Report 2008-501 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2008-501: California Prison Health Care Services: It Lacks Accurate Data and Does Not Always Comply With State and Court-Ordered Requirements When Acquiring Information Technology Goods and Services (Release Date: January 2009)

Recommendation #1 To: Correctional Health Care Services, California

To ensure that it has complete and accurate information related to its contracts, Prison Health Services should ascertain that the internal controls over the data entered into the new enterprise-wide business information system work as intended. For contract-related data that has already been migrated from old contract databases to the new system, it needs to ensure the accuracy of key fields such as the ones for contract amount, service type, and the data fields that identify contracts initiated by Prison Health Services by comparing the data stored in its new database to existing hard-copy files.

6-Month Agency Response

Prison Health Services stated that it has implemented the processes required to ensure complete and accurate contract information. It has also established one certified trainer and two certified power users to ensure the new enterprise-wide system is used to its highest potential. Further, according to Prison Health Services, to ensure that complete and accurate IT contract information has been migrated to the new enterprise-wide system, it has established various internal controls such as comparing the hard-copy contracts to an internal tracking log in the enterprise-wide system and reviewing key fields in the new enterprise-wide system upon receiving a copy of an executed agreement. (See 2011-406 p. 62)

  • Response Date: August 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #2 To: Correctional Health Care Services, California

To make certain that its contracts for IT goods and services comply with state contracting requirements and applicable policies and procedures, Prison Health Services should ensure that all responsible staff are aware of and follow contract processing and documentation requirements, including evidencing the review and approval of contracts.

6-Month Agency Response

Prison Health Services stated that it has developed policies, procedures, guides, checklists, and flowcharts related to proper processing, execution, and documentation of service agreements and made them available to all staff involved with contract practices. In addition, its policies require that contracts are routed through various internal stakeholders to ensure compliance. According to Prison Health Services, it provides training to its staff on the processing of all purchase and service agreements on a continuous basis. (See 2011-406 p. 62)

  • Response Date: August 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #3 To: Correctional Health Care Services, California

To ensure that it complies with the terms of the court-approved waiver of state contracting requirements, Prison Health Services should develop policies to support its use of alternative contracting methods. These policies should include a requirement that Prison Health Services develop clear and specific criteria and guidelines for determining when the waiver authority should be used and how the requirements of the waiver are to be met and documented. Further, Prison Health Services should clearly identify the value of all contracts it executes and ensure that all contracting documents are maintained in a central location.

6-Month Agency Response

Prison Health Services has developed a policy that outlines when the waiver authority may be used for entering into new contracts. The policy includes identifying which distinct project efforts such contracts may support and provides specific guidance on obtaining approval for using alternative contracting methods. The procedure includes specific criteria for the selection of contractors using one of the three processes authorized by the federal court. It also contains a checklist for ensuring that certain requirements are met and guidance for the retention of appropriate documentation in a centralized contract file, including all solicitations and bids. Prison Health Services stated that it has distributed the policy and procedure to management and staff and it has provided related training. Prison Health Services noted that all contracts processed using standard state contracting procedures clearly identify the value of the agreement by the use of standard forms. It has instructed staff to ensure that contracts developed without the use of standard forms contain all pertinent information found on the standard forms. Further, Prison Health Services noted that it identifies the value of all executed contracts by the establishment of an internal tracking log that identifies key data elements for each executed agreement. Prison Health Services maintains a log for tracking key data elements, such as funding amount and vendor name, for each executed contract using the alternative methods. In addition, Prison Health Services maintains a tracking log of the type of agreement to be executed, services to be solicited, bidders list for solicitation purposes, bidder responses, and awarded vendor information. Further, solicitation and bids for acquisitions using alternative contracting methods are centrally housed. Prison Health Services also noted that it assigns a unique identifier to contracts executed using the alternative methods. (See 2011-406 p. 63)

  • Response Date: August 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #4 To: Correctional Health Care Services, California

To better support that it has reported all contracts and bidders to the court, Prison Health Services should develop a system of tracking all contracts executed under alternative contracting methods and retain all bids it receives for each contract. To better track its contracts, Prison Health Services should assign a sequential contract number or other unique identifier to each contract executed using alternative contracting methods.

6-Month Agency Response

Prison Health Services has developed a policy that outlines when the waiver authority may be used for entering into new contracts. The policy includes identifying which distinct project efforts such contracts may support and provides specific guidance on obtaining approval for using alternative contracting methods. The procedure includes specific criteria for the selection of contractors using one of the three processes authorized by the federal court. It also contains a checklist for ensuring that certain requirements are met and guidance for the retention of appropriate documentation in a centralized contract file, including all solicitations and bids. Prison Health Services stated that it has distributed the policy and procedure to management and staff and it has provided related training. Prison Health Services noted that all contracts processed using standard state contracting procedures clearly identify the value of the agreement by the use of standard forms. It has instructed staff to ensure that contracts developed without the use of standard forms contain all pertinent information found on the standard forms. Further, Prison Health Services noted that it identifies the value of all executed contracts by the establishment of an internal tracking log that identifies key data elements for each executed agreement. Prison Health Services maintains a log for tracking key data elements, such as funding amount and vendor name, for each executed contract using the alternative methods. In addition, Prison Health Services maintains a tracking log of the type of agreement to be executed, services to be solicited, bidders list for solicitation purposes, bidder responses, and awarded vendor information. Further, solicitation and bids for acquisitions using alternative contracting methods are centrally housed. Prison Health Services also noted that it assigns a unique identifier to contracts executed using the alternative methods. (See 2011-406 p. 63)

  • Response Date: August 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


All Recommendations in 2008-501

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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