CDCR should discontinue the practice of assigning pool vehicles for the exclusive use of individuals to circumvent state laws and parole division policies.
In May 2017, CDCR provided evidence to us that it amended its Department Operations Manual to clearly state that, "State pool vehicles should not be assigned exclusively to an employee and should only be checked out for short periods of time as needed for intermittent State business." However, we failed to see any evidence of it discontinuing the practice as we recommended.
As a result, CDCR reported in late May 2017 that the subject of our investigation was the only person who returned a state vehicle. We expressed concern that the investigation revealed that many parole administrators had state vehicles and, if CDCR had concluded in recommendation 2 that state vehicles were not necessary for parole administrators, we would have expected to see all parole administrators return their state vehicles. In June 2017, CDCR reported that 32 parole administrators from its northern and southern parole regions had returned their pool vehicles.
CDCR reissued its policy on the authorized use of state vehicles. However, the policy was not amended to include specific direction to not issue or allow pool vehicles for the exclusive use of any one employee. CDCR also stated that its pool vehicle coordinators completed training in February 2017 regarding all applicable laws, regulations, rules, and policies pertaining to the assignment and use of state vehicles. Regardless, CDCR did not specify any actions it took to actually discontinue the practice of assigning pool vehicles for the exclusive use of individuals in the parole division. For example, CDCR has remained silent about whether it required the parole agent to return her pool vehicle and whether it asked others in the same position to return their pool vehicles. Thus, we requested clarification from CDCR.
CDCR reported that it will identify all parole division vehicles that are pool vehicles. It also stated that it would train all staff using state vehicles on the definition, use, and documentation required for using pool vehicles by mid-February 2017. Additionally, CDCR stated that it would reissue its policy on the authorized use of state vehicles after amending the policy to include specific direction to not issue or allow pool vehicles for the exclusive use of any division.