INTRODUCTION

In 1997, the California Legislature passed a law imposing specific requirements on agencies addressed in Grand Jury reports. (see the following section titled Legal Requirements for Responses)

The 2001-2002 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury has elected to use the following format in tracking responses to last year's Grand Jury Report:

A brief summary of each report issued by the 2000-2001 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury - a recap of significant recommendations where there was:

  • disagreement by the agency;
  • something controversial;
  • a timeline to be followed; or
  • something which may need further investigation.

The synopsis includes the total number of recommendations which have been (or will be shortly) implemented and the number which will not be implemented. Responses where there is agreement with the recommendation will not be noted in this report.

It should be noted that many of the responses provided this year do not fully comply with the California Penal Code requirements. This was primarily true when respondents answered that further study or analysis was required. When this response is used, a completion date for the process within six months is required to be provided.

There were 15 individual reports in the 2000-2001 Final Report, with 535 responses required from 48 affected agencies. In 281 (53%) of the responses the agencies agreed with the recommendation.

The public is encouraged to view the complete 2000-2001 Grand Jury Report on the Grand Jury web site at www.sbcgj.org. Interested citizens who do not own a computer may use computers at public libraries or universities to gain access to this web site. If citizens cannot do this, they may contact the Grand Jury and copies of specific reports or responses will be provided.

 


LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR RESPONSES

The California Penal Code 933 (c) requires any public agency which the grand jury has reviewed, and about which it has issued a final report, to comment to the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court on the findings and recommendations pertaining to matters under the control of the agency. Such comment shall be no later than 90 days after the grand jury submits its report to the public agency. Also, every elected county officer or agency head for which the grand jury has responsibility shall comment on the findings and recommendations pertaining to matters under the control of that county officer or agency head, as well as any other agencies which the officer or agency head supervises or controls. Such comment shall be made within 60 days to the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court with an information copy sent to the Board of Supervisors.

Furthermore, California Penal Code 933.05 (a)/(f) details, as follows, the manner in which such comments are to be made:

  1. For purposes of subdivision (b) of Section 933, as to each grand jury finding, the responding person or entity shall indicate one of the following:

    1. The respondent agrees with the finding.
    2. The respondent disagrees wholly or partially with the finding, in which case the response shall specify the portion of the finding that is disputed and shall include an explanation of the reasons therefor.

  1. For purposes of subdivision (b) of Section 933, as to each grand jury recommendation, the responding person or entity shall report one of the following actions:

    1. The recommendation has been implemented, with a summary regarding the implemented action
    2. The recommendation has not yet been implemented, but will be implemented in the future, with a timeframe for implementation.
    3. The recommendation requires further analysis, with an explanation and the scope and parameters of an analysis or study, and a timeframe for the matter to be prepared for discussion by the officer or head of the agency or department being investigated or reviewed, including the governing body of the public agency when applicable. This timeframe shall not exceed six months from the date of publication of the grand jury report.
    4. The recommendation will not be implemented because it is not warranted or is not reasonable, with an explanation therefor.

  1. However, if a finding or recommendation of the grand jury addresses budgetary or personnel matters of a county agency or department headed by an elected officer, both the agency or department head and the board of supervisors shall respond if requested by the grand jury, but the response of the board of supervisors shall address only those budgetary or personnel matters over which it has some decision making authority. The response of the elected agency or department head shall address all aspects of the findings or recommendations affecting his or her agency or department.
  2. A grand jury may request a subject person or entity to come before the grand jury for the purpose of reading and discussing the findings of the grand jury report that relates to that person or entity in order to verify the accuracy of the findings prior to their release.
  3. During an investigation, the grand jury shall meet with the subject of that investigation regarding the investigation, unless the court, either on its own determination or upon request of the foreperson of the grand jury, determines that such a meeting would be detrimental.
  4. A grand jury shall provide to the affected agency a copy of the portion of the grand jury report relating to that person or entity two working days prior to its public release and after the approval of the presiding judge. No officer, agency, department, or governing body of a public agency shall disclose any contents of the report prior to the public release of the final report.

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