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San Diego Audit of Violence Against Women High Risk Sex Offenders Grant 2010

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OFFICE OF AUDITS & ADVISORY SERVICES

Auditor and Controller
County of San Diego

A MERICAN R ECOVERY AND
R EINVESTMENT A CT (ARRA)
C OMPLIANCE A UDIT OF THE
V IOLENCE A GAINST W OMEN H IGH R ISK S EX O FFENDERS
G RANT
FINAL AUDIT REPORT

Chief of Audits: James L. Pelletier, CIA, CICA
Senior Audit Manager: Tom Philipp, CIA, CCSA
Senior Auditor: Laura Flores, CIA, CFE, CGAP
Auditor I: Kathleen M. Whitehead, CGAP, CICA

Report No. A10-037C

September  2010

Intentionally Left Blank

DONALD F. STEUER
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

([ountu of ~an ~i£go

(619) 531-54,3
FAX (619) 531-5219

AUDITOR AND CONTROLLER

TRACY M. SANDOVAL
ASST. CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER!
AUDITOR & CONTROLLER

1600 PACIFIC HIGHWAY STE 166, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA 92101-2478

(619) 531-5413
FAX (619) 531-5219

September 17, 2010

TO:

Mack Jenkins, Chief Probation Officer
Probation Department

FROM:

James L. Pelletier
Chief of Audits

FINAL REPORT: AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT COMPLIANCE AUDIT
OF THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN - HIGH RISK SEX OFFENDERS GRANT

Enclosed is our report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Compliance
Audit of the Violence Against Women - High Risk Sex Offenders Grant. We have reviewed
your responses to our recommendations and have attached them to the audit report.
The actions taken and/or planned, in general, are responsive to the recommendations in the
report. As required under Board Policy B-44, we respectfully request that you provide quarterly
status reports on the implementation progress of the recommendations. The Office of Audits &
Advisory Services will contact you or your designee near the end of each quarter to request
your response.
Also attached is an example of the quarterly report that is required until all actions have been
implemented. To obtain an electronic copy of this template, please contact Laura Flores,
Project Lead at (858) 495-5654.
If you have any questions, please contact me at (858) 495-5661.

~

JAMES L. PELLETIER
Chief of Audits

AUD:LEF:aps
Enclosure
c:

Raymond A. Fernandez, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Public Safety Group
Donald F. Steuer, Chief Financial Officer
Tracy M. Sandoval, Assistant Chief Financial Officer/Auditor and Controller
Dorothy Y. Thrush, Group Finance Director, Public Safety Group

Office of Audits & Advisory Services

Report No. A10-037C

INTRODUCTION
Audit Objective

As part of our effort to provide reasonable assurance that the County of
San Diego (the County) is in compliance with the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA or the Act), the Office of Audits &
Advisory Services (OAAS) conducted an audit of the Violence Against
Women - High Risk Sex Offenders (HRSO) Program subsidized with
ARRA funds.
The objectives of the audit were to establish whether ARRA funds were
properly managed and accounted for, determine whether data related to
the grant were properly captured and reported as mandated by the Act,
and determine whether adequate internal controls for the administration of
ARRA funds had been established.

Background

The Act was signed into law on February 17, 2009. The purposes of the
Act are to preserve and create jobs, promote economic recovery, assist
those most affected by the recession, provide investments to increase
economic efficiency through technological advances in science and
health, and invest in transportation, environmental protection, and other
infrastructure.
The Act includes more than $139 million in Department of Justice (DOJ),
Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) grant funding to enhance law
enforcement efforts to combat violence against women. The majority of
these funds have been awarded to states to develop and strengthen
effective law enforcement and court response to violence against women.
The California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) received $13.2
million from the OVW. CalEMA allocated $1.2 million of ARRA funds
received to the State Probation Specialized Unit. The goal of this program
is to enhance or create specialized units within California probation
departments to intensively supervise small caseloads focusing strictly on
sexual assaults offenders.
In December 2009, CalEMA officially awarded $258,590 of ARRA funding
to the County’s Probation Department (the Department), with a required
match of $86,197. The objectives of the grant are to protect community
safety, reduce recidivism by sex offenders, and increase assistance to
victims. These funds were provided to hire a Deputy Probation Officer
(DPO) to intensively supervise a caseload of HRSO, hire staff to assist the
DPO, lease 20 global positioning satellite (GPS) units, 1 provide services
to victims, and subsidize training and supplies for the DPO.

1

U.S. Department of Justice Publication, Tracking Sex Offenders with Electronic Monitoring Technology. GPS is
an electronic device that can be used to track sex offenders. The offender is fitted with a tamper-resistant transmitter,
a small, battery-operated unit worn on the ankle that emits a radio signal to a portable tracking device (PTD). The
PTD continuously records location information according to date and time. Location information for an offender
may be updated as frequently as every 10 seconds. The radio frequency transmitter is programmed to detect if a
transmitter is beyond a predetermined distance away from the PTD.

1

Office of Audits & Advisory Services

Audit Scope &
Limitations

Report No. A10-037C

Audit work focused on grant activities conducted from March to May,
2010.
This audit was conducted in accordance with auditing standards
prescribed by the Institute of Internal Auditors, Inc., as required by
California Government Code, Section 1236.

Methodology

OAAS performed the audit using the following methods:


Reviewed Office of Management and Budget (OMB) ARRA guidance,
Inspector General (IG) ARRA directives, and related regulations from
the Department of Justice (DOJ) and State of California to identify and
understand specific ARRA requirements and expectations;



Examined Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that
discussed significant risks related to ARRA;



Interviewed Probation staff responsible for grant fiscal administration
and project management;



Examined County policies
administration of grants;



Reviewed the Department’s processes for grant administration,
monitoring, and reporting of grant activities; and



Conducted specific audit procedures such as inspection of
documents, reconciliation of records, verification of key transactions,
and inquiries regarding fraud prevention controls.

and

procedures

governing

the

AUDIT RESULTS
Summary

OAAS’ audit work determined that, within the scope of our audit, the
Department has partially complied with ARRA grant requirements. More
specifically, OAAS identified the following exceptions:

Finding I:

Mandatory Contacts with HRSO, Victims, and Treatment Providers
Were not Completed
OAAS found that the Department did not complete all required contacts
with probationers, victims, and treatment providers. The grant document
outlines mandatory performance measures to ensure that program
objectives are accomplished.
OAAS obtained performance reports prepared by the Department to
determine whether required activities were conducted.
The data
provided consisted of excel spreadsheets as well as summary
performance reports generated by the Probation Case Management
System (PCMS) – the system of record. OAAS reviewed these reports
and noted discrepancies between the excel spreadsheets and the PCMS
reports. Staff indicated that not all activities may have been recorded

2

Office of Audits & Advisory Services

Report No. A10-037C

into the PCMS. OAAS utilized both PCMS and the excel spreadsheets
data to analyze the Department’s performance. Based on our review, the
Department has not met certain service levels, as summarized in the
table below.
Actual Monthly Performance Data as Reported by the Department
Grant Performance
March
April
May
Requirements
Performance Performance Performance
Weekly Contacts with
4 out of 13
2 out of 12
6 out of 16
Probationers 2
(30%)
(16%)
(37.5%)
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
8 out of 8
Monthly Contact with
3
(20%)
(20%)
(100%)
Victims
Monthly Contacts with
6 out of 18
14 out of 14
14 out of 14
Treatment Providers 4
(33%)
(100%)
(100%)

According to management, they were unable to meet specific
performance requirements for reasons that were not considered when
applying for grant funds. For instance, the grant document does not
account for DPO absences which could prevent them from meeting
weekly contact requirements.
Insufficient contacts with probationers, victims, and treatment providers
could prevent the Department from achieving program objectives. It
could also prevent the Department from getting future funding and have a
negative impact on public perception.
Recommendation:

The Department should comply with grant requirements and ensure that
required contacts with probationers, victims, and treatment providers are
conducted. In addition, management should ensure that performance
data is entered into the PCMS on a daily basis in order to maintain
adequate performance reports.

Finding II:

Additional Services to Victims Have Not Been Provided
OAAS found that the Department has not provided additional services to
victims, such as counseling services, transportation, child care, and
housing. One of the program objectives is to increase assistance to
victims and CalEMA allocated approximately $20,000 from grant funds
for these additional services to be provided.
However, management indicated that after conducting further research,
they found that they do not have the capability to establish a victim
service program and deliver the additional services to victims in the
manner that it was proposed.
Inability to increase assistance to victims prevents the Department from
achieving the related program objective. It could also cause the loss of
current funding and prevent the Department from getting future funding.

2

Compliance is based on all contacts or attempted contacts noted in the excel report, including office visits, field
visits, and telephone calls made with active probationer cases only.
3
Compliance is based on contacts made with victims with contact information available.
4
Compliance is based on contacts made with treatment providers for cases with a registered treatment provider only
(not all probationers have a treatment provider assigned to them).

3

Office of Audits & Advisory Services

Report No. A10-037C

Recommendation:

The Department should make additional efforts to comply with grant
requirements to ensure that program objectives are met. In doing so, the
Department should also explore other options for the delivery of
additional services to victims.

Finding III:

Funding Received to Hire Student Workers Has not Been Used
CalEMA awarded funding of $58,075 to hire graduate student workers
(51.3 hours per week or 2.57 full time equivalents) to assist the DPO with
data entry and daily reviews required when using the GPS monitoring
units.
OAAS found that management has not hired the required staff funded by
the grant to conduct these activities. As an alternative solution, they
have temporarily assigned a staff member to conduct required activities.
One of the immediate goals of the Act is to create jobs and stimulate the
economy. As such, not hiring student workers funded by the grant
increases the risk of non-compliance with overall ARRA objectives. In
addition, the salary of the staff assigned to conduct required activities is
not reimbursable under grant terms resulting in an additional financial
burden to the Department.

Recommendation:

Management should determine whether hiring student workers is feasible
at this time to ensure compliance with the grant and meet ARRA
objectives. If this is not a viable option, management should contact
CalEMA to modify the terms of the grant and ensure that grant monies
can be used to offset salary costs of staff conducting grant activities.

Finding IV:

Review and Investigation of GPS Location Points was not
Conducted Effectively
The Department has incorporated multiple tools to provide effective
supervision of HRSO.
These tools include polygraphs, treatment
providers, and GPS supervision technology, among others. The grant
awarded $70,000 for the leasing of GPS devices, as well as additional
funds to hire staff to assist with the associated data searches required
when using GPS devices (see Finding III).
The Department utilizes GPS technology to assist in the supervision of
HRSO by identifying the exact location of a probationer at any given time.
The GPS devices are programmed with exclusion zones to identify
specific areas that the probationer must not enter, such as the victim’s
residency, schools, parks, day care centers, etc. 5 Inclusion zones are
also programmed to identify specific places within which the probationer
must be located at certain times of day, including treatment sessions,
probation visits, or employment. GPS systems assist in the enforcement
of exclusion and inclusion zones. If a probationer enters an exclusion
zone, an automated notification is sent to the DPO and other staff. While

5

Exclusion zones are determined on a case by case basis depending on the probationer’s offense and other
circumstances.

4

Office of Audits & Advisory Services

Report No. A10-037C

OAAS did not evaluate this process, management indicated that staff has
been trained to immediately respond to GPS alerts.
An additional benefit from the use of GPS is the ability to investigate
probationers by tracking daily movements, noting specific patterns of
behavior, and identifying frequently visited locations, all of which may
require further examination. The GPS system places and stores the
probationer’s current and past location points for staff to review the
probationer’s movement patterns. For instance, it may be of interest to
investigate why a HRSO stops by the same location daily on his or her
way home from work. Closely monitoring GPS location points may assist
in defining offense patterns and victim preferences.
OAAS reviewed monitoring activities conducted by the Department
related to GPS location points stored by the system. OAAS found that in
three instances, monitoring and researching of GPS location points was
not fully conducted and the majority of GPS tracking data had not been
entered into the PCMS. Additionally, the Department could not provide
documentation to support that the DPO had been notified in a timely
manner of specific GPS tracking concerns that had been identified by the
monitor. While staff indicated that verbal communication took place, this
could not be confirmed due to the lack of written documentation. As a
result, the DPO may not have had quick access to GPS tracking data to
identify and evaluate movement patterns and determine whether further
action was necessary. For example, according to the GPS tracks on
March 13 and March 24, 2010, data points indicated that a probationer
was near an exclusion zone. Staff indicated that the DPO was not made
aware of this information to perform further analysis until approximately
two months later. Upon closer examination of the GPS data, the DPO
determined that the actual location of the probationer did not represent a
significant risk.
The Department had not implemented adequate procedures to ensure
that review of GPS location data is performed, documented, and
communicated in a timely manner. As a result, there may have been
insufficient review and investigation of GPS location points.
Recommendation:

Management should ensure that sufficient training is provided to staff
responsible for tracking GPS location points. In addition, management
should consider documenting their processes and communicating
specific requirements to staff to ensure a clear understanding of roles
and responsibilities.

Finding V:

Grant Activities not Initiated in a Timely Manner
OAAS found that the Department did not perform activities required by
the grant for almost three months after receiving the signed agreement
from CalEMA.
While the grant performance period is from October 1, 2009 to
September 30, 2010, the confirmation letter awarding the funds from
CalEMA was signed on December 22, 2009. Authorization from the

5

Office of Audits & Advisory Services

Report No. A10-037C

Board of Supervisors to hire the staff required to conduct grant activities
was obtained on January 26, 2010. However, the DPO position was not
filled until March 12, 2010. In addition, the purchase order for the lease
of GPS units was placed on March 20, 2010 delaying the activation and
monitoring of the GPS units until March 23, 2010.
Management indicated that the nature of the hiring process and the late
arrival of the GPS units resulted in a delay in assigning staff to this
program. The Department has contacted CalEMA in an attempt to
extend the grant period.
Failure to promptly execute grant activities results in not delivering the
extent of services intended by the grant and not effectively using funding
awarded to the Department.
Recommendation:

Management should implement existing grant processes for adequate
planning and coordination of efforts to ensure that grant performance is
initiated timely. In addition, management should continue with their
efforts to extend the grant period and properly document authorization
from CalEMA.

COMMENDATION
The Office of Audits & Advisory Services commends and sincerely appreciates the
courteousness and cooperation extended by the officers and staff of the Probation Department
throughout this audit.

Office of Audits & Advisory Services
Compliance

Reliability

Effectiveness

Accountability

VALUE
6

Transparency

Efficiency

Office of Audits & Advisory Services

Report No. A10-037C

DEPARTMENT’S RESPONSE

7

Office of Audits & Advisory Services

Report No. A10-037C

'!Count!, of $an ilBiego
Mack Jenkin,
Cl1lEF PROOATIONOFFICER

DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION
POST OFFICE 60X 23597, SAN DIEGO. CALIFORNIA,

September 15,2010

9219~3S97

RECEIVIW

SEP 16'2010
TO:

James L. Pelletier
Chief of Audits

FROM:

Mack Jenkins, Chief Probation Officer
Probation Department

OFFICE OFAUDITS &
ADVISORVSERVICES

DEPARTMENT RESPONSE TO AUDIT RECOMMENDATIONS; American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Compliance Audit of the Violence Against Women - High Risk Sex
Offenders

Finding I - Mandatory Contacts with HRSO, Victims. and Treatment Providers Were not
Completed
OAAS Recommendation: The Department should comply with grant requirements and ensure that
required contacts with probationers, victims, and treatment providers are conducted. In addition,
management should ensure that performance data is entered into the PCMS on a daily basis in order
to maintain adequate performance reports.
Action Plan: The Probation Department agrees with the recommendation and offers the following
additional information:
On the topic of mandatory contacts:
•

Contact with Probationers:
Contacts with the Probationers did not occur as required. The missed contacts were the result
failing to provide coverage for the assigned Deputy Probation Officer during absences.
Arrangements were subsequently made to ensure adequate backup coverage. Contact with
Probationers has improved to 100 % compliance as of August 2010.

•

Contacts with Victims:
During the months of March and April, contacts with victims were not adequately monitored.
Corrections were subsequently made to ensure the required contacts were made. Contact with
victims whose whereabouts are known and who want contact with the probation officer has
improved to 100% compliance as of May 2010.

Protect community safety, reduce crime and assist victims through offender accountability and rehabilitation.

8

Office of Audits & Advisory Services

Report No. A10-037C

Department Response to Audit Recommendations (ARRA)
September 15, 2010
Page 2
Contacts with Treatment Providers:
Contacts with treatment providers were not effectively monitored during the first month of the
grant. Adjustments were subsequently made to ensure the contacts. Contact with treatment
providers for those probationers who are attending treatment had improved to 100% as of April
2010.

Planned Completion Date: The Probation Department has taken and completed corrective action to
ensure all mandatory contacts are in compliance with grant requirements. Met all contact
requirements as of August 2010,
Contact Information for Implementation: Lisa Southwell, Probation Director

,
Finding II • Additional Services to Victims Have Not Been Provided
OAAS Recommendation: The Department should make additional efforts to comply with grant
requirements to ensure that program objectives are met. In doing so, the Department should also
explore other options for the delivery of additional services to victims.
Action Plan: The Probation Department agrees with this finding. The Department's original plan was
to offer counseling, assistance with childcare, and assistance with transportation (to counseling
appointments, court appearances, etc.) services to victims supported by grant funds. The intent in
that plan was to obtain the services through agencies which provide services to victims and
Community Based Organizations. The Department subsequently learned the plan could not be
implemented as outlined.
Upon consultation with Cal EMA representatives the Department submitted a grant modification
request on July 26, 2010 to redirect the funds to pay for specialized training for staff on probation staff
in victim's issues. The grant modification request is currently pending approval.
Planned Completion Date: Specialized Trainers have been selected, curriculums are being finalized
and the training will commence upon approval of the grant modification.
Contact Information for Implementation: Lisa Southwell, Probation Director

Finding III - Funding Received to Hire Student Workers Has not Been Used
OAAS Recommendation: Management should determine whether hiring student workers is feasible
at this time to ensure compliance with the grant and meet ARRA objectives. If this is not a viable
option, management should contact CalEMA to modify the terms of the grant and ensure that grant
monies can be used to offset salary costs of staff conducting grant activities.
Action Plan: The Department agrees with the recommendation and offers the following additional
information
Upon applying for the grant, it was the department's intent to hire two student workers as indicated in
the application and attempted to begin the hiring process. Subsequent to receiving the award, the
County of San Diego was in the midst of implementing a deficit reduction plan which at the time

9

Office of Audits & Advisory Services

Report No. A10-037C

Department Response to Audit Recommendations (ARRA)
September 15, 2010
Page 3

precluded the hiring of "temporary workers", a category in which the student workers fell. In order to
fulfill the function that was to be performed by the student workers, the department redeployed an
officer from another assignment to fulfill the function. Efforts to hire the two student workers continued
and they began working july 16, 2010.
Planned Completion Date: Completed. Two Student workers were hired on July 16, 2010.
Contact Information for Implementation: Lisa Southwell, Probation Director

Finding IV - Review and Investigation of GPS Location Points was not Conducted Effectively
OAAS Recommendation: Management should ensure that sufficient training is provided to staff
responsible for tracking GPS location points. In addition, management should consider documenting
their processes and communicating specific requirements to staff to ensure a clear understanding of
roles and responsibilities.
Action Plan: The Department agrees with the recommendation and offers the following additional
information:
The three instances where the audit found that monitoring and researching of GPS location points
was not fUlly conducted were the result of poor communication between the staff assigned to monitor
location points and the assigned Deputy Probation Officer. Those staff did not follow established
policy regarding communication. Upon learning of the problems, corrective steps were taken with the
responsible staff. Additionally, a specific procedure was developed outlining requirements for
reviewing probationer location points and documenting that information in the probation case
management system.
Planned Completion Date: Training has been completed. The Probation Department has taken
corrective action to ensure GPS procedures and documentation of activities is in compliance with
grant requirements.
Contact Information for Implementation: Lisa Southwell, Probation Director

Finding V· Grant Activities not Initiated in a Timely Manner
OAAS Recommendation: Management should implement existing grant processes for adequate
planning and coordination of efforts to ensure that grant performance is initiated timely. In addition,
management should continue with their efforts to extend the grant period and properly document
authorization from CaIEMA.
Action Plan: The Department agrees with the recommendation and offers the following additional
information:
The department is revisiting the grant application process to ensure better coordination between the
staff writing the grant and those responsible for implementation.

10

Office of Audits & Advisory Services

Report No. A10-037C

Department Response to Audit Recommendations (ARRA)
September 15, 2010
Page 4

A modification request, to extend the grant term was submitted on July 26, 2010 to CalEMA to
continue the grant through the end of February 2011. CalEMA has stated that it is likely that the grant
term extension will be approved.
Planned Completion Date: Management has implemented and is monitoring the use of existing
grant processes to insure timely grant performance. Additionally, the request to extend the grant term
to February 28, 2011 has been submitted to CalEMA with formal approval of that request currently
pending.
Contact Information for Implementation: Lisa Southwell, Probation Director

ions, please contact me at {619)-514-3200.

11

 

 

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