Fact Check: Implementation of Bureau of State Audit’s Recommendations on Technology Projects

On January 15, 2013, the California State Auditor released a report on the status in dozens of state agencies of implementation of audit recommendations since 2005.

The report included the State Auditor’s assessment of the degree to which the judicial branch has substantiated implementation of 10 recommendations from her office’s 2011 audit of the California Court Case Management System.

The judicial branch agreed to full implementation of the 2011 audit and has instituted oversight changes and project management changes in keeping with the recommendations. In October 2012, the Judicial Council Technology Committee and Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) provided the State Auditor’s office with detailed responses to questions about the status of implementation.

The 2013 State Auditor’s report listed as fully implemented 6 of the 10 recommendations and determined that implementation was not fully substantiated on the other 4 recommendations.

The report noted that the AOC believes it has fully implemented the recommendations, contrary to the State Auditor’s determination.

The four recommendations currently in question are:

Recommendation Judicial Council/AOC Substantiation
For future projects, full and accurate cost estimates should be disclosed to the Judicial Council, Legislature, and stakeholders from the beginning.  Response detailed development of governance structure and establishment of the Judicial Branch Technology Committee to ensure implementation of this recommendation.  No new projects are funded.
For future projects, a long-term funding strategy should be in place before significant resources are invested. Response detailed development of governance structure and establishment of the Judicial Branch Technology Committee to ensure implementation of this recommendation.  No new projects are funded. 
The AOC should continue to work with superior courts that have deployed the civil system to ensure that their concerns are addressed. Response detailed AOC’s work with courts, including weekly conference calls, tracking of compliance with service level agreements, and workstreams that are collaboratively managed with the courts.
The AOC should work with superior courts to address concerns about hosting their data at the California Court Technology Center. Response detailed multiple ways in which strict service level agreements are maintained and monitored. System reliability and availability is tracked and has been stable, and other management and service mechanisms are in place to address court issues promptly.

Two of the four incomplete recommendations concern future projects. Currently, the judicial branch has no funding for new technology projects and has not undertaken any projects on which to further substantiate the intent to comply with the auditor’s recommendations.

February 2013

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