Report 2012-121.2 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2012-121.2: Department of Parks and Recreation: Flaws in Its Budget Allocation Processes Hinder Its Ability to Effectively Manage the Park System (Release Date: September 2013)

Recommendation #1 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To ensure that districts receive timely budget allocations, the department should establish and implement a formal allocation process by January 2014 that includes the following:

- A timeline that mirrors the State's budget process and describes when the department will provide park districts with draft allocations, revisions to draft allocations, and final allocations.

- A description of the roles and responsibilities of key staff involved in the process, including budget office staff, the deputy directors and division chiefs for park operations and the OHMVR division, and district superintendents.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

See 'BP-1 Development and Distribution' procedures. The Department issues numerous versions of allocations department wide before the budget is enacted.

Attachment D:

BP-1 Development and Distribution

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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


1-Year Agency Response

The process has been incorporated into the Budget Office's Desk Procedures. Desk procedures do not go into a department-wide policy manual such as the DAM because it would confuse the reader.

Attached is a sample of an e-mail that went out to the Districts on July 1, 2014, with their budget allocation plans.

  • Completion Date: July 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

The department asserts that a budget process has been incorporated into the budget office desk procedures, but has not provided those procedures to us to substantiate its claim of fully implemented. Additionally, although the sample provided by the department indicates it sent draft and final allocations to districts in February and July, respectively, the memo indicates allocations that would coincide with the May revise of the governor's budget. The department's response is silent as to how it implemented a description of the roles and responsibilities of key staff involved in the process.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

The Department has complied with this process in establishing initial budget allocations that mirror the Draft Budget released in January 2014. The process, with timeline and responsibilities delineated, is attached.

  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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

Although the department provided us with a memo describing how it plans to implement our recommendation, it did not indicate whether such a process had been incorporated into a formal process document such as its Department Administrative Manual.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department has prepared draft written procedures to document the allocation process proposed for 2014/15 and for future years. These procedures clarify the review process for budget allocations by the various management levels within the Department. The draft procedures are in comment phase now and will be finalized for use in preparing the 2014/15 budget.

  • Estimated Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

Although the department has developed draft procedures for a more formal allocation process that includes a description of the roles and responsibilities of various staff at the department and a timeline, the timeline is only for providing preliminary budget allocations based on the January Governor's Budget. Specifically, the department's draft procedures state that after budget hearings are concluded and the May revised budget is released, updated allocations will be created; however the draft procedures do not indicate a timeframe in which districts will be notified of changes to their budgets from May revisions. Similarly, once a final budget is adopted by the Legislature and signed by the governor, the draft procedures do not provide a timeframe when districts can expect their final allocations. Additionally, the department's draft procedures do not address who will contact key staff throughout the department when delays in the budget process occur. Without more detailed procedures for when districts can expect revised and final allocations, districts may have difficulty planning their annual expenditures.


Recommendation #2 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To reduce duplicate expenditure tracking and increase the effectiveness of its budget process, the department should develop procedures requiring the districts to prepare and submit spending plans and to periodically submit their total expenditures after reconciling them with the FTS. The procedures should specify how often districts should provide this information to the department to ensure that the budget office and park management can appropriately oversee the districts' budgets and spending.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

The Department reduced its duplicate expenditure tracking and increased the effectiveness of our budget process by developing procedures requiring the district offices to prepare and submit spending plans by submitting their total projected expenditures after reconciling with FTS. The attached procedures specify how often the districts should provide this information to headquarters to ensure that the budget office and park management can properly oversee the district office's budgets and spending. Attachment B shows a screenshot showing the input module for Reporting and Adjustments to Expenditure Projections. Attachment C "Projections Database - Access and Instructions" was implemented Feb 29, 2016.

  • Completion Date: February 2016

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

Actions have been taken to start development and implementation of an Expenditure/Projections screen in the Department's Fiscal Tracking System. This would be a tool for the districts and headquarters to review actual and projected expenditures. The tool will allow districts to make changes to formula-driven projected expenditures to reflect changing operations, and will thus reduce duplicative projection efforts. This tool will be accessible via the internet to relevant employees throughout the Department. This will also allow the Budget Office to hold monthly conversations with the districts about their expenditures and will shift ownership of projections to the districts themselves. Once developed, procedures will be developed for the districts on how to use the new screen and what information will need to be input. There will also be procedures in place for the Budget Office on what information to look for and how to properly analyze the information.

Attachment A:

Fund Reconciliation Guide

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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

Although the department's response states that it has taken steps to start development and implementation of a tool to reduce duplicative projection efforts, its response also indicates that it has not yet completed the tool and procedures for the districts. We look forward to reviewing the documentation once the department completes the tool and related procedures.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

1-Year Agency Response

The Districts' projections and tracking is not duplicative but rather a necessary tool. It is similar to tracking a personal checking account with a checkbook register instead of relying on the bank to know your account balance. Districts make sure invoices are not lost, that are mailed to headquarters, by checking the system for payment. Headquarters would not be able to check for a missing invoice because they don't know what the districts have sent. Together both the Districts and the Budget Office projections start the conversation between offices and provide Executive Staff information to make informed decisions.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

The department has misunderstood our recommendation. We agree with the department's response that district projections and tracking is not duplicative. As we describe on page 23 of the audit report, the department's efforts duplicate work performed at the district level. Therefore our recommendation was directed to reduce the duplicate expenditure tracking occurring at the departments and to develop a process and procedure that require a consistent method for districts to prepare documents and submit them to the budget office for oversight purposes.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

At the close of the first quarter of each Fiscal Year beginning in Fiscal Year 2014-15, and monthly thereafter, the budget analysts will contact the District Superintendents in each of the Departments Districts to discuss budget-to-actual expenditures and target-to-actual revenue. The analysts will also work with the District Superintendents to prepare both expenditure and revenue projections for the upcoming quarter. This same discussion will occur with the Deputy Director of each Division within the Department.

After the close of the first quarter of each Fiscal Year, and monthly thereafter, the Budget Officer will prepare a budget-to-actual expenditure and target-to-actual revenue report for review by the Executive Staff at the regularly scheduled Executive Staff Meeting. The Budget Officer will compile expenditure and revenue projections from information provided from the Budget Analysts.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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

Although the department has stated its intent to require discussions between the budget analysts and district superintendents, the department has not yet provided the procedures that it plans to have the districts follow to reduce duplicate expenditure tracking and increase the effectiveness of the budget process.


60-Day Agency Response

The Budget Section has prepared draft procedures to reconcile expenditures with the various divisions in the Department and to report monthly to the Department's Executive Management Team. The draft procedures are in comment phase now.

  • Estimated Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

Although the department has developed draft procedures to reconcile expenditures and report monthly to its executive management team, its draft procedures do not address key aspects of our recommendation. For example, our recommendation states that the procedures should require the districts to prepare and submit spending plans, but the department's draft procedures do not mention spending plans or anything similar. Rather the department's draft procedures require a discussion of budget to actual expenditures and revenues between budget analysts and district superintendents. We would have expected the department to develop a procedure that outlines a consistent process for districts to develop and submit spending plans which the budget analysts could then review and approve to provide oversight of district expenditures.


Recommendation #3 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To ensure that it can comply with state law in the event that it must close parks or reduce park services in the future, the department should improve its methodology for developing individual park unit budgets and determining and tracking park-level costs. Specifically, the department should update its description of phase one to adequately explain how it will reconcile individual park costs for fiscal year 2010-11 to the department's total actual expenditures to operate the parks.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

The Department uses actual past year expenditure data to develop the Park Unit Costing report. As stated in Phase one, Districts calculate and compile the costs to run each park unit. For 10-11 data, Districts determined these costs by considering a number of factors including the amount of time each employee spent at a particular park unit. Since then, the Department has required Districts, as expenditures occur, to assign the expenditures for direct costs (staffing, operating expenditures and encumbrances) to the appropriate park unit(s) through the Department's Fiscal Tracking System. This information was used to start the park unit costing report. All expenditures not attributed to a specific park unit were spread utilizing a percentage provided by Districts. The percentages were developed with a number of factors in mind, consistent with the prior method, including staff time spent at particular park units. The total expenditures at each District and Department-wide were reconciled both prior to the expenditures being distributed based on the percentages and after to ensure the totals remained correct.

See also 'Process for Calculating Park Unit Costs' - January 2014.

Attachment E:

Process for Calculating Park Unit Costs

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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


1-Year Agency Response

The Department tracked expenditures at the Park Unit Level in fiscal year 2013-14. The Budget Office will be reconciling this information against budgetary and accounting documents provided to the Department of Finance (DOF) for preparation of the Governor's January 10 Budget.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

Effective September 2013, state law was amended removing the requirement for the department to determine the amount necessary to fully operate its 278 parks at the 2010 level. However, the department has not provided its revised methodology with an updated description of Phase 1 that explains how it will reconcile individual park costs for future years to the department's total actual expenditures to operate the parks during those years. Moreover, the department has not provided documentation to substantiate its claim of fully implemented.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

In January 2014, the Department released its Park Unit Costing Report. The increased level of fiscal information provided in this report and in the future will allow for a greater understanding regarding how departmental funding is allocated amongst the various State parks in support of Californias State Park System.

In developing this report, the costs for the park system fall into two main categories of expenditures:

Direct Expenditures - These are the direct expenditures for providing services in a park unit, from the district level down—identified as staffing and operating expenses in this report.

Indirect Overhead Expenditures - These include the cost of support services for the park unit and support provided by the Departments Headquarters operation—identified as distributed admin and core programs in this report.

The Departments Fiscal Tracking System, reports expenditures to the district level of the State Park System. The Department developed estimates for how those expenditures should be distributed among the various parks in the system. Included in the report is the Departments estimate of how the district expenditures are distributed among the parks for both FY 2010-11 and projected for FY 2013-14. The Departments examination of the State Park Systems budget focused on the support budget expenditures—not Capital Outlay or Local Assistance Expenditures—in order to capture those costs that best reflect the costs of operating individual parks within a park system. Going forward, the Department is tracking expenditures for the Park System at the Park Unit Level and will release expenditures at the Park Unit Level annually.

In 2013, the Public Resources Code 5007 was amended resulting in the deletion of the requirement to compare most recent cost estimates to the amounts determined necessary to fully operate our parks at the 2010 level when proposing park service reductions or closures.

  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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

We acknowledge the department's efforts to implement our recommendation, however, effective September 2013, state law was amended removing the requirement for the department to determine the amount necessary to fully operate its 278 parks at the 2010 level. However, the department has not provided its revised methodology to include with an updated description of Phase 1 that explains how it will reconcile individual park costs for future years to the department's total actual expenditures to operate the parks during those years.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

In phase one of the Park Unit Budget intiative expenditures for the 2010/11 fiscal year were broken down within each District to the Park Unit level. These expenditures were reported to Headquarters in October 2013. This data will be included in a report being prepared for the Legislature, due in December 2013. As part of the data compilation, the task force worked with the Department Budget Office to combine Park Unit expenditures with the overall expenditures for the Department and to reconcile these to the Department Budget for FY 2010/11.

  • Completion Date: October 2013
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

Although the department states that a task force worked to combine park unit expenditures with the overall expenditures of the department and reconcile these to the department budget for fiscal year 2010-11, the department did not provide a copy of the reconciliation performed by its task force. Additionally, the department's response does not address whether it updated its description of phase one to adequately explain how its process for reconciling individual park costs for fiscal year 2010-11 to the department's total actual expenditures to operate the parks.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #4 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To ensure that it can comply with state law in the event that it must close parks or reduce park services in the future, the department should improve its methodology for developing individual park unit budgets and determining and tracking park-level costs. Specifically, the department should develop specific time frames and deliverables for the completion of phases two and three of its plan. These time frames should include specific completion dates for each key component of the phases.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

Phase 2 is complete. The Department created procedures in January of 2014 and provided them in the audit response in September of 2015. The Department puts on Business and Fiscal Training each spring and fall; the Budget office presents at one of these trainings each year to keep districts current on data collection. The Department also offers one-on-one training in the field as needed; this usually happens when new administrative staff is hired in the field or when a refresher is desired.

Phase 3 complete. In May 2016, the Department completed the data collection effort for SBB that documents all functions, across each district and park to enable analysis of the resource requirements for each task the Department needs to perform to achieve its Mission Service Levels. This process also revealed which tasks are currently performed and to what extent (Current Service Level). The Department has been able to analyze this information through high-level analytics, and for the first time can articulate through a qualitative analysis the service levels, it currently provides and how it allocates its resources. The Department has set service level standards in order to align the Department's mission and goals. By setting these standards, the Department is able to prioritize field services, connect resource allocation to service levels, regulate performance metrics, improve operation efficiency, encourage innovation, and enhance the visitor experience. In October of 2017, the Department completed Future Service Levels, which will provide budgets to the park unit level. The information is a dynamic dataset, which requires information be updated periodically.

  • Completion Date: October 2017

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

The department did not provide us with specific time frames and deliverables for the completion of phases two and three of its plan as we had recommended. However, as the department indicates in its response, it has completed phase two and three of its process. Therefore, we consider this recommendation resolved.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

The Service-Based Budgeting project remains in the development stage. Upon completion, this initiative will inform the Department's internal allotment processes and articulate which services can be performed at any given funding level at a park unit level. The initiative will include a component that dynamically tracks and updates service levels. Service-Based Budgeting is expected to be implemented by summer 2017.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 08/01/2017

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

The Department develops Park Unit Costing mirroring the Budget Cycle. These numbers are released to coincide with the Governor's Budget release on January 10. See also 'Process for Calculating Park Unit Costs' - January 2014. As referenced on page 25 and 26 of the audit report, phase 2 was undertaken and completed. The Department's Fiscal Tracking System was updated and now has the ability to report on Park Unit Costing. Also, as part of phase 2, the Department has offered numerous trainings that touch on Park Unit Costing and will continue to do so on an annual basis as part of the Business and Fiscal Training. Phase 3 centered around developing park unit budgets with regards to service levels. The Department is currently undergoing a transformative effort which is being carried out by the Transformation Team. As part of this effort, the Team is currently in the process of developing a service-based budget which will help inform financial decisions in the future. This effort is expected to be completed in 2016.

Attachment E:

Process for Calculating Park Unit Costs

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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

The department's statement that our report indicates that phase two was undertaken and completed is incorrect. On page 25 of our report we state that the department's description of the second phase of its methodology stated that several changes would need to occur in the way the department captured and retrieved data before it could track expenditures at the park level. We acknowledged in the report that in August 2013 the department demonstrated that it had resolved limitations with its fiscal tracking system. However, at the time we issued our report the description of the second phase of the department's methodology did not address when key training would occur. As part of its response to recommendation 5, the department provided documentation to substantiate that trainings have occurred. However, regarding phase three of its methodology, the department's response indicates that its efforts to develop service-based budgets are ongoing. Therefore, we assess this recommendation as partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

1-Year Agency Response

Annually on January 10, concurrent with the release of the Governor's Budget, the Department releases past-year actual expenditures at the Park Unit Level. The Budget Office also releases the initial "Budget Plan" for the next Budget Year. This is an initial plan at appropriation levels and could change during the budget cycle.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

In its response the department is silent regarding the methodology it created to help develop individual park unit budgets and determine and track park-level costs. As we state on pages 25 and 26 of the report, the department had developed phases two and three of its plan but lacked time frames and deliverables for when and how it planned to complete those two phases. Without time frames and deliverables the department continues struggling to implement its methodology for developing individual park unit budgets and determining and tracking park-level costs.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

The Budget Office is tracking expenditures by Park Unit for Fiscal Year 13/14. The Department is currently tracking expenditures at the Park Unit Level. When the fiscal year is complete, we will reconcile to budgetary and accounting documents to report the 2013/14 Park Unit Cost. We anticipate reporting annually with the release of the Governors Budget on January 10.

Every year on January 10, concurrent with the release of the Governors Budget, the Department plans to release past year actual expenditures at the Park Unit Level. We also plan to release the initial Budget Plan for the Budget Year. This is an initial plan as appropriation levels could change during the budget cycle.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department has developed specific time frames and deliverables for the completion of phases two and three of its plan as follows:

Phase two - Define a process to track expenditures by park unit for fiscal year 2013/14. The Department sent instruction to Park Districts that beginning on July 1, 2013 expenditures are to be tied to individual Park Units. The Districts have been entering expenditure to the Park Unit since July 1, 2013.

Phase Three - Develop individual park unit budgets to define what each park unit costs to operate. The 2013/14 budget allocations have been allocated to the park unit level. This data will be included in a report being prepared for the Legislature, due in December 2013.

  • Completion Date: October 2013
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

Although the department reiterates the beginning date for phase two of its methodology for developing individual park unit budgets and determining and tracking park-level costs, it has not developed specific time frames and deliverables for the completion of phase two. We would have expected the department to update its methodology to include key components to accomplish phase two along with dates for each of the key components during fiscal year 2013-14 and beyond to ensure individual park unit expenditure data is captured consistently and meets the departments expectations. Moreover, the department lacks specific time frames and deliverables for the completion of phase three.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #5 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To ensure that it can comply with state law in the event that it must close parks or reduce park services in the future, the department should improve its methodology for developing individual park unit budgets and determining and tracking park-level costs. Specifically, the department should provide training as soon as possible to park operations staff to ensure that they consistently collect the data necessary for phase two.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

In addition to the already mentioned March 2014 training, another training was held in February 2015 for District Administrative Officers and their staff. This packet also includes information on how to input park unit function/costing. Park Unit Costing is a subcomponent of the Department's Fiscal Tracking System, and was explained as part of the Fiscal Tracking System training. See the Fiscal Tracking Systems packet. This information can also be found on the Department's Intranet page and is readily available from the Fiscal Systems Support Unit as well.

Attachment F:

March 2014 Roster for Puff Training/McClellan Training Center

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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


1-Year Agency Response

In addition to the initial training the Administrative Division provided Park Unit Cost training to the Administrative Officers and their staff on March 17 through March 20, 2014 at our Parks' McClellan Training Center.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

Although it asserts that it has provided training, the department did not provide us with evidence of the training, such as attendance sheets or training materials.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

6-Month Agency Response

In January 2014, the Department released its Park Unit Costing Report. The increased level of fiscal information provided in this report and in the future will allow for a greater understanding regarding how departmental funding is allocated amongst the various State parks in support of Californias State Park System. Park operations staff were provided guidance and training during the initial data collection process and we will provide ongoing training as we refine this process.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

After receipt of the Audit Report the Department met with Administrative Officers via a conference call to determine which Administrative Officers felt the need for additional training on collecting and tracking park unit costs. Any Administrative Officers requesting additional training were contacted individually to have their specific questions answered. The Department is confident that all employees involved in the tracking and input of costs at the Park Unit Level have been trained.

  • Completion Date: September 2013
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

Although the department asserts that it had a conference call with administrative officers to determine the need for additional training, it did not provide details of the discussion or documentation for the basis it used to determine that all employees have been adequately training to consistently collect the data necessary for phase two.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #6 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To ensure that it can comply with state law in the event that it must close parks or reduce park services in the future, the department should improve its methodology for developing individual park unit budgets and determining and tracking park-level costs. Specifically, the department should determine how it will define service levels and measure whether those levels are being met so it can provide budgets for each park unit, as phase three of its process requires.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

Phase 3 complete. In May 2016, the Department completed the data collection effort for SBB that documents all functions, across each district and park to enable analysis of the resource requirements for each task the Department needs to perform to achieve its Mission Service Levels. This process also revealed which tasks are currently performed and to what extent (Current Service Level). The Department has been able to analyze this information through high-level analytics, and for the first time can articulate through a qualitative analysis the service levels, it currently provides and how it allocates its resources. The Department has set service level standards in order to align the Department's mission and goals. By setting these standards, the Department is able to prioritize field services, connect resource allocation to service levels, regulate performance metrics, improve operation efficiency, encourage innovation, and enhance the visitor experience. In October of 2017, the Department completed Future Service Levels, which will provide budgets to the park unit level. The information is a dynamic dataset, which requires information be updated periodically.

  • Completion Date: October 2017

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

The Service-Based Budgeting project remains in the development stage. Upon completion, this initiative will inform the Department's internal allotment processes and articulate which services can be performed at any given funding level at a park unit level. The initiative will include a component that dynamically tracks and updates service levels. Service-Based Budgeting is expected to be implemented by summer 2017.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 08/01/2017

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

Work is ongoing with the Transformation Team in Service Based Budgeting. This effort will define service levels and park unit budgets. This effort is slated for completion in 2016.

No Attachment

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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

Although the department indicates its status as fully implemented for this recommendation, its response states that work is ongoing to define service levels. Therefore, we have assessed its status as pending.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

1-Year Agency Response

The Department continues to work with Parks Forward to further define and address service levels and appropriate measurement tools for this process.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

The department's response does not agree to its response status of fully implemented. Specifically, the department states that it continues to work with Parks Forward to define and address service levels and appropriate measurement tools for the process. Thus we have assessed the status as pending.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

In January 2014, the Department released its Park Unit Costing Report. The increased level of fiscal information provided in this report and in the future will allow for a greater understanding regarding how departmental funding is allocated amongst the various State parks in support of Californias State Park System. The description of additional considerations in the process is attached. We will work with Parks Forward to further define and address service levels and appropriate measurement tools for this process.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

In March 2013 the Department created a team to develop a methodology to report on the expenditures of each unit of the State Park system in Fiscal Year 2010/11. The Methodology was finalized in June 2013. The data from that exercise was then cost escalated to identify cost rates for fiscal year 2013/14. This informaion will allow the department to identify cost savings from the closure of a specific park unit. This unit cost information is scheduled to be presented to Legislative staff on December 2, 2014.

In the case of service levels, those are determined by the annual budget for state parks. As such, service levels can differ from year to year depending on the availability of funding.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2013
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

The department's update does not align with its methodology. Specifically, state law requires the department to assess its annual appropriations based on the amount necessary to fully operate its 278 park units in 2010. Phase three of the departments methodology addressed this by creating specific service levels to define "fully operate." However, the department is now asserting that service levels differ from year to year based on availability of funding. We disagree. We believe that service levels should be defined as a base to determine which services should be reduced or which parks should be closed in the event of a required budget reduction. Without defined service levels, the department will not be able to adequately meet statutory requirements to close or partially close park units based on the amount necessary to fully operate its 278 parks in 2010.


Recommendation #7 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To ensure that the Legislature has the information necessary to make any future decisions related to service reductions or park closures, beginning in fiscal year 2014-15 the department should provide it with an annual report that details the costs to operate each park unit.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

The Department released its Park Unit Costing report in January 2015 which identified actual expenditures at the park unit level. Every year concurrent with the January 10 release of the Governor's Budget, the Department will release past-year actual expenditures at the Park Unit Level. See 'Expenditure Unit Detail, Fiscal Year 2013-14'.

Attachment G:

Park Unit Costing Report

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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


1-Year Agency Response

Every year concurrent with the January 10 release of the Governor's Budget, the Department will release past-year actual expenditures at the Park Unit Level.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

The department's response is the same as its response for this recommendation at the 6-month update. However, the department's assessment has changed from not fully implemented to fully implemented but it has not provided us with documentation to support its claim of full implementation.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

Every year, concurrent with the January 10 release of Governors Budget, the Department plans to release past year actual expenditures at the Park Unit Level.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department is on track to provide its report to the Legislature that details the costs to operate each park unit and annual reports to the Legislature thereafter.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2013
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

The department indicates that it is on track to submit annual reports to the Legislature beginning in fiscal year 2014-15. Recommendation is pending until it submits its first report.


Recommendation #8 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To prevent unauthorized leave buyback transactions, the department should provide training by December 2013 to all department managers and personnel staff who might be involved in leave buyback transactions to ensure that they understand the State's requirements regarding leave buybacks.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

The Department is initiating a 'Leave Buy-Back' training module for our departmental supervisors and managers. We have finalized an on-line training module entitled 'Leave Buy Back Training For Managers and Supervisors' (see attached Power Point) which will be implemented in January 2018.

As indicated previously, all current managers and supervisors will be required to complete the module within three months of implementation, and newly hired managers and supervisors will be required to complete the module within three months of appointment. Once completed, the Certificate of Completion for the training will be submitted to the Training Coordinator by the employee's supervisor, and entered into the Department's Employee Training Management System (ETMS) for tracking.

  • Estimated Completion Date: January 2018

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

Within six (6) months, the Department of Parks and Recreation (Department) will initiate an online departmental required training module, Leave Buyback Training, for all Department supervisors and managers. The Leave Buyback Training will become part of the Department's new hire process. As a result, all newly hired supervisors and managers will be required to complete the training within three (3) months of their supervisory or management appointment. The Department will require all current supervisors and managers to complete the training within three (3) months to ensure compliance. Upon completion of the training module, the supervisor or manager will print out a certificate of completion and provide it to their supervisor or manager who will then forward it to the division's Training Coordinator to be entered into the Department's Employee Training Management System (ETMS).

The Department currently tracks all voluntary and mandatory training via ETMS. The required Leave Buyback Training will be incorporated and tracked as a training required for all Departmental supervisors and managers.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 5/1/2017

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

The department disagrees as we have not remained silent regarding our response to Recommendation #8 for the unauthorized leave buyback transactions.

On March 10, 2014 a response memo to Elaine M. Howell was provided which indicated:

"This training was provided to all Personnel staff who could be involved with leave buyback."

To support proof of this training the department provided "Attachment C -Transactions Office Cash Out Policy Meeting". This substantiates that the Transactions Managers, Ronette Martinez and Keren Yowell provided training to the Personnel Specialists, Senior Personnel Specialists and Personnel Supervisors on January 23, 2014.

The following documents and actions were completed at this training meeting:

- "Attachment D - DPR Memo/Subject: Cash Out/Buy Back of Leave Options" was read, scenarios were discussed, questions answered and copies provided to all attendees.

- "Attachment E - SCO Memo/Subject: Cash-Out/Buy Back of Leave Benefits" was read, scenarios were discussed and questions answered and copies provided to all attendees.

Attachment H:

PML 2014-008/009 and Prior Years Attachment *C, *D and *E (Audit Response 2014)

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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

As we describe in our assessment of the department's March 2014 response, although the department provided documentation of training for its personnel staff who could be involved in leave buyback transactions, the department's documentation did not indicate whether training was provided to department managers who might be involved in leave buyback transactions. The department's response in September 2014 was silent on whether it had provided training to all managers who might be involved in leave buybacks, as detailed in our assessment. Our recommendation is aimed at ensuring that all department managers, including those managers outside the personnel unit and administrative division, received leave buyback training. We recognize the departments efforts to train its personnel staff, but continue to emphasize the need to also train its managers to better prevent unauthorized leave buyback transactions.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

1-Year Agency Response

The Department of Human Resources (CalHR) and DOF authorized the Leave Buyback Program for fiscal year 2013-14. The Department followed the procedures set up by CalHR (Personnel Management Liaisons Memorandum (PML) 2014-008 and 2014-009).

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

The department's response is silent on whether or not it has provided training to all managers and personnel staff who might be involved in leave buybacks. Without such training the department cannot ensure it processes only authorized leave buybacks, such as those authorized by the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Finance and those authorized as part of bargaining unit agreements.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

This training was provided to all Personnel staff who could be involved with leave buyback. The attached memo was provided to staff who also received and signed for the Cash Out Policy form.

  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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

Although the department provided documentation of training for its personnel staff who could be involved in leave buyback transactions, the department's documentation did not indicate whether training was provided on authorized buybacks such as those under a bargaining unit agreement. Additionally, the department did not indicate whether department managers who might be involved in leave buyback transactions received training. Although we followed up and requested a copy of the training materials the department has not yet provided a copy.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

Training for all staff who might be involved in leave buyback transactions is underway.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2013
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

The department asserts that training for staff who might be involved in leave buyback transactions is underway, but has not yet provided documentation to supports its statements that training is underway.


Recommendation #9 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To prevent unauthorized leave buyback transactions, the department should establish written policies and procedures requiring the personnel office's transactions unit to obtain documentation from managers who request leave buyback transactions. The documentation should specify the authority for the leave buyback and include appropriate authorizing signatures.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

As indicated previously CalHR and DOF have written procedures of authorized leave buybacks. The Department has created an authorization form for all other forms of leave buyback i.e. per bargaining unit agreement. The form will specify the authority for the buyback and will include appropriate signatures.

Attachment I:

Leave Accounting Letter #12-016; Request for Leave Credit Cash Out; 2015 BU 2,7,9,10, 12 Vacation/Annual Leave Cash Out Program; 2015 BU 13; Vacation/Annual Leave Cash Out Program; 2015 Excluded Leave Buy-Back Program

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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

The department has developed forms for staff to request a leave credit cash out that include the authority under which the leave buyback is being requested and authorizing signatures.


1-Year Agency Response

CalHR and DOF authorized the Leave Buyback Program for fiscal year 2013-14. The Department followed the procedures set up by CalHR Personnel Management Liaisons Memorandum (PML) 2014-008 and 2014-009). Detailed instructions were sent out to managers, supervisors, and affected employees. These procedures have changed each time CalHR and DOF authorize a Leave Buyback Program and therefore setting up our own procedures would not be appropriate. Parks must follow the statewide process.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

Although it discusses a leave buyback that was authorized by the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Finance, the department has not indicated whether it developed policies and procedures to require personnel office transaction unit staff to obtain documentation from managers who request leave buybacks under other circumstances, such as those authorized under bargaining unit agreements.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

The Department issued a Cash Out/Buy Back of Leave Benefit Options memo to Personnel Section staff on January 9, 2014. This memo instructed and informed staff regarding rules and regulations regarding buyback transactions.

  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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

Although it developed a memo for personnel section staff regarding leave buyback transactions, the memo is very high level and does not provide detailed authority for when leave buyback transactions are allowed. For example, the memo does not specifically mention cadets whose bargaining unit agreement requires the department to reduce their compensating time off (CTO) balances when they graduate from the cadet training academy. Additionally, the department only provided its memo and has still not established written policies and procedures as we recommended.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department has written procedures that reiterate the conditions under which leave cash out can be approved and consequences for policy violations. These procedures will be used to update the applicable sections(s) of the Department Administrative Manual

  • Completion Date: November 2013
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

Although it asserts that it has written procedures that reiterate the conditions under which leave cash out can be approved and consequences for policy violations, the department has not provided us with a copy of its procedures to substantiate its claim that the recommendation is fully implemented.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #10 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To prevent unauthorized leave buyback transactions, the department should increase the level of supervisory review to ensure that transactions unit staff process only authorized and properly coded leave buyback transactions.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

In addition to any procedures established by control agencies (Department of Finance, State Controller's Office, etc.), State Parks requires additional Transaction Supervisory review for all cash out of leave balances. Transaction's Supervisors review and provide signature approval on leave buy back documents. Once review is obtained, Transaction's Specialists are authorized to key the transaction.

Attachment I:

Leave Accounting Letter #12-016

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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


1-Year Agency Response

The Department has changed our procedure. Only the Director or his/her designee can approve the Departments participation in a Leave Buyback Program authorized by CalHR and DOF.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

The department misunderstood our recommendation. Specifically, we recommended the department increase its supervisory review of transactions unit staff to ensure leave buybacks were authorized and properly coded. We appreciate the department's response in that the director is required to approve the department's participation in leave buyback programs authorized by the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Finance. However, for other buyback, such as those included in bargaining unit agreements, we believe proper oversight and supervisory review within payroll and the administrative services division would be appropriate.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

The memo issued, and subsequent training, outlined the increased supervisory review of Leave Cash-Out/Buy Back transactions.

When needed, Transactions staff will prepare a separation checklist which includes leave credit cash out information. The separation checklist will be submitted to a Transactions Supervisor or Manager for review and approval prior to cashing out the leave credits. The Transactions Supervisor or Manager will initial his/her approval on the separation checklist and return it to staff for processing.

  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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

Although the department has prepared a checklist that includes various levels of supervisory review, the checklist does not include a section that describes how the leave buyback is authorized (i.e. bargaining unit contract section). Without this information, the supervisory review cannot effectively ensure only authorized buyback transactions are processed.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department has written procedures that reiterate the conditions under which leave cash out can be approved and the consequences for policy violations. These procedures will be used to update the applicable section(s) of the Department Administrative Manual.

  • Completion Date: November 2013
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

Although it asserts that it has written procedures that reiterate the conditions under which leave cash out can be approved and consequences for policy violations, the department has not provided us with a copy of its procedures to substantiate its claim that the recommendation is fully implemented.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #11 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To prevent unauthorized leave buyback transactions, the department should limit access for keying transactions to the payroll system only to authorized personnel staff.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

As outlined in our October 2016 Response, the process involves responsibilities by the unit managers and Security Monitor (SM).

-The unit manager process is to notify the SM and Authorizing Official (AO), via email, when their staff that have SCO access need to be removed. Attached are substantiating copies of email notifications (Attachments A through E) which were emailed to the SM and/or AO by the unit managers. Since our last response, we have provided additional information to the unit managers regarding their process (Attachment F) and implemented a 'reminder' email (Attachment G) which is automatically sent to them on the first of each month. These additions to the process will ensure that the unit managers fully understand when their staff with SCO access need to be removed and to notify the SM and AO timely.

-The SM process is to immediately upon notification by the unit manager, or on a monthly basis, review, update and submit the PSD 125A to SCO to request removal of staff from SCO access. Attached are substantiating copies of PSD 125As (Attachments H through L) that were submitted to SCO by the SM after receiving the above unit managers' email notifications. Also, attached are substantiating copies of PSD 125As (Attachments M and N) with the AO's signature on the top right showing the date the monthly review was done by the AO and SM.

Since our last response, we have implemented a 'read receipt' email (Attachment O) so the AO will know that the unit managers have read the above 'reminder' email, and a monthly recurring meeting reminder (Attachment P) between the SM and AO.

  • Completion Date: March 2017

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

Our current process for removing State Controller's Office access for staff who are leaving or have left the SCO access eligible position and unit, and/or the Department, is outlined below. Unit Manager Responsibility: It is the responsibility of the unit supervisor or manager who is notified that one of their employees, who is an authorized SCO user, is leaving the unit due to a transfer, promotion, demotion, separation or leave of absence of 30 or more days to notify the SCO Security Monitor and the Authorizing Official, via email, with a confirmed read receipt,and include the following information: 1. Employee name 2. Employee Classification 3. Effective date of separation, transfer or leave of absence, etc. 4.Reason for leaving, i.e., promotion, transfer, etc. The Security Monitor Responsibility: It is the responsibility of the department's SCO Security Monitor that upon receipt of notification from a unit supervisor or manager that his/her employee is transferring, promoting, demoting, separating, or going on a leave of absence of 30 or more days to update the PSD 125A and submit it to SCO to request removal or modification of the SCO access immediately. A copy of the email request from the supervisor or manager and the revised PSD 125A will be maintained for audit purposes. Once the updated PSD 125A is received from the SCO, it is immediately reviewed and verified by both the SCO Security Monitor and the Authorizing Official to ensure its accuracy. Any discrepancies are researched and corrected immediately. The SCO Security Monitor will then update any changes to the Matrix of Parks Defined SCO Access Roles. Once a month the SCO Security Monitor and the Authorizing Official will review the PSD 125A to verify the status of approved access to the SCO system. The Department has implemented this additional review to ensure the SCO Security Monitor and the SCO are kept abreast of any and all changes within the office.

  • Completion Date: January 2016

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

In late October 2016, the department communicated to its payroll managers and its security monitor the process described in its response, which is an important component to fully implementing our recommendation. However, the department stated that it was not yet able to provide documentation to substantiate that staff have begun following this process.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

In order to maintain and monitor the confidentiality and integrity of the State Controller's Office (SCO) sensitive and confidential data, as well as protect SCO's systems against misuse, abuse, and unauthorized use, the security monitor and assistant security monitor for Parks have a working knowledge of the SCO Personnel/Payroll Services Division's systems and applications, as well as the different level of system access. They also understand they must ensure compliance with the standards, procedures, and controls indicated in SCO's Decentralized Security Program manual, including the California Information Practices Act of 1977 and the California State Administrative Manual developed by the Department of General Services.

In addition, Parks created and follows the Matrix of Parks Defined SCO Access Roles (attached) which serves as a "safety net" or "second check" to ensure all requests for user access conform to the rules and regulations, as well as their classification and access levels. The Personnel Office will continue to serve as the final internal review, and provide final signature approval prior to sending the request for access to SCO. This procedure has also been added to our Security Monitor Binder, readily available to our security monitors and our Personnel Officer.

Attachment J:

State Controller's Office Access Matrix Plan

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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

The department's Access Matrix Plan outlines various levels of access for specific roles within units of the personnel services sections. Although the matrix provides a process for its security monitors to request access to the state controller's systems, the department's matrix does not outline the process used by the security monitors to remove access to these systems. As we describe on page 34 of our report, the state controller's payroll review report stated that managers who keyed the buyback transactions should not have had access to the payroll system. According to the state controller's report, the employees who keyed in the transactions had access to the system before becoming managers. However, the security monitor did not revoke this access when the employees became managers. We would expect the department's process to include steps for the security monitor to periodically verify whether those with access to the state controller's systems should continue to have access, and if not, the steps the security monitor should perform to remove inappropriate access. During our discussions with the department regarding the implementation of this recommendation, the department asserted that the security monitor would maintain a separate log and do a periodic check, every two weeks, to verify status of approved access to the state controller's system. However, the department did not provide documentation to demonstrate how it uses the security monitor's log to verify that those with access to the state controller's system should continue to have access.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

1-Year Agency Response

The State Controller's Office (SCO) requires Department's to follow their security procedures as outlined in Office of the State Controller Personnel/Payroll Services Division: Decentralized Security Program Manual. The SCO Decentralized Security Administrator (DSA) manages SCO's Decentralized Security Program. The DSA makes the final determination as to who can key transactions based on job duties. The Authorizing Official/Manager and the Security Monitor are responsible for requesting SCO to either add or delete authorized users.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

The department's response does not address our recommendation but rather reiterates points we made in our report on pages 34 and 35. We would expect the department to develop a plan for how its security monitor will limit access to the payroll system.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

The Department of Parks and Recreation has taken measured steps to prohibit unauthorized leave buybacks and further restricted employee access (for keying transactions into the payroll system) to a select group of qualified personnel. All safeguards are fully implemented and have redundant security protections in place by both internal and external protocols.

All Transaction Staff have been trained on CalHRs policy on Cash-Out/Buy Back of Leave Benefits. These rules and guidelines are attached. Moreover, the Departments supervisor for hourly operations maintains a systematized authorization list with the State Controllers Offices (SCO) Personnel/Payroll Services Division.

  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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

The department has not provided documentation to substantiate its claim that it has restricted employee access to a select group of qualified personnel. Although it has issued a formal memo, it has not provided documentation demonstrating that it is following the memo for limiting access. For example, we expect to see documentation that the department has a robust process for its security monitor to ensure on an ongoing basis that access for keying transactions is limited only to authorized personnel staff.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

Access to the State Controller's Office (SCO) payroll system is limited only to authorized personnel staff. Requests to add or change access must be approved in writing, to SCO, by the Personnel Officer.

  • Completion Date: October 2013
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

The department has not provided documentation to support its claim that access to the payroll system is limited only to authorized personnel staff.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Recommendation #12 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To improve the effectiveness of the EPRC, the department should update its administrative manual by March 2014 to specify the members of the EPRC, the members' roles and responsibilities, and the personnel actions that the EPRC is responsible for reviewing.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

The EPRC was disbanded as part of a process improvement team using the Lean 6-Sigma process learned through the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) program. Requests for Personnel Action will be approved by the Director or designee.

Attachment K:

Departmental Notice 2015-04 - DPR 81/501 Package - Administrative Review and Approval

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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

We have assessed the status as resolved because the department has disbanded the EPRC making it unnecessary to update its administrative manual to specify the members of the EPRC, their roles and responsibilities, and the personnel actions the EPRC is responsible for reviewing.


1-Year Agency Response

EPRC was disbanded as was recommended by a process improvement team using the Lean 6-Sigma process learned through the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) program. As such, a revision of the DAM is no longer necessary.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

The department asserts that it has disbanded the EPRC but did not include details on the personnel action process that replaced the EPRC. The department previously used the EPRC to govern the personnel action decision making process.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

The draft Administrative Manual update is attached and is being routed through senior management for review; we are anticipating full implementation in March 2014.

This update will specify the members of the EPRC, their roles and responsibilities and the personnel actions that EPRC is responsible for reviewing. The Department is establishing policies and procedures to govern the EPRC decisions for personnel actions taken and will establish a method to document its decisions including reasons for the decisions.

The EPRC will establish a protocol to provide a summary report of its decisions to the Directors Office in conjunction with establishing a process through which the Directors Office will provide formal direction regarding staffing priorities.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department prepared changes to the Administrative Manual that specify the members of the EPRC, their roles and responsibilities and the personnel actions that the EPRC is responsible for reviewing. This draft is under review and will be incorporated into the Administrative Manual upon finalization.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 2014
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

Although the department drafted changes for its administrative manual that include specifying the members of its EPRC, the department's changes do not include the roles and responsibilities of each member of the EPRC. Additionally, the department's drafted changes for the actions that the EPRC is responsible for reviewing continues to include the outdated information that we referenced in our report.


Recommendation #13 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To improve the effectiveness of the EPRC, the department should establish policies and procedures by March 2014 to govern the EPRC's decisions on personnel actions. These policies and procedures should include the specific factors and their relative importance that the members must consider when making decisions and should require the EPRC to document its decisions and the reasons for those decisions.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

The EPRC was disbanded as part of a process improvement team using the Lean 6-Sigma process learned through the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) program. Each Deputy will have the determination of priorities delegated to him/her.

Attachment K:

Departmental Notice 2015-04 - DPR 81/501 Package - Administrative Review and Approval

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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

We have assessed the status as resolved because the department has disbanded the EPRC making it unnecessary to establish policies and procedures to govern the EPRC's decisions on personnel actions and to document the reasons for its decisions. In lieu of the EPRC, the department uses a supplemental hiring justification packet to document the decisions and reasons for decisions on personnel actions.


1-Year Agency Response

EPRC was disbanded as was recommended by a process improvement team using the Lean 6-Sigma process learned through the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) program. As such, establishing policies and procedures is no longer necessary.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

The department asserts that it has disbanded the EPRC but did not include details on the policies and procedures it uses in lieu of the EPRC to govern the personnel action decision making process.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

A draft Administrative Manual update is being routed through senior management for review; we are anticipating full implementation in March 2014. Elaine

Currently the Classification and Pay (C&P) Manager captures the decisions and relays them to the C&P staff for handling.

The Executive/Administrative Assistant for Administrative Services will capture and transcribe the decisions and reasons for each DPR 81. The EPRC will determine if the DPR 81 is critical. Those that are a high-priority, move forward, while those that are questionable are held for further assessment.

Administration has created a spreadsheet that will indicate the EPRCs assessment of criticality, consistency, and funding. This table will be used in conjunction with the meeting notes.

The Department will update the Administrative Manual to specify the members of the EPRC, their roles and responsibilities and the personnel actions that EPRC is responsible for reviewing. The Department is establishing policies and procedures to govern the EPRCs decisions on personnel actions including specific factors and their relative importance to be considered when making decisions on personnel actions and will establish a method to document its decisions including reasons for the decisions.

The EPRC will establish a protocol to provide a summary report of its decisions to the Directors Office in conduction with establishing a process through which the Directors Office will provide formal direction regarding staffing priorities.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department prepared changes to the Administrative Manual that specify the members of the EPRC, their roles and responsibilities and the personnel actions that the EPRC is responsibl for reviewing. This will form the basis for policies and procedures for the EPRC including specific factors to be considered when making decisions. The EPRC will document its decisions and the reasons for those decisions.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 2014
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

The department states that changes to its administrative manual will form the basis for policies and procedures for the EPRC including specific factors to be considered when making decisions.


Recommendation #14 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To improve the effectiveness of the EPRC, by March 2014, the department should require the EPRC to periodically provide a summary report of its decisions to the director's office so that the director can monitor whether those decisions are consistent with his priorities.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

While the EPRC has been disbanded, career opportunity bulletins are provided to the Director weekly. These bulletins illustrate a summary of all potential hires by unit, and classification, and name.

Attachment L:

Career Opportunity Bulletin

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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

We have assessed the status as resolved because the department has disbanded the EPRC making it unnecessary to require the EPRC to periodically provide a summary report of its decision to the director's office. The department currently provides career opportunity bulletins to the director weekly.


1-Year Agency Response

EPRC was disbanded as was recommended by a process improvement team using the Lean 6-Sigma process learned through the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) program. Personnel decisions are conveyed to the acting Director on a regular basis, through routine meetings and emails, to ensure that Personnel decisions conform to her priorities.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

The department asserts that it has disbanded the EPRC but did not include details on the process it uses in lieu of the EPRC to communicate staffing decisions to the director's office.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

The Department will update the Administrative Manual to specify the members of the EPRC, their roles and responsibilities and the personnel actions that EPRC is responsible for reviewing. The Department is establishing policies and procedures to govern the EPRCs decisions on personnel actions including specific factors and their relative importance to be considered when making decisions on personnel actions and will establish a method to document its decisions including reasons for the decisions. The EPRC will establish a protocol to provide a summary report of its decisions to the Directors Office in conjunction with establishing a process through which the Directors Office will provide formal direction to the EPRC regarding staffing priorities.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Deputy Director of Administration is receiving a summary report of EPRC decisions that will be forwarded to the Director's office.

  • Completion Date: November 2013
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

The report provided by the department to substantiate its claim was a 30-page spreadsheet and may not be the best way to summarize the actions of the EPRC for the director to monitor staffing decisions.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #15 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To improve the effectiveness of the EPRC, the department should establish a process by March 2014 through which the director's office provides formal direction to the EPRC regarding staffing priorities.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

As reported in our 2016 response, DPR disbanded the EPRC. DPR released the Operational Transition Plan (OTP) on October 3, 2017. The OTP communicates the Director's formal direction and priorities for DPR. Part of the OTP included Service Based Budgeting (SBB).

The Department will utilize SBB to establish its future hiring prioritization efforts. Through the SBB analysis the department will identify which positions should be filled based on objective service standards (i.e. need and appropriate funding). These standards will cost out appropriate staffing and provide objective and consistent data for allocating and prioritizing filling positions. Under SBB, allocations will be made based on desired levels of services rather than historic allocations.

In order to ensure all hiring has executive review and approval, the Chief Deputy Director, under guidance from the Director, will review and approve all hiring packets for manager and supervisor classifications. The Deputy Director of Administration will review and approve all other hiring packets.

  • Completion Date: October 2017

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

The department indicated it has disbanded the EPRC. Instead, it is using its Operational Transition Plan to guide current staffing priorities and will use its Service Based Budgeting to inform future hiring priorities. Additionally, the department's chief deputy director approves hiring of managers and supervisors and holds weekly meetings with key managers to discuss hiring and promotions. Because the department has disbanded the EPRC but has taken alternate actions to address our concerns, we consider this recommendation resolved.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

As part of the Service Based Budgeting process, information will be provided to the director's office regarding service levels and budget allocations. Through this process, the director and deputy directors will be able to make informed decisions regarding staffing priorities and communicate those priorities to the department. As service levels are monitored, the director's office will continue to be engaged and briefed on hiring practices and their effect on service levels. We expect Service Based Budgeting to be fully implemented by summer of 2017. The Transformation Team, led by the Director, has been reviewing the department's organizational structure and has identified opportunities to eliminate duplicative services, realign divisions and programs to better support field operations, consolidate some field districts, flatten field management structures, and establish career paths to leadership for a broad range of professional backgrounds. The department will now work with staff and stakeholders as it develops a new organizational model for the department, which will also include how field districts are organized.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 8/01/2017

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

The EPRC was disbanded as part of a process improvement team using the Lean 6-Sigma process learned through the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) program. Each Deputy will have the determination of priorities delegated to him/her.

Attachment K:

Departmental Notice 2015-04 - DPR 81/501 Package - Administrative Review and Approval

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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

The department has chosen to disband the EPRC and delegate staffing priority decisions for the department to its deputies. However, the department's response does not describe the process through which the director's office provides formal direction to the deputies regarding staffing priorities for the department. Without formal direction regarding staffing priorities from the director's office, deputies may make hiring decisions that are not consistent with the priorities of the department as whole.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

1-Year Agency Response

EPRC was disbanded as was recommended by a process improvement team using the Lean 6-Sigma process learned through the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) program. The Director's Office communicates staffing priorities during regularly scheduled meetings and/or emails with the Deputy Director of Administrative Services Division.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

The department asserts that it has disbanded the EPRC but did not include details on the process that replaced the EPRC for which the director can provide formal direction regarding staffing priorities.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

Currently, the Directors Office provides direction regarding staffing priorities to the Deputy Director of Administrative Services, at the beginning of each month. Additionally, the Department is establishing policies and procedures to govern the EPRCs decisions on personnel actions including specific factors and their relative importance to be considered when making decisions on personnel actions and will establish a method to document its decisions including reasons for the decisions.

The EPRC will establish a protocol to provide a summary report of its decisions to the Directors Office in conjunction with establishing a process through which the Directors Office will provide formal direction to the EPRC regarding staffing priorities.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The EPRC will request quarterly written direction from the Director's Office outling his staffing priorities.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Marach 2014
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

Although the department asserts that the EPRC will request quarterly written direction from the director's office outlining the director's staffing priorities, we would have expected this process to be outlined in the procedures included in the changes to the administrative manual.


Recommendation #16 To: Parks and Recreation, Department of

To ensure that its position control unit staff do not circumvent state law to preserve vacant positions, the department should establish procedures that include a process to periodically review any personnel transactions that are not subject to EPRC review. It should provide a summary report of this review to the director's office and the EPRC.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

Chapter 28, Statutes of 2015 repealed Government Code Section 12439, meaning that positions are no longer abolished by the State Controller's Office after being vacant for a period of six consecutive months. In the absence of those requirements, the Department does not believe a specific process is required to ensure that its position control staff does not circumvent state law to preserve vacant positions.

No Attachment

  • Completion Date: September 2015

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

The state law associated with this recommendation has been repealed. Therefore, we assess this status as resolved.


1-Year Agency Response

EPRC was disbanded as was recommended by a process improvement team using the Lean 6-Sigma process learned through the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) program. Additionally, the Department adheres to the procedures in PML 2014-011 and the requirements in Government Code section 12439. A monthly vacancy report is given to Executive Staff and the Director's Office for review to ensure personnel staff is not preserving vacant positions through the "shell game."

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: September 2014

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

The department did not address our recommendation that it establish procedures to periodically review personnel transactions that are not subject to EPRC review. Although the department has disbanded the EPRC, we would expect it to assign the responsibilities to another entity. However, the department did not include details on the personnel action process that replaced the EPRC. Additionally, it did not provide documentation to support its claim that it provides monthly vacancy reports to the director's office.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

The review is in place and is being completed by the Position Control Unit Manager, the Assistant Personnel Officer for the unit, and the Personnel Officer. Beginning March 2014, a summary of this review will be provided to the Directors Office and the EPRC.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12/31/2014
  • Response Date: March 2014

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Department has developed procedures regarding the hiring processa nd will include those to identify and review any personnel transactions not currently subject to EPRC review as part of the procedures established for the EPRC.

  • Completion Date: November 2013
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

We assessed the implementation of this recommendation as pending because the department did not provide us a copy of the procedures it has developed. Also, the department does not address whether it will provide a summary report to the director's office.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

All Recommendations in 2012-121.2

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


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