2019-118 Audit Scope and Objectives

California Law Enforcement Agencies—Automated License Plate Readers

The audit by the California State Auditor will provide independently developed and verified information related to the extent to which local law enforcement agencies are complying with existing law regarding the use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs). The audit's scope will include, but not be limited to, the following activities:

  1. Review and evaluate the laws, rules, and regulations significant to the audit objectives.
  2. To the extent possible, determine the following for law enforcement agencies statewide:
    1. Whether they use ALPR information and, if so, what vendors they use to access this information.
    2. Whether they have policies and procedures in place governing the use and sharing of ALPR information.
  3. Examine the use of ALPRs by the Sacramento County's Sheriff's Department and Department of Human Assistance, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Fresno Police Department, and the Marin County Sheriff's Office by performing the following:
    1. Determine whether they have policies and procedures in place regarding ALPR systems and whether those policies contain the elements required by state law.
    2. Determine whether they have followed state law regarding all required public notifications related to ALPR systems and information, including required public hearings.
    3. Determine whether they maintain records of access to ALPR information from both within and outside the agency that includes all required documentation and whether they have ensured that ALPR information has only been used for authorized purposes.
    4. Determine whether they have sold, shared, or transferred ALPR information only to other public agencies, except as otherwise permitted by law, and whether they have properly documented these activities.
    5. Determine the nature of any contracts with third-party vendors related to ALPR information.
  4. Evaluate whether current state law governing ALPRs can be enhanced to further protect the privacy and civil liberties of California residents.
  5. Review and assess any other issues that are significant to the audit.

California State Auditor's Office
6/21/2019