June 30, 1995
The Honorable Rodney Melville, Presiding Judge
Santa Barbara County Superior Court
PO Box 21107
Santa Barbara, CA 83102
Dear Judge Melville:
We appreciate the Grand Jury's commitment to improving County management. The Clerk Recorder Assessor Elections Department is committed to quality and continuous process improvement, As a newly reorganized Department, we are reviewing, modifying and developing our business processes. The recommendations of the Grand Jury provide a welcome opportunity to review our progress, to share our accomplishments with the public and to reaffirm our commitment.
RECOMMENDATION #la: The Grand Jury Recommends that each elected department head, who has not already done so, within the time allotted in Recommendations #1a and #1b, adopt a Mission Statement and Implement the supporting strategic initiatives.
RESPONSE: We concur, The Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Elections Department began the development of a Mission Statement in the summer of 1994. All members of the staff were involved, We identified our customers, our services, our values. Out of these discussions came the attached Mission Statement and Goals written in October of 1994. Work on the Mission Statement and Goals was suspended as we focused on conducting elections and completing the tax roll. Consequently, we have yet to conduct a final review, by staff, of the Mission Statement and Goals. While there may be some minor changes, the attached document is substantially complete.
RECOMMENDATION #3b: The Grand Jury recommends that each elected department head, who has not already done so, within the time allotted in Recommendation #2, develop and implement management and measurement procedures to accomplish the intent of Recommendations -a. The currently successful programs of the Auditor-Controller and Health Care Services departments could serve as models for other departments.
RESPONSE: We concur. The Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Elections Department, like the Auditor-Controller and Health Care Services, is committed to Total Quality Management. Like the Auditor-Controller we have trained our management in statistical process control and ongoing process Improvement techniques.
The development of management and measurement procedures is ongoing. We are flow charting all of our Department business processes. The flow charts will provide a step by step map of the type, flow and volume of work passing through the Department. Flow charts will highlight inefficiencies and duplications of effort. Once the flow charts are complete we will begin reengineering those business processes that need major improvements. Together, flow charts and reengineering records will be the basis for meaningful measurements. They will show deficiencies in existing measurement procedures; they will also show the areas In which new measurement procedures are needed.
START, a client server computerized property characteristics data base will replace the County's outmoded LIS (Land Information System). In addition to property characteristics, START will be designed to provide work product measurement data identified by flow charts and reengineering. LIS does not currently provide support for measurement procedures. START will link the Recorder, Assessor, Tax Collector and Auditor. The completion of the START project will take longer than the time allotted in Recommendation #2, we will implement components of the system as they are developed. With the completion of START, the Department's measurement procedures will have been fully reviewed and completely overhauled.
RECOMMENDATION #7: The Grand Jury Recommends that each Department headed by an elected official should initiate a self administered management audit program, and request an outside review audit every five years by either the Auditor-Controller, the County Administrator, or an outside consultant and publish the results and recommendations.
RESPONSE: We concur. As noted in the response to 3b, we are engaged in an ongoing, extremely detailed Internal management audit of the Department. At the close
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of that effort, we will Institute the "plan, do, study, act" cycle for each of our business processes. This cycle requires that each business process be in statistical control, and have scheduled reviews resulting in planned implementation of Improvements.
The Assessor Division is reviewed every five years by the State Board of Equalization. The State Board reviews our Assessment practices and Department operations; the last report was published in 1994 and was based on 1987 - 88 records. We are in the process of implementing its recommendations. The State Board has begun to work on the next report which will be based on 1882-93.
The Assessor recently benefited from a management audit conducted by the Auditor-Controller. ~e results of this audit were published. We are in the process of implementing its recommendations.
The Assessor-Clerk-Recorder-Elections will obtain another external management audit during the next five years. We anticipate that such an audit would follow the evaluation criteria for the Malcolm Baldrige National quality Awards:
2. Information and AnaIysis
3. Strategic Planning
4. Human Resource Development and Planning
5. Process Management
0. 'Business Results and Financial Management
7. Customer Focus and Satisfaction
We anticipate seeking such a review from the California Council for Quality and Service or from the Auditor-ControIler.
RECOMMENDATION #10: The 1994-95 Grand Jury strongly recommends that the 1985-86 Grand Jury immediately review and evaluate the response of each of the Affected Agencies to these recommendations and follow the progress of the anticipated changes throughout their term.
RESPONSE: We concur. The public must have confidence in the agencies that serve them. The work of our Department in preserving public records, maintaining the property tax system, and conducting elections is too important to be feR unscrutinized. We welcome the opportunity to share our successes and failures. We welcome the
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opportunity to learn ways in which we can better serve the public.
c Robert Gllck, Foreman
Members, Board of Supervisors
Kent Taylor County Administrator
Bob Gals, Auditor-Controller