Report 2016-121 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2016-121: Department of Motor Vehicles: Administrative and Statutory Changes Will Improve Its Ability to Detect and Deter Misuse of Disabled Person Parking Placards (Release Date: April 2017)

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Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status
1

To increase DMV oversight of applications for placards or plates, the Legislature should modify current law to require DMV to conduct at least quarterly audits of a selection of applications for disabled placards or plates and to seek the health boards' cooperation in doing so.

2

To better align the placard program with the needs of Californians with disabilities, the Legislature should amend state law to include podiatrists on the list of medical providers approved in state law to certify applications for disabilities related to their specialty.

3

To assist DMV in more accurately identifying deceased individuals with active permanent placards, the Legislature should amend state law to require DMV to use the U.S. Social Security Administration's Death Master File to inform its efforts to identify and cancel deceased individuals' placards.

4

To assist DMV in identifying deceased placard holders, the Legislature should require that all individuals with permanent placards reapply every four years.

5

To assist DMV in identifying deceased placard holders, the Legislature should require that all who apply for a placard or a plate include their full legal name and date of birth, and provide satisfactory proof of this information at the time of application.

6

To reduce the risk of placard misuse, the Legislature should limit to no more than two the number of replacements of permanent placards an individual may obtain during the two-year placard renewal period. The Legislature should require that those desiring replacements beyond that limit reapply and submit new certifications of disability.

Recommendations to Motor Vehicles, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
7

To reduce the risk of fraudulent applications, by September 2017 DMV should seek interagency agreements with the health boards responsible for licensing providers authorized to certify disabilities on placard applications. The agreements should include, but not be limited to, a review by medical experts of a sample of placard applications each quarter to ensure that the disability certifications meet state requirements. For any application that does not meet state requirements, DMV should require that the applicant and his or her provider submit the information needed so that the application meets state requirements. DMV should cancel the placards of those who do not respond within 90 days.

8

To reduce the risk of fraudulent applications, by September 2017 DMV should seek interagency agreements with the health boards responsible for licensing providers authorized to certify disabilities on placard applications. The agreements should include, but not be limited to, a process for the health boards to develop guidance for medical providers related to how to meet state requirements.

9

To reduce the risk of fraudulent applications, by September 2017 DMV should seek interagency agreements with the health boards responsible for licensing providers authorized to certify disabilities on placard applications. The agreements should include, but not be limited to, a process for obtaining copies of provider signatures and routinely comparing the signatures with those on a sample of placard applications. Investigations should confirm questionable signatures with providers.

10

To help ensure that DMV approves only those applications that qualify for the placard program as specified in state law, by September 2017 and annually thereafter, DMV should provide additional direction and training to its staff that addresses the following program requirements: the types of medical providers that may certify qualifying disabilities, the disability categories each type of medical provider may certify, the legibility of medical provider certifications, and the entry of medical provider numbers into its registration system.

11

To identify potentially fraudulent applications, beginning immediately and quarterly thereafter, DMV Investigations should obtain placard application data from its registration system and analyze those data. At a minimum, this analysis should include a review of the following: individuals who have been issued multiple active placards, individuals who apply for an excessive number of replacement placards, providers who certify an abnormally large number of placard applications, and individuals over 100 years of age with active placards.

12

To better deter placard abuse, by September 2017 DMV should establish reasonable goals regarding the number of sting operations each of its district offices should conduct each quarter. If competing priorities require a district office to miss its goal for a given quarter, Investigations should document its justification for missing the goal. Further, Investigations should monitor its district offices' effectiveness in meeting the quarterly goals.

13

To help ensure that DMV's sting operations are an effective deterrent to placard misuse, beginning immediately DMV should regularly publicize the results of all of its sting operations through local and statewide media, on its website, and in materials distributed to the public at its field offices.

14

To properly equip its employees with the knowledge necessary to identify and report potential fraud indicators in placard applications, DMV should provide employees who process applications with training specific to the types of fraud that can occur in an application. This training should be provided by December 2017 and every other year thereafter.

15

To encourage reporting of allegations of placard abuse, Investigations should amend its policy to accept complaints by telephone and online by June 2017 and display the instructions for doing so prominently on its website.

16

To better track the time needed to investigate placard-related cases, Investigations should immediately require investigators to indicate in Investigations' database that cases are closed upon concluding the investigation and to continue to track the court's adjudication of each case.

17

To better monitor the results of its enforcement operations, Investigations should provide training and guidance to its investigators on how to use and consistently enter case disposition information into its database, and it should train its supervisors to regularly follow up with investigators to ensure that they do so.

18

To better equip local parking enforcement officials to promptly identify invalid placards, by December 2018 DMV should develop and implement an application, database, or other technology that will allow non-sworn parking enforcement officials to have immediate access to information on placard status.

19

To aid local placard enforcement efforts, by September 2017 DMV should develop guidance and training regarding strategies to combat placard misuse and notify local parking enforcement officials that the DMV guidance and training is available. As part of these efforts, DMV should include information on state law related to increasing citation penalties to fund enforcement efforts.

20

To track its effectiveness at canceling seized placards, DMV should continue its new practice of keeping a record of the date staff take action to cancel a placard and assess whether DMV is meeting its goal of canceling seized placards within 24 hours of receipt.

21

To provide local enforcement agencies with an effective way to submit placard cancellation requests, DMV should immediately establish a dedicated fax number, a dedicated email address, and a specific mailing address to receive such cancellations. DMV should communicate this information to local parking enforcement by July 2017 and should develop a schedule for communicating this information to local parking enforcement in the future. By July 2017 and periodically thereafter, DMV should inform local parking enforcement of the need to submit information on seized placards quickly in order to prevent the holder or someone else from requesting a replacement placard without having to submit a new medical certification.

22

To reduce the risk of placard misuse, DMV should update its placards to indicate a return address if found or if the placard holder is deceased. DMV should prepare this update for the permanent placards it will issue in 2019 that will expire in 2021.

23

To raise public awareness about parking for people with disabilities in California and deter placard misuse, by September 2017 DMV should develop a plan for conducting a public outreach campaign about the effect that placard misuse has on people with disabilities and the penalties for misusing a placard.



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