To better coordinate efforts to increase the number of veterans applying for C&P benefits, Veterans Services should formally communicate its goals to the CVSOs and work with them to reach some common goals related to serving veterans.
The department distributed copies of its Strategic Plan to the CVSO community at a training conference in October 2009 and told us that it specifically discussed its goal of increasing veteransí participation in C&P benefits during a presentation to the CVSOs at this training conference. In January 2010 the department conducted a survey of the CVSOs in the State to determine what the most important needs of veterans are and how services to veterans can be enhanced. The department stated that 87 percent of the CVSOs that responded agreed that Veterans Servicesí goal of increasing veteransí participation in C&P benefits is appropriate. In its one-year response, the department stated that this finding is contrary to the finding reported in the bureauís audit report. However, the department is mistaken as we did not ask the CVSOs we interviewed whether they believed Veterans Servicesí goal of increasing veteransí participation in C&P benefits is appropriate. Additionally, the department entered into a formal agreement with the California Association of County Veterans Service Officers (association) in December 2009. The agreement is for an indefinite period of time and summarizes agreements reached by the association and the department to establish a process by which both parties may seek input into the development of their respective strategic plans. In the agreement, both parties recognized that neither has direct control over the goals and objectives set by individual counties, but agreed to consider each otherís input in the development of goals and objectives set by individual counties, and agreed to foster common goals in order to provide a more consolidated effort to meet the needs of Californiaís veterans. The departmentís executive staff met with the associationís strategic planning committee four times between October 2009 and October 2010 to discuss veteransí needs and progress on accomplishing specific objectives, among other things, and the department told us that it plans to continue to hold these meetings three times per year. Finally, the department stated that representatives from the association participated in the annual update of its strategic plan as it related to Veterans Servicesí goals, strategies, objectives, and plans of action. (2011-406, pp. 229-230)
†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response 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 or subsequent to one year.
*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.