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Recommendations

2023-105 Middle Class Tax Refund Payments

The State Could Improve Its Approach to Future Financial Relief Payments by Addressing Weaknesses From This Program (Release Date: March 2024)

Audit Recommendations Disclosure

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 for Legislative Action

Recommendation 1

To prepare the State for future financial relief efforts involving debit cards, after consulting with departments that wish to use or have previously used To better position the State to have multiple options for future financial relief payments, the Legislature should direct a selection of state entities to determine and report on the feasibility of using existing debit-card programs to provide relief funding and of expanding the State’s check printing capacities. These entities should include, but not be limited to, the State Controller’s Office, Employment Development Department, and the California Health and Human Services Agency, Office of Systems Integration.

Status

pending

Recommendations to Department of General Services

Recommendation 2

To prepare the State for future financial relief efforts involving debit cards, after consulting with departments that wish to use or have previously used debit-card services, General Services should enter into master agreements with debit-card vendors. To the extent possible, the master agreements with debit-card vendors should include:- Terms that clearly define key performance indicators for required services—such as customer service and fraud prevention—and how these indicators will be measured.- Transparent payment provisions that allow the State to assess the reasonableness of the costs to be incurred, mitigate the risk of making advance payments, and provide a means to recover or withhold funding in the event of vendor nonperformance, short of terminating the agreement.- Options for fee-free services, such that departments using the master agreements could decide whether to provide fee-free debit cards to their recipients.

Status

Not fully implemented

Date of implementation

June 2025

60-Day Agency Response

DGS will start with Master Service Agreement (MSA) procurement development for Debit Card Services in July 2024, engaging with the supplier community and conducting market research related to standard industry practices to determine the following elements: Terms that clearly define key performance indicators for required services – such as customer service and fraud prevention – and how these indicators will be measured. Transparent payment provisions that allow the State to assess the reasonableness of the costs to be incurred, mitigate the risk of making advance payments, and provide a means to recover or withhold funding in the event of vendor nonperformance, short of terminating the agreement. Options for fee-free services, such that departments using the master agreements could decide whether to provide fee-free debit cards to their recipients.

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