Legislative Analyst's Office
Analysis of the 2001-02 Budget Bill
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for audits and investigations of the boards and departments within the state's correctional system. The office performs management review audits of adult prison wardens and Youth Authority facility superintendents. It audits the performance of internal affairs units operated within the state correctional system and reviews the adequacy of those investigations. The office also directly investigates certain allegations of staff misconduct in the correctional system and operates a toll-free telephone hotline for reporting misconduct and violations of state policy. State law establishes the office as an independent entity reporting directly to the Governor.
The budget proposes expenditures of $11.2 million in 2001-02 from the General Fund. This is about $754,000, or 7 percent, more than the current-year expenditures. This increase is due primarily to the establishment of an administrative support unit and an expansion of the office's facilities budget.
We recommend a General Fund reduction of $339,000 for expansion of office facilities because the office continues to have a high vacancy rate and has not established any new positions to justify the augmentation. (Reduce Item 0552-001-0001 by $339,000.)
Budget Proposal. The budget requests $406,000 to augment the Inspector General's facilities operation budget. The request, which represents a 97 percent increase over the department's current facilities budget, is for (1) increased rental costs for existing office space and (2) rental costs for new office spaces. The proposal states that OIG needs to move out of its current facilities and into new facilities due to a departmental reorganization and a projected increase in staff.
Office Hiring Not Keeping Pace With Projections. Recent legislative measures enacted in 1998 and 1999 have significantly expanded the duties of the OIG. While the Legislature has fully funded the office's budget, including facilities costs, in order to carry out these legislative mandates, the office has not filled all of its authorized positions.
The budget proposal is based on the assumption that OIG has no vacancies and will add 15 employees within two years. The office, however, currently has about a 25 percent vacancy rate. These vacant positions have remained unfilled for an average of nine months, suggesting that the office has had continued difficulty recruiting for these positions. In addition, the office has not submitted any proposals to increase budgeted staff to the level assumed in its facilities plan.
Given the existing vacancy level, it is unclear why the office requires such a significant increase in facilities funding. In the event the office wishes to reorganize its current facilities, our analysis indicates existing resources should be sufficient to allow it to do so.
Analyst's Recommendation. We recommend the Legislature reduce the requested augmentation for the OIG's facilities budget by $339,000 because the proposal assumes that the office will have significantly more staff in the budget year than the department is likely to hire, based on experience to date.