Report 2018-119 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2018-119: California Department of Fish and Wildlife: It Is Not Fulfilling Its Responsibilities Under the California Environmental Quality Act (Release Date: June 2019)

:
Recommendations to Fish and Wildlife, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
1

To ensure that it consistently prioritizes and reviews projects with potentially significant impacts on the environment, the department should establish a departmentwide policy for prioritizing CEQA documents for review and comment by December 2019 and require regional offices to adopt region-specific procedures by March 2020.

Pending
2

To ensure that it consistently prioritizes and reviews projects with potentially significant impacts on the environment, the department should develop policies and procedures outlining departmentwide expectations for CEQA review and comment by December 2019 and require regional offices to develop region-specific policies and procedures for CEQA review by March 2020.

Pending
3

To ensure that it consistently prioritizes and reviews projects with potentially significant impacts on the environment, the department should develop ongoing training for environmental scientists that covers subjects including the complexities and technical aspects of CEQA review by June 2020.

Pending
4

To ensure that it consistently prioritizes and reviews projects with potentially significant impacts on the environment, the department should incorporate the policies
and procedures into regulations in full compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act, should it determine that the new policies and procedures create rules of general application.

Pending
5

To ensure regional staff enter data into the project tracking database accurately and consistently, the department should, by December 2019, develop, implement, and provide training on departmentwide written policies and procedures that outline the requirements and process for entering data related to CEQA review into the department's project tracking database.

Pending
6

To ensure that it complies with state law requiring it to use CEQA fees only for CEQA activities, the department should immediately begin tracking and monitoring CEQA revenues and expenditures separately from other program activities within the nondedicated account in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund.

7

To determine more accurately the resources that it needs to review all CEQA documents it receives, the department should implement a timekeeping mechanism by December 2019 that requires staff to track the hours they spend on CEQA-related activities.

Pending
8

To determine the costs for its CEQA review and set appropriate fees, the department should complete its five-year review of program costs and revenues and report the results to the Legislature by March 2020. To provide the Legislature with a more accurate estimate of the costs of CEQA activities, the department should prepare an update to this review no more than two years after it has modified its time-tracking procedures.

Pending
9

To ensure it receives all CEQA revenues to which it is entitled, the department should immediately begin collecting any unpaid fees it identifies in audits of counties.

10

To reduce the risk of counties not collecting and remitting CEQA filing fees, the department should begin sharing any findings from internal audits with counties and reminding county officials of their responsibilities related to CEQA fees.

11

To maximize the amount of time that environmental scientists have to review CEQA documents, the department should establish procedures for the electronic distribution of CEQA documents for review by December 2019. These procedures should include the utilization of the State Clearinghouse's electronic system when it becomes available.

Pending


Print all recommendations and responses.