Report 2014-101 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 2014-101: Employment Development Department: It Should Improve Its Efforts to Minimize Avoidable Appeals of Its Eligibility Determinations for Unemployment Insurance Benefits (Release Date: August 2014)

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Recommendations to Employment Development Department
Number Recommendation Status
1

To reduce the number of its determinations that are overturned on appeal, the Employment Development Department (EDD) should change its practices to ensure that its staff have demonstrated that all of the necessary elements of a false statement are adequately supported before disqualifying a claimant for unemployment benefits or assessing the associated 30 percent penalty on that basis. To do this, EDD should update its training to further emphasize that false statement disqualifications, especially those resulting from wage reporting, cannot be assessed unless all of the elements are present.

Fully Implemented
2

To reduce the number of its determinations that are overturned on appeal, EDD should revise its Web site and the materials that accompany the continued claim form to provide specific instructions to claimants on how to avoid common errors that claimants make when reporting wages, such as the error of applying some wages to the incorrect week.

Fully Implemented
3

To reduce the number of its determinations that are overturned on appeal, EDD should ensure that determinations are supported by sufficient fact-finding and relevant evidence by increasing the required number of attempts to reach claimants by telephone or e-mail before making a determination.

Fully Implemented
4

To reduce the number of its determinations that are overturned on appeal, EDD should allow additional time for its staff to process misconduct and voluntary quit cases, especially those that involve complex issues.

Fully Implemented
5

To reduce the number of its determinations that are overturned on appeal, EDD should improve its due diligence during the pre-appeal review process by considering appellants' reasons for appealing and by contacting claimants, employers, and third parties when necessary to obtain clarifying information that could result in a redetermination, which could eliminate or reduce the need for some appeals board hearings.

Fully Implemented
6

To reduce the number of its determinations that are overturned on appeal, EDD should identify those types of appeals that could be most influenced by EDD staff attendance at the appeal hearing, and analyze the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of participating in those hearings by telephone.

Fully Implemented
8

To identify and correct any policies, procedures, or practices that may be contributing to avoidable appeals filed by claimants and employers and thereby provide eligible claimants with unemployment benefits in a timelier manner, EDD should do the following: Using the appeals board's data from fiscal year 2013-14, EDD should identify the legal isssues where its determinations are most frequently overturned, and use these data to establish initial performance benchmarks. In addition, similar to the review that EDD's audit and evaluation division performed in 2012, EDD should then review samples of its overturned determinations and the appeals board's decisions on these legal issues to identify trends in the reasons the appeals board cites for overturning EDD's determinations. With this information, EDD should review its policies, practices, and training related to these areas and identify and correct any weaknesses that may be contributing to the overturning of determinations. By April 1, 2015, EDD should report to the Legislature on the results of this review and any changes it plans to make to its determination process.

Not Fully Implemented
9

To identify and correct any policies, procedures, or practices that may be contributing to avoidable appeals filed by claimants and employers and thereby provide eligible claimants with unemployment benefits in a timelier manner, EDD should do the following: EDD should use the semiannual data that the appeals board provides to determine whether changes it makes to its process result in reductions in the percentage of its determinations that are overturned on appeal. EDD should also review these data to determine whether it needs to conduct additional reviews of its determinations and the appeals board's decisions to identify additional opportunities for improvement. EDD should report these results to the Legislature annually.

Not Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, California
Number Recommendation Status
7

To identify and correct any policies, procedures, or practices that may be contributing to avoidable appeals filed by claimants and employers and thereby provide eligible claimants with unemployment benefits in a timelier manner, the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (appeals board) should do the following: By September 1, 2014, the appeals board should aggregate the outcomes associated with each of the legal issues that it decided during fiscal year 2013-14 and make these data available to EDD. In addition, the appeals board should make similar updated data available to EDD twice each fiscal year thereafter.

Fully Implemented


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