revenue from its San Francisco building, State Bar should lease all available space and ensure that its leases reflect market rates.

Pending
11

To ensure that it maximizes the revenue from its San Francisco building, in the event of any future staff growth, State Bar should avoid adding space by reducing its space allocations when practical to more closely match industry standards.

Partially Implemented
12

To further its ability to operate more efficiently and reduce the backlog of discipline cases, State Bar should develop benchmarks by December 2019 delineating the duration of each step in its investigations process.

Fully Implemented
13

To further its ability to operate more efficiently and reduce the backlog of discipline cases, State Bar should ensure consistency by December 2019 in the policy and guidance documents its staff follow when performing investigations work.

Fully Implemented
14

To further its ability to operate more efficiently and reduce the backlog of discipline cases, State Bar should use its performance measures and collected data going forward to evaluate its case processing goals and work with the Legislature to revise the 180-day statutory goal if necessary.

Pending
15

To better assess the security fund's revenue needs after 2020, State Bar should develop by August 2019 a methodology for estimating the payments that it is likely to make in a particular year. This methodology should consider the average length of time it will spend processing applications that are eligible for reimbursement and estimate the number of applications anticipated to become eligible for reimbursement during the course of that year.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status
1

To ensure funding of State Bar's operating costs and those costs associated with adding 19 trial counsel staff and increasing retiree health benefits, the Legislature should set the 2020 licensing fee at $379 for active licensees and $88 for inactive licensees.

Partially Implemented
2

To ensure funding for State Bar's IT projects, capital improvements, and general fund reserve, the Legislature should set a 2020 special assessment fee of $41 for active licensees and $11 for inactive licensees.

Partially Implemented
3

To align the special assessment fee with State Bar's needs in the future, the Legislature should adopt the fee schedule that we present in Appendix C and as necessary, adjust the assessment related to the recommended IT projects and capital improvements each year from 2021 through 2024 to align that amount with State Bar's projected costs.

Partially Implemented
4

To align the special assessment fee with State Bar's needs in the future, the Legislature should direct State Bar to determine the assessment amount necessary to rebuild its general fund reserve so that the reserve increases by 1 percent each year and reaches 17 percent by the end of 2024.

No Action Taken
5

To enable State Bar to pay the security fund claims that it is likely to approve for payment in 2020, the Legislature should set the 2020 security fund fee at $80 for active licensees and $20 for inactive licensees. Should the Legislature decide that it wants to control how much it increases the security fund fee, it can consider State Bar's initiatives to reduce the security fund payout cap and give licensees the option to make voluntary contributions to the security fund.

No Action Taken
6

To ensure that State Bar spends down the assistance program's excessive reserve, the Legislature should suspend the 2020 assistance program fee for both active and inactive licensees.

No Action Taken
7

To provide State Bar with consistent revenue and to enable it to improve its management practices, the Legislature should adopt a multiyear fee-approval cycle for the licensing, security fund, and assistance program fees. This change should take effect before the Legislature determines the licensing fee for 2021, and the cycle should include the following components: a multiyear budget, fee justifications, and related performance data submitted by State Bar; a fee cap for the multiyear period set by the Legislature; the authority for State Bar to adjust the fee each year up to the maximum amount.

No Action Taken
8

To simplify the fee-setting process, the Legislature should amend state law to merge the $25 discipline fee with the licensing fee in a single statute and repeal the statute authorizing the discipline fee. This change should take effect before the Legislature determines the licensing fee for 2021.

No Action Taken


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