Report 2007-109 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2007-109: DNA Identification Fund: Improvements Are Needed in Reporting Fund Revenues and Assessing and Distributing DNA Penalties, but Counties and Courts We Reviewed Have Properly Collected Penalties and Transferred Revenues to the State (Release Date: November 2007)

Recommendation #1 To: Justice, Department of

Because state law requires Justice to make county-reported data available on its Web site, Justice should do the following to ensure that the data on county DNA fund activities are accurate: Annually notify counties that they are statutorily required to submit reports on or before April 1 to the Legislature and Justice.

1-Year Agency Response

In its 60-day response dated February 8, 2008, Justice stated that it would begin sending out form letters every February to all counties reminding them that the report for the previous year was due. Additionally, Justice stated that if a county had not submitted a report by the April 1st due date, a formal reminder letter would be sent on May 1st. Also included in this response, Justice submitted its procedures for posting county DNA fund data on its Web site.

In its one-year response, Justice indicated that it sent a formal reminder letter dated May 1, 2008, to 13 counties that had not yet submitted the required report by the April 1, 2008, due date. However, nine of these counties still did not submit the required report. As a result, according to documents provided with its one-year response, Justice?s Web site noted that these counties failed to submit an annual report. (See 2009-406 p. 263)

  • Response Date: November 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #2 To: Justice, Department of

Because state law requires Justice to make county-reported data available on its Web site, Justice should do the following to ensure that the data on county DNA fund activities are accurate: Contact each county that does not submit an annual report by the deadline.

1-Year Agency Response

In its 60-day response dated February 8, 2008, Justice stated that it would begin sending out form letters every February to all counties reminding them that the report for the previous year was due. Additionally, Justice stated that if a county had not submitted a report by the April 1st due date, a formal reminder letter would be sent on May 1st. Also included in this response, Justice submitted its procedures for posting county DNA fund data on its Web site.

In its one-year response, Justice indicated that it sent a formal reminder letter dated May 1, 2008, to 13 counties that had not yet submitted the required report by the April 1, 2008, due date. However, nine of these counties still did not submit the required report. As a result, according to documents provided with its one-year response, Justice?s Web site noted that these counties failed to submit an annual report. (See 2009-406 p. 263)

  • Response Date: November 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #3 To: Justice, Department of

Because state law requires Justice to make county-reported data available on its Web site, Justice should do the following to ensure that the data on county DNA fund activities are accurate: Establish policies and procedures for posting the county data on its Web site.

1-Year Agency Response

In its 60-day response dated February 8, 2008, Justice stated that it would begin sending out form letters every February to all counties reminding them that the report for the previous year was due. Additionally, Justice stated that if a county had not submitted a report by the April 1st due date, a formal reminder letter would be sent on May 1st. Also included in this response, Justice submitted its procedures for posting county DNA fund data on its Web site.

In its one-year response, Justice indicated that it sent a formal reminder letter dated May 1, 2008, to 13 counties that had not yet submitted the required report by the April 1, 2008, due date. However, nine of these counties still did not submit the required report. As a result, according to documents provided with its one-year response, Justice?s Web site noted that these counties failed to submit an annual report. (See 2009-406 p. 263)

  • Response Date: November 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #4 To: Justice, Department of

Because state law requires Justice to make county-reported data available on its Web site, Justice should do the following to ensure that the data on county DNA fund activities are accurate: Clearly indicate on its Web site if a county failed to submit an annual report.

1-Year Agency Response

In its 60-day response dated February 8, 2008, Justice stated that it would begin sending out form letters every February to all counties reminding them that the report for the previous year was due. Additionally, Justice stated that if a county had not submitted a report by the April 1st due date, a formal reminder letter would be sent on May 1st. Also included in this response, Justice submitted its procedures for posting county DNA fund data on its Web site.

In its one-year response, Justice indicated that it sent a formal reminder letter dated May 1, 2008, to 13 counties that had not yet submitted the required report by the April 1, 2008, due date. However, nine of these counties still did not submit the required report. As a result, according to documents provided with its one-year response, Justice?s Web site noted that these counties failed to submit an annual report. (See 2009-406 p. 263)

  • Response Date: November 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #5 To: Administrative Office of the Courts

To ensure that the distribution of payments for all fines, fees, and penalty assessments charged to offenders comply with all applicable laws and regulations, the AOC should do the following: Work with the Orange court to estimate the total dollar effect of the rounding errors in calculating the penalty assessment distribution to determine whether it will have a significant financial impact on the State. If the AOC determines that the impact will be significant, it should ensure that the Orange court makes the necessary modifications to the distributions calculated by its case management system. Further, as it proceeds with developing the statewide case management system, the AOC should ensure that the system correctly distributes payments to the appropriate funds in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

1-Year Agency Response

Although the AOC agreed that the 55 percent error rate we found in our sample was too high, it noted that the impact for each case was minimal, ranging from a 9-cent underpayment to a 1-cent overpayment. Nonetheless, the AOC stated that the Superior Court of Orange County implemented a change to its case management system on July 1, 2008, to address the rounding errors made by the system when it calculates the penalty assessment distribution.

The AOC also stated that the court reviewed approximately 750 funds to determine what the appropriate fund distribution should be and make any corrections needed. The distribution priority review was completed on April 8, 2008. (See 2009-406 p. 264)

  • Response Date: November 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #6 To: Administrative Office of the Courts

To ensure that the distribution of payments for all fines, fees, and penalty assessments charged to offenders comply with all applicable laws and regulations, the AOC should do the following: Ensure that the Orange court reevaluates and makes necessary corrections to the distribution priority order programmed into its case management system.

1-Year Agency Response

Although the AOC agreed that the 55 percent error rate we found in our sample was too high, it noted that the impact for each case was minimal, ranging from a 9-cent underpayment to a 1-cent overpayment. Nonetheless, the AOC stated that the Superior Court of Orange County implemented a change to its case management system on July 1, 2008, to address the rounding errors made by the system when it calculates the penalty assessment distribution.

The AOC also stated that the court reviewed approximately 750 funds to determine what the appropriate fund distribution should be and make any corrections needed. The distribution priority review was completed on April 8, 2008. (See 2009-406 p. 264)

  • Response Date: November 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #7 To: Administrative Office of the Courts

To ensure that the distribution of payments for all fines, fees, and penalty assessments charged to offenders comply with all applicable laws and regulations, the AOC should do the following: Ensure that the Los Angeles court corrects any manual coding errors and strengthens internal controls over data entry.

1-Year Agency Response

The AOC affirmed that the Superior Court of Los Angeles County has taken steps to ensure that manual coding cashier errors are corrected and that internal controls are strengthened over data entry. (See 2009-406 p. 264)

  • Response Date: November 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #8 To: Administrative Office of the Courts

To ensure that the distribution of payments for all fines, fees, and penalty assessments charged to offenders comply with all applicable laws and regulations, the AOC should do the following: Ensure that the Sacramento court continues its efforts to correct any overpayments made to the state DNA fund.

1-Year Agency Response

The AOC stated that the Superior Court of Sacramento County has made all the necessary corrections to processes and database systems to properly capture and distribute penalties going forward. Additionally, in May 2008, the court successfully completed the reversal of all affected fees that caused the erroneous transfer. (See 2009-406 p. 264)

  • Response Date: November 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #9 To: Administrative Office of the Courts

To ensure that the distribution of payments for all fines, fees, and penalty assessments charged to offenders comply with all applicable laws and regulations, the AOC should do the following: Contact the courts in the counties that did not report transferring to the State any money or only part of the money for the additional DNA penalty to determine whether they are appropriately assessing the penalty.

1-Year Agency Response

The AOC stated that it is committed to taking immediate, necessary steps to correct issues identified in any audit of the judicial branch. The Administrative Director of the Courts has requested that AOCs internal audit services unit ensure that its audit programs continue to cover the testing of distributions in each of their future audits. However, AOC indicated that with an audit cycle of approximately four years, it is possible that the internal audit services unit may not be able to review implementation of changes in distributions at individual courts in as timely a manner as it would prefer.

Finally, the AOC stated that it provides support to the courts regarding the implementation of new legislation and information about changes in assessments and distributions. This support helps the courts discharge their duties with respect to ensuring that distribution changes are made on an accurate and timely basis. (See 2009-406, p. 262)

  • Response Date: November 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #10 To: Controller's Office, State

The state controller should contact the auditor-controllers in the counties that did not report transferring to the State any money or only part of the money for the additional DNA penalty to ensure that counties and courts correctly assess, collect, and transfer the money to the State.

1-Year Agency Response

The State Controller indicated that it notified the 11 counties identified as not transferring or improperly transferring additional DNA penalty assessments to the State in April 2008. These counties were directed to the State Controllers Web site containing the July 2006 DNA Penalty Assessment Distribution Guidelines. Personnel contact information for the State Controller was also provided should counties require additional assistance. The State Controller also stated that all counties have remitted assessments to the DNA Identification Fund through November 2008. Finally, the State Controllers Division of Audits stated it will continue to monitor county compliance with the DNA Penalty Assessment Distribution Guidelines through its court audit program. (See 2009-406, p. 263)

  • Response Date: November 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


All Recommendations in 2007-109

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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