Audit Classifies DPH as High-Risk for Failure To Implement Changes
The California Department of Public Health is a high-risk agency because it has failed to implement recommended changes in a timely manner, according to a California State Auditor report sent to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Tuesday, KFBK News reports (Lewis, KFBK News, 3/3).
Details of Audit
The audit was a follow-up to a high-risk report conducted in 2013.
For the most recent review, investigators interviewed DPH staff and examined the department's ongoing efforts to mitigate risks. They also examined other reports and documents to determine whether DPH had implemented measures to correct shortcomings identified in previous reviews (CSA report, 3/3).
The audit found that the number of unresolved recommendations increased to 33, up from 23 in 2013 (KFBK News, 3/3).
Of the 33 unresolved cases, 17 were directly related to public health. Further, the audit found that 12 of the 17 unresolved public health recommendations were more than five years old.
According to the report, DPH's operations chief said that the department takes the state auditor's recommendations seriously but noted that the deficiencies only occurred within two of its more than 200 programs.
Further, the DPH official said it has:
- Requested 240 additional positions for licensing to more quickly respond to audit recommendations; and
- Received awards and recognition for its work in public health.
In the report, State Auditor Elaine Howle wrote, "Although we laud [DPH's] recent achievement[s] ... and are aware of its ongoing efforts to resolve outstanding recommendations, the fact remains that numerous recommendations are still unresolved and we continue to consistently find in our audits of [DPH] that it is not performing statutorily required duties."
Howle said that because of such failures, DPH will be considered high-risk until it addresses the issues identified by CSA (CSA report, 3/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.