Report 2013-130 Recommendation 7 Responses

Report 2013-130: California Public Utilities Commission: It Fails to Adequately Ensure Consumers' Transportation Safety and Does Not Appropriately Collect and Spend Fees From Passenger Carriers (Release Date: June 2014)

Recommendation #7 To: Public Utilities Commission

To better ensure passenger carrier and public safety, the commission should create a system to determine when a carrier merits a penalty and what the magnitude of the penalty should be. In addition, to be an effective deterrent, the amount of such penalties should be more consistent with what state law permits.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

In March 2016, TEB developed an illustrative chart identifying the types of violations it encounters, the associated Code authority, and the appropriate fine for each type of violation. The chart further provides guidance as to when fines should be escalated based on criteria such as number of past violations, severity of the violation, and past refusal to comply with directives. In July 2016, TEB revised its investigators' enforcement guidelines to include the chart, as well as a sample citation case study and penalty analysis based on an actual prior investigation.

  • Completion Date: July 2016

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

We confirmed that the commission created a system to determine when a carrier merits a penalty and what the magnitude of the penalty should be consistent with what state law permits. The commission included these instructions in its revised enforcement guidelines.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

See one-year response.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12-31-2015

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


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

See one-year response.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 12-31-2015

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


1-Year Agency Response

TEB, with Legal Division staff, developed a citation policy to help staff determine allowable penalty amounts by violation category, and guidelines to harmonize penalty amounts with enforcement and litigation strategies.

  • Completion Date: November 2014
  • Response Date: June 2015

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

Although the California Public Utilities Commission developed transportation enforcement branch guidelines, which include a section related to penalties, it did not create a system to determine or specify when a carrier merits a penalty and what the magnitude of the penalty should be. Instead, the commission's guidelines are very high level and only state there are two types of citations and that one type may be issued in amounts ranging from the statutory minimum up to $10,000 and the other may be issued in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $20,000. However, it does not provide a guide or explain how to determine the magnitude of penalty a particular violation should receive.

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

6-Month Agency Response

TEB and Legal Division staff developed citation guidelines for staff to determine allowable penalty amounts by violation category, and guidelines to harmonize penalty amounts with enforcement and litigation strategies. Citation guidelines will also assist administrative law judges to clearly identify how TEB calculated fines, and aid the ALJ in his/her decision to reduce or increase fines within a violation category.

Status: Package of comprehensive guidelines under management review.

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

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

The commission provided its Transportation Enforcement Branch guidelines on December 31, 2014. These guidelines include a description of the two types of citations and a broad range (up to $10,000 and $10,000-$20,000) of penalty for each type. However, they do not specify how an investigator should determine the magnitude of the penalty necessary in individual cases.


60-Day Agency Response

TEB is working with Legal Division staff to create a citation policy to help staff determine allowable penalty amounts by violation category, and guidelines to harmonize penalty amounts with enforcement and litigation strategies.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 2014
  • Response Date: August 2014

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


All Recommendations in 2013-130

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


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