Letter to Grand Jury

July 2, 1996

Honorable William L. Gordon, Presiding Judge

Santa Barbara County Superior Court

1100 Anacapa Street, Second Floor

Santa Barbara, California 931121-1107

Board of Supervisors' Response to the 1995-96 Grand Jury Interim Final Report entitled Performance Audits

Dear Judge Gordon:

At its regular meeting of July 2, 1996, the Board of Supervisors adopted the collective responses of the countywide elected officials and the County Administrator as the Board's response to the 1995-96 Grand Jury's interim final report entitled Performance Audits. Copies of each response are attached to this letter.

The Board greatly appreciates the work the Grand Jury did on this interesting and important topic. We are also pleased with the level of interest, even enthusiasm, expressed by the responding officials. We look forward to working with our County Administrator and all department heads, elected and appointed, to further explore opportunities to expand the use of performance audits in the County organization. One such opportunity will be discussed at our upcoming budget hearings. At that time a proposal for a management/performance evaluation of the Personnel Department will be presented by the County Administrator.

Other opportunities could emerge from the work of the Performance Based Budgeting Committee which will present its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors in November 1996. Legislation is currently under consideration by the State Legislature that will require performance audits. The Board of Supervisors has taken action to support this proposal if it is amended to provide the financial resources to carry out the audits without siphoning resources from other County programs. Lastly, our Board of Supervisors has asked that staff schedule a future discussion of performance audits on our agenda, including a discussion of standard definitions. When this session is set, we will see that the Grand Jury is advised.

We would point out two general issues noted in the responses. First, additional information regarding the number of audits performed over the past several years is provided by the District Attorney and the Auditor-Controller. Second, during these times of fiscal constraint due to loss of revenue to the State of California, a significantly greater commitment of either staff or contractual resources will be difficult. None the less, we will, along with our executives, remain alert to opportunities to expand our efforts to the greatest extent possible.



Chair, Board of Supervisors


cc: Spencer Boise, 1995-96 Grand Jury Foreman