Report 2019-127 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 2019-127: San Diego County Air Pollution Control District: It Has Used Vehicle Registration Fees to Subsidize Its Permitting Process, Reducing the Amount of Funds Available to Address Air Pollution (Release Date: July 2020)

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Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status
1

To increase the transparency of, and promote accountability for, the use of the vehicle registration fees that the public pays, the Legislature should require that each local air district submit an annual report to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) detailing how it used the vehicle registration fees it received. Both CARB and each local air district should be required to provide this information to the public on their websites.

No Action Taken
2

To encourage the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District (San Diego Air District) to accurately account for its costs, operate efficiently, and effectively use vehicle registration fees, the Legislature should require that the San Diego Air District use at least 90 percent of the vehicle registration fees it receives for projects related to mobile emissions—roughly the proportion of ozone-causing emissions from mobile sources in the region—and it should further require that the San Diego Air District publicly disclose the disposition of any vehicle registration fees it does not use to address mobile emissions.

No Action Taken
Recommendations to San Diego County Air Pollution Control District
Number Recommendation Status
3

To ensure that it is leveraging all funding opportunities to address the region's air quality, the San Diego Air District should periodically evaluate all available state and federal grants to reduce mobile emissions and notify the San Diego County Air Pollution Control Board (district board) if it decides not to pursue such programs.

4

To ensure that the permit fees it charges are sufficient to pay for its permitting program, the San Diego Air District should, by December 2020, establish a methodology to calculate the full cost of its permitting program, based on its actual expenditures and administrative costs, and perform this calculation each year.

5

To ensure that the permit fees it charges are sufficient to pay for its permitting program, the San Diego Air District should, by December 2020, monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on San Diego County's economy and, when economic conditions allow, propose to the district board that it increase fees annually by the maximum percentage allowed until the district's revenue from permit fees is equal to the full cost of the permitting program.

6

To ensure that it is responsive to its stakeholders and encourages public participation in the creation of its regulatory and permitting policies, the San Diego Air District should create and implement a public participation plan by January 2021 that includes both public outreach and public engagement activities.

7

To ensure that its decisions are transparent and that it encourages opportunities for public involvement, the district board should publicly deliberate on key issues related to air quality during its regular meetings.

8

Because the new district board will include additional stakeholders who represent some of the interests that the advisory committee was intended to represent, the district board should determine whether the advisory committee is still necessary. If the district board determines that the advisory committee is still necessary, it should immediately publicize the vacancies on the advisory committee on its website and in the monthly and annual county reports of vacancies on boards, commissions, and committees, and actively seek nominations to fill these positions.

9

Because the new district board will include additional stakeholders who represent some of the interests that the advisory committee was intended to represent, the district board should determine whether the advisory committee is still necessary. If the district board determines that the advisory committee is still necessary, it should ensure that the district's legal counsel monitors the advisory committee meetings beginning immediately, and advises the committee when it does not comply with state public meeting requirements.

10

To ensure that it effectively manages its complaint investigation process and provides accurate information to the public regarding the complaints it receives, the San Diego Air District should, by June 2021, establish policies and procedures that require staff to validate the information they enter in the district's complaint database. The district should also periodically review the accuracy and completeness of the data.

11

To ensure that it effectively manages its complaint investigation process and provides accurate information to the public regarding the complaints it receives, the San Diego Air District should, by June 2021, establish time frames for its supervisors to review complaint investigation reports and verify that investigators have responded to complaints in an appropriate and timely manner.

12

To ensure that it effectively manages its complaint investigation process and provides accurate information to the public regarding the complaints it receives, the San Diego Air District should, by June 2021, establish a process for validating the accuracy of the data it previously entered into its database.

13

To ensure that it has a method of providing key administrative services in place by the time it ceases to function as part of the county, the San Diego Air District should finalize its agreement with San Diego County to continue providing key administrative services as soon as possible.



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