Report 2012-111 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2012-111: California Department of Public Health: It Needs to Improve Accuracy in Accounting and Charging for Compliance Inspections Designed to Reduce Youth Access to Tobacco and It Could Enhance Its Compliance Inspections (Release Date: June 2013)

Recommendation #1 To: Public Health, Department of

To ensure that it can support its labor costs, Public Health should implement a process to accurately track the time its staff spends conducting statewide and local compliance inspections.

60-Day Agency Response

On July 1, 2013, CDPH Food and Drug Branch (FDB) implemented a tracking system to document staff time spent on all of FDB's statewide, local, and federal contract compliance inspection activities. FDB uses the time captured on staff worksheets to allocate labor to the appropriate CALSTARS cost objectives that tie to the funding source. FDB then converts the labor hours for each employee to a percentage of his/her total time for the month and gives a monthly report to Accounting. Accounting uses the report to update the Employee Master File, which allocates labor costs to the appropriate funding source (cost objective). FDB reconciles the CALSTARS summary report to its internal records to verify that Accounting accurately entered the information. If FDB identifies errors, it will issue an expenditure correction document to Accounting. Attachment A is the written procedures FDB provided to staff that detail the new time accounting procedures and Attachment B is a copy of the July 2013 time accounting summary FDB submitted to Accounting.

  • Completion Date: July 2013
  • Response Date: August 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #2 To: Public Health, Department of

It should allocate expenses associated with statewide and local compliance inspections to the appropriate funding source, based on the time staff spends conducting those activities, and it should maintain accurate accounting records to reflect actual costs of statewide and local compliance inspections.

60-Day Agency Response

The new time tracking system described in response to Recommendation 1 will allocate expenditures to the appropriate funding source and maintain records to reflect actual costs.

  • Completion Date: July 2013
  • Response Date: August 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #3 To: Public Health, Department of

When Public Health enters into new contracts with local entities to conduct compliance inspections, it should evaluate its historical costs of conducting these inspections to ensure that the existing rates are adequate to recoup its costs. If it determines that the existing rates are not adequate, it should develop a new rate that accurately reflects its true costs.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

On July 1, 2013, Public Health began collecting activity and cost data reports to determine a baseline for its historical costs of conducting local compliance inspections. Public Health has now collected 12 months of data by using the CORE system and has completed its evaluation of historical costs. The Department utilized this data to ensure that the local entity compliance inspection rate is reflective of true costs.

As part of the process several documents were created to accurately track activities and submit timesheets to accounting to ensure CORE reports were reflective of the true costs.

Unit Chief/Supervisor share responsibilities to ensure cost/time tracking and reporting documents are completed and accurate. Admin. Chief makes recommendation to reimburse costs if necessary.

1. Weekly Activity Reporting Procedures

2. Time Reporting Flow Diagram

3. Activity Report Instructions

4. Weekly Activity Report (form)

5. Monthly Time Accounting Form

  • Completion Date: July 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

The status of this recommendation is unchanged.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 9/2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

On July 1, 2013, Public Health began collecting activity and cost data reports to determine a baseline for its historical costs of conducting local compliance inspections. Public Health has now collected 12 months of data and has completed its evaluation of historical costs. The Department will utilize this data to ensure that the local entity compliance inspection rate is reflective of true costs.

  • Completion Date: July 2014
  • Response Date: August 2014

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

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

6-Month Agency Response

On July 1, 2013, the Food and Drug Branch (FOB) began collecting activity and cost data. FOB will collect six months of data to determine costs and evaluate the rates. Because data sometimes posts as much as six weeks after an activity or cost occurs, FOB anticipates that it will have six months of data by mid-February. By March 31, 2014, FOB will determine if existing rates are adequate to recoup its costs, and if not, will develop new rates.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 31, 2013
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


60-Day Agency Response

As noted above, on July 1, 2013 FDB began collecting activity and cost data. FDB plans to collect six months of data in order to adequately determine costs and evaluate the rates. Because data sometimes posts as much as six weeks after an activity or cost occurs, FDB anticipates that it will have six months of data by mid-February. By March 31, 2014, FDB will determine if existing rates are adequate to recoup its costs, and if not, will develop new rates.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 31, 2014
  • Response Date: August 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #4 To: Public Health, Department of

When Public Health enters into new contracts with local entities to conduct compliance inspections, it should ensure that it maintains adequate documented support for the rate it charges for a compliance inspection.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

Public Health collects and documents data from the new time tracking system. Public Health utilizes the information to develop and support the local compliance inspection rate it will charge for local compliance inspections when Public Health enters into a new contract with local entities.

Tracking and timekeeping documentation, and cost analysis was used to negotiate a new contract for FY 14/15 and 15/16 that was based on true cost per compliance check.

  • Completion Date: July 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

The status of this recommendation is unchanged.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 9/2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

Public Health collects and documents data from the new time tracking system. Public Health utilizes the information to develop and support the local compliance inspection rate it will charge for local compliance inspections when Public Health enters into a new contract with local entities.

  • Completion Date: July 2014
  • Response Date: August 2014

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

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

6-Month Agency Response

The Food and Drug Branch (FOB) continues to document data from its new tracking system FDB will use this data to support the rate it charges for compliance inspection when entering new contracts with local entities in July 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


60-Day Agency Response

FDB will monitor data from the new time tracking system described in response to Recommendation 1 and use this data when developing new contracts.

  • Estimated Completion Date: ongoing
  • Response Date: August 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #5 To: Public Health, Department of

Public Health should amend its recent contract with the city of Los Angeles to correct the rate it charges for a local compliance inspection to reflect its true cost.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

Public Health has used the CORE system and the data from its new time tracking system to determine the true cost per compliance check. This data has revealed that the contracted rate was higher than needed to reimburse Public Health for its true cost per compliance check. Public Health contacted the City of Los Angeles and requested to amend its current contract to reflect the correct rate. However, as the contract was towards the end of the term, the City of Los Angeles chose not to amend the contract. As a result, Public Health will reimburse the City of Los Angeles the difference.

On January 5, 2015, Public Health reimbursed the City of Los Angeles $161,369.98.

Public Health has used the new rate in included language in the current contract to ensure that the total cost of contracted compliance inspections will not exceed Public

  • Completion Date: July 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

The status of this recommendation is unchanged.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 2/2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

Public Health has used the data from its new time tracking system to determine the true cost per compliance check. This data has revealed that the contracted rate was higher than needed to reimburse Public Health for its true cost per compliance check. Public Health contacted the City of Los Angeles and requested to amend its current contract to reflect the correct rate. However, due to the fact that the contract was towards the end of the contract, the City of Los Angeles chose not to amend the current contract. As a result, Public Health will reimburse the City of Los Angeles the difference. Public Health will utilize the new rate in the future contract discussions with the City of Los Angeles and will include language in the contract to ensure that the total cost of contracted compliance inspections will not exceed Public Health's expenditures.

  • Completion Date: July 2014
  • Response Date: August 2014

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

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

6-Month Agency Response

By March 31, 2014, the Food and Drug Branch (FOB) will use data from its new time tracking system to determine the true cost per compliance check and determine if it should amend the City of Los Angeles contract.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 31, 2014
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


60-Day Agency Response

By March 31, 2014, FDB will use data from its new time tracking system to determine the true cost per compliance check and determine if it should amend the City of Los Angeles contract.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 31, 2014
  • Response Date: August 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #6 To: Public Health, Department of

To ensure that Public Health can more effectively monitor and enforce compliance with the STAKE Act, it should take appropriate steps to ensure that there are no restrictions placed on the use of the data acquired during the annual retailer assessment that would preclude its use for compliance inspection purposes.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

On January 28, 2015, the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) contract with California State University Sacramento (CSUS) to perform the Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey (YTPS) was fully executed. Attached is a copy of the fully executed contract. The Scope of Work for the new contract states that CSUS will obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to conduct the study and share the names and addresses of violating stores with the California Department of Public Health, Food and Drug Branch (FDB).

  • Completion Date: January 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

The status of this recommendation is unchanged.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 9/2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

Starting in 2014, after the June 30 completion of the annual Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey (YTPS), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Tobacco Control Branch (TCB) will share with CDPH Food and Drug Branch (FDB) the list of retailers who sold tobacco to minor decoys during YTPS. On August 28, 2013, TCB and FDB agreed the YTPS data will be transferred via encrypted electronic means, secure email, or password-protected site consistent with CDPH Information Technology Services Division security best practices.

On completion of data collection for the 2014 YTPS, San Diego State University Research Foundation (SDSURF) sent the complete data set to TCB. On July 18, 2014, after verifying data accuracy and completing statistical analyses, TCB provided FDB the list of retailers that sold tobacco to minors. The data included license number, taxpayer number, business name, and store address/telephone number.

TCB removed restrictions on data sharing with FDB by not renewing or extending SDSURF's contract to conduct YTPS. The future YTPS contract will include language stating that violator data is provided to FDB.

Since San Diego State University elected to not renew their contract, and TCB reached out to, California public universities was needed to identify a qualified Principal Investigator. TCB identified an interested, capable entity to conduct the 2015 YTPS. The Budget and Scope of Work are under negotiation. It is anticipated that an interagency agreement will be submitted to CDPH's Contract Management Unit by August 31, 2014. The contract process typically takes six months. The new agreement will specify that names and addresses of stores that sold tobacco to minors will be shared with FDB and this information must be included in the study protocol submitted to the Institutional Review Board. The agreement which describes sharing violator data with FDB will be provided to BSA upon execution.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 03/15/2015
  • Response Date: August 2014

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


6-Month Agency Response

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will implement this recommendation. Beginning in 2014 and following the completion of the annual Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey (YTPS) on June 30 of each year, the Tobacco Control Branch (TCB) will share with Food and Drug Branch (FOB) the names and addresses of retailers who sold tobacco to a minor decoy during the survey.

On August 28, 2013, TCB confirmed with FOB that YTPS data will be transferred by:encrypted electronic data transfer via secure email or password-protected SharePoint site, consistent with CDPH Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) security best practices.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2014 and annually thereafter.
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


60-Day Agency Response

Beginning in 2014, following the completion of the annual Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey (YTPS) by June 30 of each year, the Tobacco Control Branch (TCB) will share with FDB the names and addresses of retailers who sold tobacco to a minor decoy during the survey.

By September 1, 2013, FDB and TCB will determine if the YTPS data will be transferred by:

Encrypted electronic data transfer via secure email or password-protected SharePoint site, consistent with CDPH Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) security best practices; or

Secure hard copy via signature-required Registered Mail via the U.S. Postal Service.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2014
  • Response Date: August 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #7 To: Public Health, Department of

To ensure that Public Health can more effectively monitor and enforce compliance with the STAKE Act, it should annually obtain the identifying information regarding the retailers that sold tobacco to minors during the annual retailer assessment and provide that information to the Food and Drug Branch.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

The CSUS IRB protocol incorporates sharing information on violating stores with the CDPH, Food and Drug Branch (FDB) and includes a statement on the consent form indicating that information gathered from the YTPS may be used for future research purposes. An exemption from full review signifies that the CSUS IRB does not see any problems with CTCP sharing information on violating stores with FDB nor with information gathered from the YTPS being used for future research purposes.

  • Completion Date: January 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

The status of this recommendation is unchanged.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 9/2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

CDPH has partially implemented this recommendation.

In conjunction with an annual report to the federal government and an annual summary of YTPS results provided to the Board of Equalization (BOE), TCB will ensure that the names and addresses of retailers who sell tobacco to minor decoys during the annual YTPS are provided to FDB via encrypted electronic data transfer or via secure email or password-protected SharePoint site. This is consistent with CDPH Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) security best practices. Beginning with the 2014 YTPS, TCB will provide a list of violating retailers names and addresses directly to FDB no later than July 31st of each year.

This recommendation will be fully implemented once all data on violating retailers are shared with FDB.

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 31, 2014
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


6-Month Agency Response

CDPH will implement this recommendation. In conjunction with an annual Synar report to the federal government and an annual summary of Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey (YTPS) results provided to the Board of Equalization (BOE), TCB will ensure that the names and addresses of retailers who sell tobacco to minor decoys during the annual YTPS are provided to FOB via encrypted electronic data transfer or via secure email or password-protected SharePoint site, consistent with CDPH ITSD security best practices. Beginning with the 2014 YTPS, TCB will provide a list of violating retailers' names and addresses directly to FOB no later than July 31st of each year.

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 31, 2014 and annually thereafter.
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


60-Day Agency Response

In conjunction with an annual Synar report to the federal government and an annual summary of YTPS results provided to the Board of Equalization (BOE), TCB will provide the names and addresses of retailers who sell tobacco to minor decoys during the annual YTPS to FDB, following one of the secure processes enumerated in Response 6. Beginning with the 2014 YTPS, TCB will provide a list of violating retailers' names and addresses directly to FDB no later than June 30th of each year.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2014
  • Response Date: August 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #8 To: Public Health, Department of

To ensure that Public Health can more effectively monitor and enforce compliance with the STAKE Act, it should include the retailers that sold tobacco to minors during the annual retailer assessment when selecting the retailers it plans to inspect as part of the statewide compliance inspections.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

CDPH has implemented this recommendation

On July 2014, FDB incorporated referrals received from the Tobacco Control Branch (TCB) into its annual compliance check work plan.

This recommendation will be implemented annually by FDB during the first quarter of each fiscal year as data on violating retailers is shared by TCB.

All TCB complaint referrals are added into the corresponding district work plans. Every effort is made to select tobacco retailers based on programmatic and geographical assignments. All complaints are prioritized and incorporated into the workplan to effectively monitor tobacco retailers statewide.

  • Completion Date: July 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

The status of this recommendation is unchanged.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 9/2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

CDPH has partially implemented this recommendation

Beginning in 2014, FDB will incorporate referrals received from the TCB into its annual compliance check work plan.

This recommendation will be fully implemented once all data on violating retailers are shared with FDB.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 31, 2014
  • Response Date: June 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


6-Month Agency Response

CDPH will implement this recommendation. Beginning in 2014, upon receipt from TCB, FOB will incorporate referrals received from the TCB into its annual compliance check work plan to ensure that Public Health can more effectively monitor and enforce compliance with the STAKE Act.

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 31, 2014 and annually thereafter
  • Response Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


60-Day Agency Response

Upon receipt, FDB will incorporate referrals received from the TCB into its annual compliance check work plan.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2014
  • Response Date: August 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #9 To: Public Health, Department of

Public Health should add language to its youth decoy and parent or legal guardian consent form to clarify that the data obtained from the youth's participation may be used in future research in a way that will not reveal the identity of the youth.

6-Month Agency Response

CDPH has implemented this recommendation. In consultation with the CDPH Office of Legal Services, TCB reviewed all youth decoy and parental/guardian consent forms. Effective September 1 2013, the YTPS contractor began using a revised consent form (Please see attached).

  • Completion Date: September 2013
  • Response Date: December 2013

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


60-Day Agency Response

In consultation with the CDPH Office of Legal Services, TCB reviewed all youth decoy and parental/guardian consent forms. Effective September 1 2013, the YTPS contractor will use a revised consent form (Attachment C).

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 1, 2013
  • Response Date: August 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


All Recommendations in 2012-111

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


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