Fish and Wildlife should follow the guidelines established in state regulations and initiate repayment from the manager for the costs associated with the misuse of the state vehicle.
Fish and Wildlife reported that the manager retired before it could collect $8,282. Thus, it notified the manager in May 2014 that it intended to intercept any future tax refunds to recover the costs associated with the misuse of the state vehicle. Subsequently, in lieu of taking this action or pursuing other legal actions, Fish and Wildlife reached an agreement with the manager that allowed him to repay one-half of the amount he owed to it. The manager repaid $4,141 in February 2015.
Fish and Wildlife submitted an invoice to the manager seeking $8,282 as repayment for the costs associated with the employee's misuse of the state vehicle. However, Fish and Wildlife has not reported the manager providing any payment in response to the invoice or Fish and Wildlife taking any additional steps to try to collect the amount owed.
In February 2013, Fish and Wildlife requested that the State Auditor provide it with documentation supporting the cost to the State and our conclusion that the employee misused state vehicles at the direction of her manager. We provided Fish and Wildlife with the requested information in March 2013, however, Fish and Wildlife has not indicated that it has taken any action to initiate repayment.
Fish and Wildlife reported that it had reason to believe a former regional official ultimately directed the vehicle misuse so it did not pursue the recovery of costs from the manager. However, had Fish and Wildlife reviewed the work supporting our conclusions and recommendations as it is allowed by the California Whistleblower Protection Act, it would have been aware that the manager acknowledged that he made the decision to allow the employee to use a state vehicle for her commute.
Fish and Wildlife should seek recovery of the $595 in lodging and meal reimbursements that were paid to the employee.
Fish and Wildlife recovered $595 from the employee in repayment of the lodging and meal reimbursements she improperly received.
After we inquired about its collection efforts, Fish and Wildlife reported that it billed the employee for this expense in October 2012. In addition, Fish and Wildlife stated that its failure to bill the employee sooner resulted from miscommunication between the regional office and headquarters.
Fish and Wildlife should provide training to the manager and the employee about state rules for the payment of employee travel expenses.
Fish and Wildlife reported that in September 2011 it provided training to the manager and the employee regarding what constitutes properly reimbursable travel expenses.
Fish and Wildlife reported that it provided relevant training to the manager but it did not indicate that it provided any training to the employee.
Corrections should establish a system for monitoring whether psychology staff at the correctional facility, including the chief psychologist, are working during specified hours of duty.
Corrections stated that the operating procedure outlined in last year's memorandum to staff has been working effectively and that there have not been any problems in using the procedure for purposes of monitoring employees' attendance. Therefore, Corrections has fully implemented this recommendation.
Corrections issued a memorandum to staff and created an operating procedure that outlined the requirement for staff to complete requests for leave or notify a supervisor when leaving work early. It also indicated that its staff are required to use sign-in and sign-out sheets, and that supervisors check the sheets and compare them with approved time-off calendars. However, Corrections' actions will not fully ensure that psychology staff work during specified hours of duty, For instance, the use of sign-in and sign-out sheets relies heavily on the truthfulness and accuracy of the information that each employee inputs on the sheets, which limits the reliability of the control. In addition, it has not formally documented in a policy, procedure, or otherwise the supervisors' responsibilities to monitor the sign-in and sign-out sheets and compare them to attendance reports.
Take appropriate disciplinary action against the manager for directing the misuse of a state vehicle.
Fish and Game reported in September 2012 that it issued a corrective counseling memorandum to the manager in June 2011 and that he received further training with regard to this issue in September 2011.
Take appropriate disciplinary action against the chief psychologist for misusing state resources.
Corrections served the chief psychologist with a formal letter of reprimand, effective March 2012, that will remain in his official personnel file for three years.
Require psychology staff at the correctional facility, including the chief psychologist, to specify hours of duty.
Corrections reported that it now requires each affected employee to have a signed duty statement, secondary employment approval, and documentation of work schedule in the supervisory files. Corrections subsequently issued a directive outlining the enforcement of these requirements.
Evaluate the need for the senior official's position.
Mental Health reported that it reevaluated the necessity of the senior official's position and concluded that the position was unnecessary. Mental Health stated that although a former administration created the position for desirable purposes, it determined that these functions were no longer essential and should not be maintained given current fiscal constraints. The senior official resigned from state service in May 2011, and Mental Health eliminated his position.
If Mental Health determines that the senior official's position can provide a benefit to the State, clarify the job duties associated with the position and increase oversight of the position's activities to ensure that the State receives material benefits from the activities.
In June 2011 Mental Health reported that it reevaluated the necessity of the senior official's position and concluded that the position was unnecessary. Mental Health stated that although a former administration created the position for desirable purposes, it determined that these functions were no longer essential and should not be maintained given current fiscal constraints. The senior official resigned from state service in May 2011, and Mental Health eliminated his position.
Mental Health agreed that the senior official's state employment overlapped with his volunteer service as a reserve deputy sheriff, his status as a special advisor to a county sheriff, and his role as the CEO of a nonprofit organization that supports law enforcement activities. Moreover, Mental Health agreed that the official attended various police and entertainment events, some of which likely were unrelated to his state duties.
Evaluate the senior official's workdays during the past three years to determine whether the senior official should have charged leave on workdays that he claimed to have worked but actually devoted himself to nonstate activities.
Mental Health reported that it was unable to evaluate fully the senior official's workdays during the past three years, as we had recommended, to determine whether the senior official should have charged more leave. Instead, Mental Health stated that it found scant evidence of how the senior official spent his workdays even though it tried to reconstruct his daily work activities. Mental Health concluded that compiling the necessary evidence would require extensive work by staff to evaluate daily activities that occurred "long ago."
Require the senior official to use leave for workdays on which he did not actually perform work for the State or to repay the State the amount of salary he received for those days.
Mental Health stated that it is unlikely to recover any portion of the senior official's salary as it was unable to evaluate the senior official's workdays. In addition, even though Mental Health expected a 40-hour workweek from the senior official, it stated more or less than eight hours on individual days was permissible. Further, Mental Health stated that it had no documented evidence that the senior official failed to perform many of his duties. Finally, Mental Health indicated that even if it were able to determine the salary amount the senior official earned on workdays he did not actually perform work for the State, it could not seek to recover those costs since he no longer is employed by the State.
Recover the amount it improperly paid the retiring employee for unused annual leave hours. If it is unable to recover any or all of this reimbursement, the Energy Commission should explain and document its reasons for not obtaining recovery of the funds.
In December 2011 the retired employee reimbursed the Energy Commission the $6,589 for leave hours paid inappropriately before her retirement.
Take appropriate disciplinary action against the personnel specialist for making unauthorized changes to the retiring employee's leave balances.
The Energy Commission reported that the personnel specialist retired in June 2011, before it learned of our recommendation. In October 2011 it placed a memorandum in her personnel file that described her actions related to the falsification of time sheets and the unauthorized changes she made.
Monitor the personnel specialist's payroll and leave balance transactions to ensure that she follows Energy Commission policies.
The personnel specialist retired before the Energy Commission learned of our recommendation, but it placed a memorandum in her personnel file describing her improper activities.
Provide training to employees responsible for managing leave balance and time-sheet transactions to ensure that they understand the Energy Commission's policies for safeguarding their accuracy and respecting the limitations on the use of sick leave for family member illness as specified by the law and applicable collective bargaining agreements.
The Energy Commission reported that it trained all of its personnel specialists on the proper use of sick leave for family members as well as the proper procedures for amending time sheets.
Seek reimbursement from the employee for the wages she did not earn.
The State Controller's Office reported that before the employee's retirement in August 2010, it deducted leave hours valued at $3,613 from the employee's leave balances. In addition, it established an accounts receivable for the balance of the unauthorized leave of $2,978. In August 2011 the State Controller's Office reported that the employee had repaid the amount owed.
Take appropriate disciplinary action against the supervisor.
The State Controller's Office reported that management representatives counseled the supervisor because it acknowledged that he was responsible for monitoring the employee's time and that he provided insufficient oversight. In addition, its chief of human resources provided the supervisor with additional training on proper time-reporting and related supervisory requirements. The State Controller's Office also reported that because the supervisor's busy schedule did not allow him to monitor adequately his support staff's time, his staff was placed under the direct supervision of an office manager effective August 2010.
Provide training to the supervisor on proper time-reporting and supervisory requirements.
The State Controller's Office reported that it provided the supervisor with additional training on proper time-reporting and related supervisory requirements.
Take appropriate corrective action against the senior transportation planner for neglecting his duty to supervise the transportation planner.
In June 2011 Caltrans reported that it issued a corrective memorandum to the senior transportation planner for neglecting to supervise his employee properly. Caltrans also stated that it placed a copy of the corrective memorandum in the senior transportation planner's personnel file, but that it would be removed from the file after one year, provided the senior transportation planner does not engage in similar actions or otherwise fail in his duties.
Institute training to ensure that all Caltrans employees are aware of the requirement that all overtime work be preapproved.
Caltrans reported in December 2011 that it revised its overtime policy. In January 2012, Caltrans reported that it required its supervisors and managers to review the policy with all of their employees. Caltrans stated that these actions would ensure that its employees are aware of the requirements that overtime must be authorized in advance, except in emergencies, and that employees provide specific evidence of overtime, preapproval of overtime hours worked, and products resulting from overtime.
Establish controls to ensure that Caltrans' telecommuting agreements are reviewed and renewed annually in order for an employee to be allowed to continue telecommuting.
In July 2011 Caltrans revised its employee telework directive, which defines the responsibilities of managers and supervisors, to ensure that teleworking agreements are reviewed annually. It reported subsequently that the telework unit distributes notifications monthly to supervisors about the need to review teleworking agreements nearing their expiration.
Revise Caltrans' telecommuting policy to require that employees participating in the telecommuting program provide regular documentation of the work they perform away from the office.
Caltrans reported that it had revised its Telework Program Policy and Procedures guidelines in March 2011. According to Caltrans, these guidelines require managers and supervisors to provide specific, measurable, and attainable performance expectations for their telecommuting employees. The agreements must define in writing detailed work tasks, corresponding deadlines, and expected work performance. The policy also requires managers and supervisors to review their expectations with their telecommuting employees at least quarterly.
Continue to monitor the time-reporting practices of the official and his staff.
In June 2011 Industrial Relations reported that it provided further time-reporting and record-keeping training to not only the official and his staff, but also to all of its managers and supervisors. In addition, a regional manager issued a memorandum about attendance and reporting requirements to some district offices. Industrial Relations subsequently distributed a memorandum on attendance requirements to its remaining district locations throughout the State. Finally, Industrial Relations stated that in August 2010 and March 2011, it provided training to all attendance reporting officers about the proper documentation of all hours worked and leave taken.