Report 2013-103 Recommendation 33 Responses

Report 2013-103: Armed Persons With Mental Illness: Insufficient Outreach From the Department of Justice and Poor Reporting From Superior Courts Limit the Identification of Armed Persons With Mental Illness (Release Date: October 2013)

Recommendation #33 To: Justice, Department of

Justice should update and maintain its system documentation for the mental health and APPS databases to ensure that it can efficiently and effectively address modifications and questions about these databases.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

The Department reconfirmed with the Hawkins Data Center (HDC) staff that reestablishing APPS and MHFPS database documentation due to the loss of key personnel, and the number of years that have elapsed is not easily done, and is not a cost effective process. It is estimated that the reestablishing of database documentation would cost the Department an estimated $200,000 in personal services and consultant contracts, and take approximately 16 - 20 months to be completed, while pushing back other critical data and legislatively mandated system enhancements. However, HDC has been in contact with the BSA Auditor to discuss documentation necessary to fully implement this recommendation. HDC produced Data Dictionary and Entity Relationship Diagram documentation related to APPS and MHFPS.

  • Completion Date: October 2016

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

The Department reconfirmed with the HDC staff that reestablishing APPS and MHFPS database documentation due to the loss of key personnel, and the number of years that have elapsed is not easily done, and is not a cost effective process. It is estimated that the reestablishing of database documentation would cost the Department an estimated $200,000 in personal services and consultant contracts, and take approximately 16 - 20 months to be completed, while pushing back other critical data and legislatively mandated system enhancements.

The Department has completed its re-design for the APPS Law Enforcement Interface, which went into production in September 2014. The vendor who completed the APPS interface re-design, Palantir, in cooperation with HDC personnel, provided documentation of the database re-design. This re-design provided the Department with streamlined and enhanced data sharing, improved data analysis between systems, with a more robust and technological system.

  • Completion Date: September 2014

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

In addition to the documentation Justice's vendor developed for its APPS Law Enforcement Interface, Justice provided evidence that an outside consultant developed system documentation for its mental health and APPS databases. However, at the time of Justice's response, some of the documentation did not contain the level of detail Justice would need to efficiently and effectively address modifications and questions about these databases. Therefore, we assess this recommendation as partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

1-Year Agency Response

The Department reconfirmed with the HDC staff that reestablishing APPS and MHFPS database documentation due to the loss of key personnel, and the number of years that have elapsed is not easily done, and is not a cost effective process. It is estimated that the reestablishing of database documentation would cost the Department an estimated $200,000 in personal services and consultant contracts, and would take approximately 16 to 20 months to be completed, while pushing back other critical data and legislatively mandated system enhancements.

The Department has completed its re-design for the APPS Law Enforcement Interface, which went into production in September of 2014. The vendor and HDC completed the APPS interface re-design, and provided documentation of the database re-design. This re-design provided the Department with streamlined and enhanced data sharing, improved data analysis between systems, and a more robust and technological system.

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

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

Justice confirmed that they have engaged with a vendor to develop system documentation for the APPS and mental health databases. However, Justice also confirmed that, as of the date of its response, the vendor had not yet delivered that system documentation due to resource availability and the prioritization of workload. As a result we continue to assess this recommendation as pending.

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

6-Month Agency Response

The Department reconfirmed with HDC staff that reestablishing APPS and MHFPS database documentation due to the loss of key personnel, and the number of years that have elapsed is not easily done, and is not a cost effective process. It is estimated that the reestablishing of database documentation would cost the Department approximately $200,000 in personal services and consultant contracts, and take approximately 16 to 20 months to be completed, while pushing back other critical data and legislatively mandated system enhancements.

The Department is currently moving forward with finding vendors and hiring programming personnel to redesign the APPS and MHFPS systems with current software technology and infrastructure architecture. These upgrades will provide the Department with streamlined and enhanced data sharing, improved data analysis between systems, more robust and technological systems, and will include many of the other information analytical suggestions BSA made in their audit of these systems.

  • Completion Date: October 2013
  • Response Date: April 2014

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

Justice is moving forward with finding vendors to help it in developing system documentation for the APPS system. As these efforts are still in the early stages, we assess this recommendation as pending.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

The Department was advised by HDC staff that it is unable to reestablish APPS and MHFPS database documentation due to the number of years that have elapsed. However, HDC has committed to developing and maintaining system documentation from October 1, 2013 forward.

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

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

The department states that it has committed to maintaining system documentation from October 1, 2013 forward. However, in a subsequent conversation the department stated it had no documentation to provide at this time. Also in subsequent discussions, the department stated that resource availability and other established priorities led to the conclusion that it could not reestablish system documentation. However, it did not have an analysis to demonstrate that reestablishing this documentation would be cost prohibitive. We continue to believe that the documentation of these systems would benefit the department as it troubleshoots or modifies these databases. Therefore, this recommendation remains pending implementation.


All Recommendations in 2013-103

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


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