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California State Auditor Report Number : 2015-120

California Department of Transportation
Its Maintenance Division’s Allocations and Spending for Field Maintenance Do Not Match Key Indicators of Need



The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is responsible for constructing, improving, and maintaining California’s highway system (state highway system). The state highway system is composed of more than 50,000 lane miles, more than 13,100 bridges, and an estimated 205,000 drainage culverts.1 It includes interstate highways, U. S. highways, and state highways. These highways are also referred to as routes. For example, the state highway system includes State Highway 50, which runs from Sacramento to the Nevada state line, and Interstate 5, which runs north and south through California. The state highway system does not include county highways and local roads.

Caltrans mainly cares for the existing state highway system through two programs: the state highway operation and protection program (SHOPP) and the maintenance program. Caltrans rehabilitates and reconstructs the state highway system through the SHOPP. Projects in this program include capital improvements for safety and the rehabilitation of state highways and bridges. These projects do not add capacity to the state highway system; adding capacity is the responsibility of Caltrans’ state transportation improvement program (STIP). Multiyear plans for both SHOPP and STIP projects are adopted by the California Transportation Commission (commission). According to its 2015 annual report, the commission approved allocations of approximately $1.6 billion for SHOPP projects and $531.3 million for STIP projects for fiscal year 2014–15.

Our review focused on the maintenance program, which Caltrans’ division of maintenance (maintenance division) administers. Unlike the SHOPP, which handles more significant and costly rehabilitation projects, the maintenance program focuses on preventative work and corrects small problems before they worsen and require more costly repairs. State law defines maintenance as the preservation and upkeep of roadway structures in the safe and usable condition to which they have been improved or constructed. The maintenance program includes pavement, bridges, roadside and drainage, traffic guidance, and electrical maintenance. Maintenance also includes the special or emergency maintenance or repair necessitated by accidents, weather conditions, slides, settlements, or other unusual or unexpected damage of a roadway, structure, or facility. Maintenance does not include construction of new assets or rehabilitation or reconstruction of roadways. However, according to Caltrans, adequate maintenance can significantly reduce future SHOPP costs for roadway rehabilitation.

Examples of Field Maintenance Activities

Source: California Department of Transportation's Maintenance Manual, volume II.

The maintenance program consists of two types of maintenance work: highway maintenance and field maintenance. Highway maintenance includes more significant work to repair pavement, bridges, and drainage culverts, among other things. For example, highway maintenance work includes different types of surface treatments to extend the service life of a segment of pavement. These treatments keep the roadway safe and in usable condition, but they do not include structural capacity improvement or reconstruction. Caltrans generally hires contractors to perform this work.

Field maintenance, on the other hand, is generally performed by maintenance division staff and includes activities such as repairing minor pavement damage, clearing vegetation, picking up litter, removing graffiti, and other activities as listed in the text box. Districts generally identify field maintenance work in two ways: maintenance personnel travel all highways to observe conditions and identify maintenance needs, or the public submits service requests notifying the maintenance division of needed maintenance.

Funding for the Maintenance Program

In the state budget each year, the Legislature appropriates funding for Caltrans’ programs, including the maintenance program. California’s budget process generally uses incremental budgeting, which employs a department’s current level of funding as a base amount. State law requires Caltrans to prepare a five‑year maintenance plan (maintenance plan), which it must update every two years, as the basis for its budget request. The plan addresses the maintenance needs of the state highway system but includes only maintenance activities that could result in increased SHOPP costs if not performed. The maintenance plan attempts to balance resources between SHOPP and maintenance activities to achieve identified milestones and goals at the lowest possible long‑term cost. State law also requires Caltrans to develop a budget model to achieve this balance of resources.2 Additionally, if the maintenance plan recommends increases in maintenance spending, the maintenance plan is supposed to identify projected future SHOPP costs that would be avoided by implementing that increased maintenance spending.

As Table 1 shows, the maintenance program received approximately $1.4 to $1.5 billion in funding in each fiscal year from 2010–11 through 2014–15. This amount represented approximately 14 percent of Caltrans’ total annual funding in fiscal year 2014–15. The maintenance program receives nearly all of its funding from the state highway account, the fund in which the State accumulates most of the revenues from gasoline taxes. Other funding sources for the maintenance program include federal funds that the maintenance division uses for pavement projects and bridge inspections, which make up approximately 8 percent of its total funding, and reimbursements for work that the maintenance program performs for local agencies.3

Table 1
Enforcement of Sellers’ Compliance with Taxes on Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products in California and Other States
Fiscal Years
2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14* 2014–15*
State Highway Account
Appropriation $1,259 $1,406 $1,321 $1,366 $1,413
Expenditures 1,259 1,395 1,311 1,327 988
Unspent 0 11 10 39 425
Federal Trust Fund
Appropriation 103 105 117 118 119
Expenditures 92 102 111 97 23
Unspent 11 3 6 21 96
Total appropriations $1,362 $1,511 $1,438 $1,484 $1,532
Total expenditures 1,351 1,497 1,422 1,424 1,011
Total unspent $11 $14 $16 $60 521
Percentage of appropriations expended 99% 99% 99% 96% 66%

Sources: State Controller’s Appropriation Control Ledger and Budgetary/Legal Reporting System for fiscal years 2010–11 through 2014–15.
* The California Department of Transportation still has additional fiscal years to spend against its appropriations for fiscal years 2013–14 and 2014–15.

Caltrans has one year to spend or commit all or part of an appropriation for future expenditures and then two additional years to pay off such expenditures from its appropriation of funds. After this three‑year period, any unspent funds revert to the originating fund for future reappropriation. The maintenance division spent most of its maintenance program funding that was appropriated in fiscal years 2010–11 through 2012–13, but it still has time to spend amounts appropriated in the most recent two fiscal years. We noted that approximately $144 million appropriated in the two years before our audit period had reverted to the state highway account during our audit period. The reverted funds generally resulted from the effects of the economic downturn: cost‑savings the maintenance division achieved on projects as prices decreased, an influx of funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (recovery act), and funds it did not spend when it complied with the governor’s 2009 executive order to halt purchases of new vehicles.

In each of the first three fiscal years of our audit period (2010–11 through 2012–13), the maintenance division spent 99 percent of its total appropriation. During the last five fiscal years, the maintenance division has spent about one‑fourth of its appropriations on contracts, primarily for highway maintenance.

The maintenance division has discretion in distributing the major part of its maintenance program appropriation. Figure 1 shows how headquarters allocated the roughly $1.5 billion the maintenance program received in fiscal year 2014–15. Included in the total is an appropriation of approximately $338 million for distributed administration and equipment programs (administration program).4 The Budget Act of 2014 specified amounts that must be spent for certain highway maintenance program items, including major highway maintenance pavement contracts and storm water discharge: $231.7 million and $50.6 million, respectively. The remaining $917 million is discretionary. From these discretionary funds, the maintenance division allocated an additional $72 million for highway maintenance and $682.7 million for field maintenance to Caltrans’ 12 districts, and $161.9 million for headquarters in fiscal year 2014–15.

The $161.9 million the maintenance division allocated was for overhead and other costs to the following four headquarters divisions: maintenance, engineering services, procurement and contracts (specifically, warehouse), and audits and investigations. The allocation was primarily for employee costs, external and interdepartmental contracts, and other general expenses. Specifically, in fiscal year 2014–15, the maintenance division retained $128.4 million and allocated $17.5 million to the division of engineering services, $15.6 million to the warehouse, and $317,000 to audits and investigations. In fiscal years 2010–11 through 2014–15, the allocation for these other headquarters’ functions ranged between 14 and 20 percent of program funding, excluding distributed administration program costs.

Figure 1
California Department of Transportation Maintenance Program Funding Allocation for Fiscal Year 2014–15 (in Millions)

A pie chart showing the proportion of maintenance program funding for fiscal year 2014-15.

Source: California Department of Transportation’s financial system.
* Administration program costs are the indirect costs of a program, typically a share of the costs of the administrative units serving the entire department (for example, legal, personnel, and accounting). Distributed administration costs represent the distribution of the indirect costs to the various program activities of the department.
Highway maintenance includes $231.7 million for major maintenance pavement contracts and $50.6 million for storm water discharge, appropriated separately in the Budget Act of 2014.

Caltrans received $2.5 billion in federal funds in 2009 through the recovery act, including $56.2 million that the California Department of Finance approved for the maintenance program. According to reports from the California Division of the Federal Highway Administration as of September 30, 2015—the last day recovery act funds were available—Caltrans has spent 99.7 percent of recovery act funds, including the funds approved for the maintenance program. Caltrans asserted that the unspent $7.9 million represented savings from projects for other programs that were completed under budget.

Examples of the Maintenance Division’s Offices at Headquarters

Source: California Department of Transportation headquarters division of maintenance organization chart.

The Maintenance Program’s Organizational Structure

The maintenance division has staff at Caltrans’ headquarters located in Sacramento and at Caltrans’ 12 districts. The districts and their counties are shown in Figure 2. The maintenance division is divided into several offices at headquarters, including those shown in the text box. Headquarters is responsible for establishing policies, providing technical assistance to the districts, and reviewing districts’ compliance with standards and policies. At headquarters, the chief of the maintenance division (division chief) has overall responsibility for the statewide maintenance program. The division chief is responsible for establishing goals, developing justification for and documenting resource needs, and determining resource allocations among the districts.

Figure 2
California Department of Transportation Districts

A map presenting the 12 California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) districts, including the counties that are included in each district, the location of Caltrans’ headquarters, and each of the district offices.

Source: California Department of Transportation.

The maintenance division structures its management according to geographic areas within each of Caltrans’ 12 districts. Specifically, a deputy district director of maintenance (district maintenance deputy) directs maintenance efforts at each of the 12 districts. District maintenance deputies oversee district activities and communications, engineering, and region manager operations; they are also responsible for allocating resources within their respective districts, updating district plans to achieve expected goals, and reviewing and approving region work plans. Each district is divided into regions, and region managers are responsible for field operations and activities within each region. Regions are further divided into areas. Area superintendents are responsible for activities within their assigned areas, and they oversee the supervisors of maintenance staff crews. Each supervisor is also responsible for specific segments of the state highway system and specific field maintenance activities within a superintendent’s area, such as landscaping. Figure 3 illustrates the management structure using district 7 (Los Angeles) as an example.

Figure 3
California Department of Transportation Districts

A graphic showing an example of a California Department of Transportation district and how it is divided into multiple regions and the management structure of each of those regions.

Source: California Department of Transportation’s maintenance manual and district 7 (Los Angeles) maintenance region boundary map.

The maintenance division has provided a manual of guidance and a computer system to help its staff manage maintenance work. The maintenance manual presents general practices and procedures intended to provide for a uniform approach to maintaining the state highway system. The maintenance division’s maintenance staff use its integrated maintenance management computer system (maintenance management system) to plan, perform, record, and manage maintenance work. The maintenance management system allows supervisors and managers to inventory assets, track work performed and the associated costs, manage materials and equipment, and provide decision‑making tools to managers and supervisors. For example, a maintenance supervisor must fill out a work order in the maintenance management system for field maintenance work. The work order records the expenditures of labor, production units, vehicles, and materials, and the location where the crew performed the work.

System for Evaluating Maintenance Performance

The maintenance division has a program for evaluating the maintenance level of service or performance that helps determine how well it maintains the state highway system under the maintenance program. The maintenance division annually conducts maintenance performance evaluations (service evaluations) for several categories of maintenance activities, representing a snapshot of the roadway conditions. These evaluations are separate from the general reviews maintenance personnel perform to identify needed maintenance work mentioned previously. Some examples of the categories are shown in Table 2. The maintenance division calculates maintenance performance scores (service scores) for these categories. However, the maintenance division has set service score goals only for picking up litter and debris, maintaining lane striping, and repairing guardrails. According to the maintenance performance reports, these goals apply only to the state overall, not to the individual districts.

Level of Service Rating System for Litter

Pass (100): no deficiency

Need 1 (50): one small area

Need 2 (0): more than one area

Source: California Department of Transportation's Fiscal Year 2014–15 Maintenance Level of Service Statewide Report Executive Summary.

To perform the service evaluations, the maintenance division divides the state highway system into one‑mile segments. It annually conducts service evaluations on a random sample of 20 percent of the one‑mile segments within each district. Evaluators visually observe highway attributes to determine whether conditions are deficient and to determine the overall needs of each segment. Specifically, evaluators inspect a one‑mile segment using a rating system such as the one shown in the text box and provide a score for that segment. Evaluators total and average the points for all the evaluated segments to calculate that district’s service score. Low service scores indicate that the district has a high maintenance need. The maintenance division then averages all of the districts’ service scores to calculate an overall statewide score for each category, with the exception of storm water. Rather than using the established service score goals to measure district performance, the maintenance division has established spending goals for five maintenance activities, shown in Table 2 , that it requires each district to meet. We discuss the maintenance division’s approaches for evaluating maintenance performance further in the Audit Results.

Table 2
Methods Used to Assess Data Reliability
Service Score Category Service Score is Calculated Service Score Goal Has Been Set Spending Goal Has Been Set
Flexible Travelway
Cracks Yes


Potholes Yes


Paved shoulders Yes


Rigid Travelway
Joint separation Yes


Slab failure Yes


Ramps Yes


Surface drains Yes


Ditches Yes


Slopes Yes


Vegetation Yes


Fences Yes


Litter and debris Yes


Graffiti Yes


Traffic Guidance
Lane striping Yes


Raised markers Yes


Signs Yes


Guardrails Yes


Weed control Yes


Mulch Yes


Irrigation system Yes


Storm Water
Storm water NA



Sources: California Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans) Fiscal Year 2014–15 Maintenance Level of Service Statewide Report Executive Summary and maintenance division expenditures dashboards.
NA: While the maintenance division has set a spending goal for storm water, storm water represents funding Caltrans receives that is not for any particular maintenance activity so the maintenance division does not calculate a service score or set a service score goal for storm water.
* Caltrans set a spending goal for safety barriers, which include guardrails.

Scope and Methodology

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee (audit committee) directed the California State Auditor to review the methods Caltrans used to make spending decisions related to the maintenance program. Table 3 lists the objectives that the audit committee approved and methods we used to address those objectives.

Table 3
Audit Objectives and the Methods Used to Address Them
Audit Objective Method
1. Review and evaluate the laws, rules, and regulations significant to the audit objectives. Reviewed relevant laws, rules, regulations, and other background materials related to the maintenance program.
2. Identify the actual, estimated, and proposed statewide expenditures for the program. Additionally, identify any trends in expenditures and reasons for the trends.

For our audit period of July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2015, we did the following:

  • Reviewed budget documents and accounting records from the State Controller’s Office (State Controller) Appropriation Control Ledger, which shows cash expenditures for each fiscal year by fund, agency, and program.
  • Reviewed budgeted and actual expenditure amounts and compared year‑over‑year increases and decreases to identify trends. Interviewed relevant staff to determine reasons for the trends.
3. Identify the sources of funding for the program and assess the method used by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to determine the total amount of funding allocated to the statewide program each year. Additionally, determine whether Caltrans has taken advantage of all opportunities to maximize funding for the program and whether any additional sources of funding exist.
  • Reviewed annual budget documents to identify funding sources.
  • Reviewed Caltrans’ five‑year maintenance plans and other relevant documentation of Caltrans’ process for determining the total amount of funding for the statewide program.
  • Reviewed budget documents and State Controller's accounting records to determine whether Caltrans was using all the funds it received. Identified funds that reverted to the state highway account during our audit period and gathered evidence of the reasons for the reversions.
  • Interviewed staff and reviewed relevant documentation of Caltrans’ efforts to identify and secure additional funding from the federal government.
4. Review and assess Caltrans’ method of allocating program funding throughout the State and determine whether the distribution of funding is fair and reasonable.
  • Interviewed staff about the process for determining allocations for positions and operating expenses.
  • Interviewed staff and reviewed documentation regarding the budget model the division of maintenance (maintenance division) developed to allocate field maintenance funding to the 12 districts but later abandoned.
  • Reviewed memorandums from fiscal years 2010–11 through 2014–15 that the maintenance division used to notify the 12 districts of their annual allocations. Compared the amounts in the memorandums with reports from Caltrans’ accounting system showing final allocations to identify any adjustments Caltrans may have made during the year.
  • Compared each district’s allocation with its traffic volume and maintenance performance scores to determine whether the distribution was commensurate with these indicators of maintenance needs and therefore fair and reasonable.
  • Reviewed the maintenance division’s processes for allocating funding for pavement, bridge, and culvert projects to determine whether they were needs‑based, fair, and reasonable.
5. To the extent possible, identify the current socioeconomic demographics of each district receiving funding. Additionally, determine the amounts received by those districts in each of the years reviewed.
  • Determined that all 12 districts received funding in each of the five fiscal years we reviewed. We determined the amounts received by each district, as described in objective 4. However, to analyze more precisely where the districts spent their field maintenance funding, we focused on the three districts we selected under objective 6.
  • Retained a geographic information systems consultant (consultant), ENPLAN, to identify socioeconomic demographics and determine where funds were spent in the three districts. We selected median income and race/ethnicity as the socioeconomic demographics we would review. The consultant used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Five‑Year Estimate (2009–2013). The consultant used census tract‑level data to create the demographic map layer.
  • Compiled data related to the maintenance division's spending associated with field maintenance. Using data obtained from Caltrans' Integrated Maintenance Management System (IMMS), we filtered the IMMS data to arrive at the universe we used to complete our analysis. Specifically, the original IMMS data table contained a total of 17,348,866 records with work order cost details. We removed 7,465 records that contained illogical data. In addition, we identified only those work order cost details that were completed during the period July 2010 through June 2015 and were associated with work orders for specific roadway activity expenses—labor, vehicle, and materials—further reducing our universe to 11,296,096 records, which was the starting point of our analysis.
  • The consultant plotted spending data on maps to identify where spending occurred within each of the three selected districts.
  • Using Caltrans’ climate and traffic zone data, the consultant identified areas of low spending (less than 50 percent of the average spending per mile in each zone) and high spending (more than 150 percent of the average spending per mile in each zone).
  • Compared areas of low and high spending with socioeconomic demographic information for the three districts. We found no clear correlation between the spending and demographics. We include the information in the Appendix to provide additional context for the areas of high and low spending.
6. For three districts, including District 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura counties), perform the following to determine whether program funding is used in an effective and timely manner: Selected two additional districts—district 4 (Oakland) and district 6 (Fresno)—based on geographic location, traffic volumes, population, socioeconomic demographics, and maintenance performance levels.
a. Evaluate the methodology used to estimate and propose maintenance expenditures pertaining to the district. Confirmed with district deputy directors of maintenance at the three selected districts that they do not estimate and propose district maintenance expenditures. Rather, the maintenance division at headquarters determines the districts’ allocations.
b. Review and assess the method used to identify and prioritize maintenance projects.
  • Interviewed relevant staff to determine what processes they had in place to identify and prioritize maintenance projects.
  • Reviewed the maintenance division’s process for identifying and prioritizing field maintenance work and pavement, bridge, and culvert projects.
  • For both pavement and bridge projects at each of the three selected districts, compared projects identified in multiyear plans with the report in which the maintenance division prioritizes the projects it commits to complete each fiscal year.
  • Reviewed the process for addressing maintenance service requests submitted to each of the selected districts during the last five fiscal years.
c. Determine the extent to which the program is properly managed and meeting its goals and objectives.
  • Interviewed relevant staff to determine whether they set goals for the districts.
  • Reviewed maintenance performance goals and analyzed them to determine whether districts were meeting the goals. Interviewed staff to determine whether maintenance performance was used to manage maintenance activities.
  • Obtained reports regarding pavement, bridge, and culvert maintenance that is backlogged. Interviewed relevant staff to understand the reasons for the backlogs.
  • Reviewed Caltrans’ five‑year maintenance plans, which contain goals for repairing pavement, bridges, and drainage culverts. We compared outstanding bridge maintenance recommendations with completed bridge projects to ensure the maintenance division was completing the bridge work it reported. We found that the number of pavement lane miles requiring maintenance is increasing and that the maintenance division is not making significant progress in repairing drainage culverts, as we discuss further in the Audit Results.
d. For a selection of maintenance projects, determine whether the costs of the projects are reasonable, the completion is timely, and the reasons for any backlogs that exist.
  • At each of the three districts, judgmentally selected five highway maintenance projects (four pavement projects and one bridge project). For each project performed the following:
    • Compared bid amounts to final cost to determine whether costs were reasonable.
    • Compared number of working days proposed in the bid to actual working days to determine whether projects were completed in a timely manner.
  • Selected four field maintenance work orders at district 4 and attempted to obtain supporting documentation for the labor, materials, and equipment costs but found that supporting documentation does not exist. Reviewed compensating controls that the maintenance division has put in place to ensure costs are reasonable. Reviewed Caltrans’ internal audits related to field maintenance labor, materials, and equipment costs to identify issues.
  • Obtained data from Caltrans’ maintenance service request system and calculated the number of days service requests remained open and unresolved.
  • Reviewed documentation related to goals for backlogged projects as described in objective 6c.
e. For a selection of program expenditures, determine whether they were reasonable and allowable.
  • Selected the five largest expenditures for highway maintenance projects and five largest expenditures for field maintenance activities at each of the three selected districts. Reviewed the expenditures to determine whether Caltrans complied with applicable provisions in its maintenance manual and contract manager’s handbook for approving expenditures and to determine whether the expenditures were reasonable and allowable.
  • Our review found that the expenditures were generally reasonable and allowable. Specifically, payments were supported by invoices and Caltrans staff had reviewed and approved the invoices for payment.
f. Determine the extent to which the district hires, monitors, and evaluates contractors.
  • Obtained data from the maintenance division regarding the amount it spent for contracts in fiscal years 2010–11 through 2014–15.
  • For the 15 highway maintenance projects reviewed in objective 6d, reviewed relevant documentation to determine whether districts monitored and evaluated contractors. Our review found Caltrans generally had monitored and evaluated contractors appropriately.
g. Identify total available and filled positions, employees, and vacancies in the program and the impact vacancies have on the program.
  • Obtained data from Caltrans’ personnel system. Caltrans’ data for the first two fiscal years of our audit period (2010–11 and 2011–12) did not identify maintenance program positions. Analyzed the data for fiscal years 2012–13 through 2014–15 to identify authorized, filled, and vacant positions and to calculate a vacancy rate for the three selected districts. We also reviewed blanket hiring authority and calculated how the vacancy rate increased when considering these data.
  • Interviewed relevant staff to obtain their perspective on the vacancies.
7. Determine if Caltrans is on track to spend the remaining American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (recovery act) funding before it reverts to the federal government and the extent to which these funds can and are being used for the program.
  • Obtained reports related to recovery act funding from Caltrans.
  • Obtained reports from the California division of the Federal Highway Administration that show the total recovery act amounts awarded to Caltrans and the total amounts spent as of the last day the funding was available—September 30, 2015. Calculated the amount that reverted to the federal government.
8. Review and assess any other issues that are significant to the audit. Reviewed projects included in the 2000 through 2012 State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) plans to determine whether projects had been performed on highways with low and high spending for field maintenance in the districts we reviewed.

Sources: California State Auditor’s analysis of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee’s audit request 2015‑120 and information and documentation identified in the table column titled Method.

Assessment of Data Reliability

In performing this audit, we obtained electronic data files extracted from the information systems listed in Table 4. The U.S. Government Accountability Office, whose standards we are statutorily required to follow, requires us to assess the sufficiency and appropriateness of the computer‑processed information that we use to support our findings, conclusions, and recommendations. Table 4 describes the analyses we conducted using the data from these information systems, our methods for testing them, and the results of our assessments. Although these determinations may affect the precision of the numbers we present, there is sufficient evidence in total to support our audit findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

Table 4
Methods Used to Assess Data Reliability
Information System Purpose Method and Result Conclusion

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Integrated Maintenance Management System (IMMS)

Maintenance work data from
July 1, 2010, through
June 30, 2015

  • To quantify the costs and labor hours for roadway field maintenance work orders completed by location.
  • To make a selection of field maintenance work orders completed in Caltrans districts 4, 6, and 7.
  • We performed data‑set verification procedures and found no issues. Further, we performed electronic testing of key data elements. We identified a number of records with illogical data. In some instances, we removed these records from our analysis as discussed in Table 3.
  • We reviewed existing information to determine what is already known about the data and found that prior audit results indicate there are pervasive weaknesses in Caltrans’ general controls.
Not sufficiently reliable for these audit purposes. Although this determination may affect the precision of the numbers we present, there is sufficient evidence in total to support our audit findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

Position Tracking Automated System (PTAS)

Position data from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2015

  • To determine the average yearly authorized and vacant full‑time equivalent maintenance program positions for Caltrans districts 4, 6, and 7 for the period from July 2012 through June 2015.
  • To determine the average vacancy rates for authorized and blanket maintenance program positions in Caltrans districts 4, 6, and 7 in fiscal year 2014–15.
  • We performed data‑set verification procedures and electronic testing of key data elements and did not identify any significant issues.
  • We reviewed existing information to determine what is already known about the data, and found that prior audit results indicate there are pervasive weaknesses in Caltrans’ general controls.

Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Arc Map system

Postmile latitude and longitude coordinates as of September 22, 2015

To identify the latitude and longitude coordinates for postmile points on California state highways.

  • We performed data‑set verification procedures and electronic testing of key data elements and did not identify any significant issues.
  • We reviewed existing information to determine what is already known about the data and found that prior audit results indicate there are pervasive weaknesses in Caltrans’ general controls.
  • To gain some assurance of the completeness of ESRI Arc Map data, we traced 29 haphazardly selected latitude and longitude coordinates on California state highways to the ESRI Arc Map data and found no errors.

Maintenance Service Request System

Maintenance service requests submitted from July 1, 2010, through
June 30, 2015, for Caltrans districts 4, 6, and 7

To determine the status of maintenance service requests submitted through Caltrans’ online system for Caltrans districts 4, 6, and 7.

  • We performed data‑set verification procedures and electronic testing of key data elements and did not identify any significant issues.
  • We reviewed existing information to determine what is already known about the data and found that prior audit results indicate there are pervasive weaknesses in Caltrans’ general controls.
Not sufficiently reliable for these audit purposes. Although this determination may affect the precision of the numbers we present, there is sufficient evidence in total to support our audit findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
A Caltrans‑generated data file containing climate and traffic volume data for state highways as of 2010.

To determine the climate and traffic zones of the state highway system in Caltrans districts 4, 6, and 7.

  • We performed data‑set verification procedures and electronic testing of key data elements and did not identify any significant issues.
  • We reviewed existing information to determine what is already known about the data and found that prior audit results indicate there are pervasive weaknesses in Caltrans’ general controls.

Consultants to Government and Industry Advantage system (Advantage)

Financial data from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2015

To make a selection of highway maintenance program expenditures, bridge projects, and pavement projects in Caltrans districts 4, 6, and 7.

  • We performed data‑set verification procedures and electronic testing of key data elements and did not identify any significant issues.
  • These purposes did not require a data reliability assessment. Instead, we gained assurance that the population was complete. To test the completeness of Caltrans’ Advantage system, we haphazardly selected 29 maintenance program expenditures from the 2014 and 2015 source documents located at Caltrans’ headquarters and five maintenance program expenditures from Caltrans’ archived source documents. We then traced the maintenance program expenditures back to the Advantage data and found the data to be complete.
Complete for these audit purposes.
  • To determine allocations of maintenance program funding to Caltrans' 12 districts and headquarters.
  • To determine the amounts the maintenance division spent on contracts.
  • We performed data‑set verification procedures and electronic testing of key data elements and did not identify any significant issues.
  • We reviewed existing information to determine what is already known about the data and found that prior audit results indicate there are pervasive weaknesses in Caltrans’ general controls.
Not sufficiently reliable for these audit purposes. Although this determination may affect the precision of the numbers we present, there is sufficient evidence in total to support our audit findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey Five‑Year Estimates

Socioeconomic information related to median income and race/ethnicity by census tract

To determine the median income and race/ethnicity that composes the majority of each census tract in Caltrans districts 4, 6, and 7.

We did not assess the reliability of these data because, according to standards of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, it is not necessary to conduct procedures to verify information that is used for widely accepted purposes and is obtained from sources generally recognized as appropriate, such as the U.S. Census.

Undetermined reliability for this audit purpose.

State Controller’s Office Appropriation Control Ledger

To determine the maintenance division’s expenditures for each fiscal year from July 2010 through June 2015.

We assessed the reliability of these expenditure records by reviewing testing of the appropriation control ledger system’s major control features performed as part of the State’s financial and federal compliance audits.

Sufficiently reliable for the purposes of presenting data on expenditures.

Sources: California State Auditor’s analysis of various documents, interviews, data obtained from Caltrans, and data from State Controller’s Office Appropriation Control Ledger.

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1 A lane mile is a unit of measure for pavement measuring one mile long and one lane wide. A mile stretch of a two‑lane road equals two lane miles, and a segment of road one mile long and four lanes wide is four lane miles. Go back to text

2 Caltrans includes the statutorily required budget model in its maintenance plan in the section titled “Analysis of Alternative Levels of Maintenance Investment,” not to be confused with the section of the maintenance plan titled “Maintenance Program Budget Model,” which is discussed in more detail in the Audit Results. Go back to text

3 For example, Caltrans personnel may perform routine maintenance of traffic control systems or facilities on county‑owned roads or city‑owned streets through cooperative agreements. Go back to text

4 Administration program costs are the indirect costs of a program, typically a share of the costs of the administrative units serving the entire department (for example, legal, personnel, and accounting). Distributed administration costs represent the distribution of the indirect costs to the program activities of a department. Go back to text