Report 2018-127 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 2018-127: California State University: It Failed to Fully Disclose Its $1.5 Billion Surplus, and It Has Not Adequately Invested in Alternatives to Costly Parking Facilities (Release Date: June 2019)

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Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status
1

To ensure transparency about CSU's available financial resources, the Legislature should require the Chancellor's Office to do the following, effective September 1, 2019:

- Beginning in 2019 and no later than November 30 each year, provide relevant parties, including the Department of Finance and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, with the current balance of the discretionary surplus that CSU has accumulated in its outside investment account that is attributable to its operating fund and to any other funds that are relevant to CSU's budget requests; the balances of the surplus amounts in those funds at the end of the prior fiscal year; the projected balances of the surplus amounts expected to remain in those funds at the end of the current fiscal year; and the amount of, justification for, and safeguards over any funds that CSU deems a reserve for economic uncertainty.

- Include in the capital improvement plans it submits annually to the Legislature information about the current balance of the surplus in CSU's outside investment account that is attributable to its operating fund or other funds that hold operating revenue from tuition, as well as the projected balance of the surplus amounts expected to remain in those funds at the end of the current fiscal year.

- Include in its consultations with the student association the full amount of the discretionary surplus CSU has accumulated to date in its outside investment account that is attributable to its operating fund and any other funds that hold tuition revenue; the rate of growth of these surplus amounts over the last three fiscal years; an estimate of the portion of the surplus amounts that came from tuition; the dollar amount to date that CSU is obligated to spend to pay for goods and services it has already received or expenses that are tied to existing contracts; a projection of the dollar amount of the surplus that will be available for campuses to spend at their discretion at the end of the current fiscal year; and the amount of, justification for, and safeguards over any funds that CSU deems a reserve for economic uncertainty.

No Action Taken
4

To ensure that students have equitable access to campus and that campuses provide the most cost-effective mix of parking and alternate transportation options, the Legislature should require the Chancellor's Office to include the following information related to transportation, by campus, in its comprehensive five-year capital improvement plan:

- The number of parking facilities each campus intends to construct over the next five years and the alternate transportation strategies that the campus considered and implemented in determining the need for those parking facilities.

- The total annual cost for each alternate transportation strategy the campuses considered and implemented compared to the annual cost of constructing, operating, and maintaining a new parking facility.

- The cost per student served by those alternate transportation strategies compared to the cost per student of constructing, operating, and maintaining a new parking facility.

- The number of students served by each of those alternate transportation strategies compared to the number of students to be served by a new facility.

- Information on whether and to what extent alternate transportation strategies have decreased parking demand in the last three years and whether the campus has demonstrated that the parking demand justifies a new parking facility.

- A cost-benefit analysis showing the appropriate mix of transportation strategies to ensure that the campus provides students with the most cost-effective access.

No Action Taken
Recommendations to University, California State
Number Recommendation Status
2

To improve CSU's financial transparency with students and other stakeholders, the Chancellor's Office, with the approval of the trustees, should revise CSU policy by October 2019 to require that it publish information about CSU's discretionary surplus. At a minimum, the Chancellor's Office should do the following:

- Identify the full amount of discretionary surplus that CSU has accumulated to date in its outside investment account that is attributable to its operating fund or other funds that hold tuition revenue, an estimate of the portion of the surplus amounts that came from tuition, and the dollar amount to date that CSU is obligated to spend to pay for goods and services it has already received or expenses that are tied to existing contracts.

- Report this information to the trustees when it presents them with a summary of CSU's reserves, at least annually.

- Ensure that this information is easily accessible on CSU's website and publicly available to all stakeholders, along with the information CSU provides about tuition rates and policies.

Pending
3

To improve CSU's financial transparency with students and other stakeholders, the Chancellor's Office, with the approval of the trustees, should revise CSU policy by October 2019 to require that it publish information about CSU's discretionary surplus. At a minimum, the Chancellor's Office should revise its reserve policy to establish and justify a minimum sufficient level of reserve for economic uncertainty and require the Chancellor's Office to provide additional oversight to ensure that CSU maintains that level. This oversight should include monitoring, approving, and notifying the trustees of any uses of the reserve for economic uncertainty.

Pending
5

To ensure that campuses thoroughly investigate and consider alternate transportation strategies, the Chancellor's Office should immediately enforce its policy and require campuses to submit the following information when they request to build new parking facilities:

- Up-to-date master plans and transportation management plans that include as key components their plans for implementing alternate transportation strategies.

- Information on whether and to what extent their alternate transportation strategies have decreased parking demand and evidence that projected parking demand justifies building a new parking facility.

Partially Implemented
6

The Chancellor's Office should update its policy by October 2019 to require campuses to submit the following information when requesting to build a new parking facility:

- The total annual cost to implement each alternate transportation strategy compared to the annual cost of constructing, operating, and maintaining a new parking facility.

- The cost per student served by those strategies compared to the cost per student of constructing, operating, and maintaining a new parking facility.

- The number of students served by each of those strategies compared to the number of students served by the new facility.

- Information, including participation data, on how the campuses have implemented alternate transportation strategies during the last three years.

Pending
7

The Chancellor's Office should not approve any request to build a new parking facility unless the requesting campus has submitted this information (recommendations 5 and 6) and the Chancellor's Office has reviewed and approved it.

Pending
8

To ensure that campuses' alternate transportation committees are consistent systemwide, the Chancellor's Office should adopt systemwide policies, by October 2019, to detail the following:

- The frequency of required meetings. The policy should require meetings at least biennially.

- The composition of committee members. The policy should require that the committees include student representatives.

- The committees' responsibilities. These responsibilities should include the assessment of alternate transportation programs based on participation data and recommendations in the campuses' transportation studies.

Pending
9

The Chancellor's Office should require that, by October 2019, the campuses publish the names of the alternate transportation committee members, the committee meeting minutes, and the committee meeting schedule on their parking and transportation services websites.

Pending
10

To ensure that campuses have a stable source of funding for investing in alternate transportation programs, the Chancellor's Office should update its policy by October 2019 to require campuses to include in their master plans or transportation management plans the potential revenue streams they will explore to secure a stable source for funding these programs. Examples of such revenue streams could include parking fees that they have reprioritized for alternate transportation, a stand-alone student transportation fee, local government partnerships or grants, or surplus parking revenue.

Pending


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