To make certain that local agencies calculate correctly their average actual hourly rates, if Cal EMA does not believe that it has the statutory authority and resources to audit the average actual hourly rates reported in the local agencies' salary surveys, it should either undertake the necessary steps to obtain both the authority and the necessary resources or obtain statutory authority to request that the State Controller's Office perform the audits.
The Fire and Rescue Division has coordinated with the Cal OES Audit Office to conduct audits of the local fire agencies salary survey to substantiate the average actual hourly rates. The audits began in 2013 and are on-going. To date, 4 local government fire agencies have been audited and an additional 20 will be audited in the coming months. Moreover, we hold annual committee meetings to discuss improving performance and outreach for all parties involved. This year we held 5 workshops statewide to instruct local fire agencies on how to develop accurate rates while understanding the methodologies behind them. We also hold individual meetings with local fire agencies to give them one on one instruction and support if need be.
We are currently in the process of setting up meetings to meet with the paying entities signatory to the agreement to discuss inaccurate rates reported by local fire agencies and future policies and contract language that will resolve how to proceed with this matter.
Cal EMA is conducting audits of the local fire agencies' salary survey information.
Cal EMA stated it is working with the Internal Audit office to conduct annual audits of the local agency's average actual hourly rates to ensure accuracy. Cal EMA also stated that, if it determines the local agencies' hourly rates are incorrect, it will advise them to recalculate the rates.
Cal EMA did not specifically address this recommendation. Instead, Cal EMA stated it evaluated its options, along with its partner agencies, for ensuring the accuracy of and the accountability for the financial information that the local agencies submit. Cal EMA stated its options for ensuring financial integrity included better defined invoicing instructions, enhanced training of the partner agencies, and, if necessary, revisions to the statutes. (See 2013-406, p. 73)
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.