SANTA BARBARA COUNTY GRAND JURY 1995-96
SUMMARY OF FOLLOW UP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR 1996-97
1995-96 Grand Jury Recommendations
To The 1996-97 Grand Jury
FINDING 4: The Grand Jury finds that the Internal Control Survey distributed to all departments by the Auditor-Controller on January 23, 1996 presents immediate opportunities to begin self-evaluation of each department's performance.
RECOMMENDATION 4: The Grand Jury recommends that the 1996-1997 Grand Jury review a representative sample of the results of these surveys in the larger departments to include: Assessor-Clerk-Recorder, District Attorney, Health Care Services, Mental Health, Planning and Development, Probation, Public Works, Sheriff and Social Services.
Audit and Finance
FINDING 4: The county response to the KPMG Management Letter (Exhibit B in Report G) contains statements of actions to be completed.
RECOMMENDATION 4: The 1996-97 Grand Jury should follow up on each subject listed in Exhibit A (in Report G), and report on actions completed or not completed by the county in next year's Grand Jury audit and finance report.
FINDING 5: The 1994-95 Grand Jury made recommendations regarding employee compensated absences that are being considered by county management. The effect of any policy changes cannot yet be measured.
RECOMMENDATION 5: The 1996-97 Grand Jury should follow up on changes made to bring the employee compensated absences liability within reason.
Issues in Planning & Development
FINDING 1: The Board of Supervisors first directed the Planning and Development Department (P&DD) to implement a streamlining program for permit processing and one-stop permit counter in 1991. In their 1996 Strategic Plan, the Supervisors are still requesting improvement in the permit streamlining process.
RECOMMENDATION 1c: The 1996-97 Grand Jury should monitor the progress of P&DD in implementing the Supervisors' directives.
County Agreement with Prison Health Services, Inc.
FINDING 1: The contract Santa Barbara County entered into with Prison Health Services, Inc. on July 1, 1995 for medical services excluded mental health care.
RECOMMENDATION 1: The 1996-97 Grand Jury should conduct a study to determine the cost-effectiveness of the contract considering the separate costs of mental health care to the county.
Privatization Issues in County Government
FINDING 3: Privatization encompasses multiple and complex issues, such as differing sizes of enterprises, varying classification of jobs, Civil Service Rules, union requirements, government regulations and laws, political turf battles, transition of county employees, management control, and budget impacts.
RECOMMENDATION 3b: The 1996-97 Grand Jury should monitor the county's progress in privatization, report to the public and make appropriate recommendations.
County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Department
FINDING 10: The consolidation of the County Clerk-Recorder with the Assessor was based on sound logic regarding the Recorder-Assessor relationship. The office of the Assessor requires a highly specialized body of knowledge for the complex issues of its duties. The FY 1995-96 costs are budgeted to be higher than the costs before consolidation. The realization of service enhancements and process improvements is highly questionable.
RECOMMENDATION 10a: The 1996-97 Grand Jury should conduct a follow-up investigation to report upon the progress of recommendations in this report.
RECOMMENDATION 10b: If the 1996-97 Grand Jury follow-up investigation is not favorable, the Board of Supervisors should reconsider the consolidation.
with a view towards establishing an Assessor-Recorder Department separate from the Elections Division.
Review of Responses to 1994-95 Grand Jury Report
FINDING 3: Many respondents concurred with Grand Jury recommendations and stated they would implement certain changes to improve their operations.
RECOMMENDATION 3: When agencies state they would implement specific recommendations, the sitting Grand Jury should follow-up to make certain the agencies have achieved the improvements.
FINDING 4: The 1995-96 Grand Jury concludes that a review process is effective in improving our county government.
RECOMMENDATION 4: Future Grand Juries should continue the review process.
Follow Through Report
Summarizing the Grand Jury Findings and Recommendations and the Affected Agencies responses is very useful. It sets the stage for analyzing whether or not actions were completed or are pending as a result of Grand Jury Findings and Recommendations. A Follow Through report may make a "Review of Responses" report unnecessary.
The Grand Jury found:
The Grand Jury discovered that it may take more than one year to assess the impact of recommendations.
- Some recommendations were not clearly written,
- Some responses did not address the recommendations,
- Some changes were made as a result of Grand Jury recommendations.
- Future Grand Juries should make the same follow through effort and refine the process to ensure continuity of Grand Jury Findings and Recommendations.
- The process of generating a "Follow Through Report" should start early in the Grand Jury term.
- The Grand Jury recommendations should be clear and specific to ensure that accurate responses and follow up assessments can be made.
- Responses from Affected Agencies should address clearly and specifically the Grand Jury Findings and Recommendations.
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