Report 2017-302 Recommendation 1 Responses

Report 2017-302: Judicial Council of California: It Needs to Follow Competitive Bidding Processes More Consistently and Establish Clear Guidance for Invoice Processing (Release Date: December 2017)

Recommendation #1 To: Judicial Council of California

To help ensure that it obtains the best value for the goods and services it purchases and that its staff take the steps necessary to comply with the judicial contracting manual, the Judicial Council should continue to reinforce with staff through management memos, training, or other formal means the need to ensure that the person with the appropriate level of authority approves purchases; obtain authorized approvers' signatures for noncompetitive procurements; properly document justification for noncompetitive procurements; and not exclude potential vendors from bidding based on assumptions about their prices.

60-Day Agency Response

As noted in the Judicial Council's original response to the audit, staff corrected in June 2017 (before the audit) the issue noted in the report of one individual who exceeded his signing authority. Nevertheless, management from the Judicial Council's Branch Accounting and Procurement (BAP) unit has issued an email to key procurement staff highlighting the audit's findings and recommendations. Judicial Council staff are providing a copy of this email and its related contents as an attachment to this 60-day response.

The email reminds procurement staff that purchases must be authorized by those with proper signing authority, and the memo re-issues the memorandum updating the local contracting manual—dated June 5, 2017—with current signature level authorities. Management's email to procurement staff also included the current Non-Competitive Bid (NCB) form along with a document containing applicable NCB requirements from the Judicial Branch Contracting Manual. Finally, despite the auditor questioning why a particular vendor was not asked to bid on a procurement (even though the auditor acknowledged the Judicial Council had already achieved competition and received a sufficient number of bids), management separately advised those procurement staff—who were involved in this transaction—of the need to refrain from any actions that may appear to discourage full and open competition.

  • Completion Date: February 2018
  • Response Date: February 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented

All Recommendations in 2017-302

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.