PDS Perf Audit OCPW Responses 7 20 09
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PDS Perf Audit OCPW Responses 7 20 09


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Bryan Speegle, Director 300 N. Flower Street Santa Ana, CA P.O. Box 4048 Santa Ana, CA 92702-4048 Telephone: (714) 834-2300 Fax: (714) 834-5188 MEMORANDUM July 20, 2009 DATE: Steve Danley, Performance Auditor TO: Director, OC Public Works FROM: Planning and Development Services Performance Audit SUBJECT: Attached is our formal response to the Performance Audit. Thank you for the opportunity to submit these responses. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at 834-4643 or Jess Carbajal at 667-3217/ (original signed and transmitted) Bryan Speegle, Director Attach: OC Public Works Responses cc: Tom Mauk, County Executive Officer Alisa Drakodaidis, Deputy CEO Performance Audit Report Planning and Development Services July 20, 2009     Page 1 of 15 OVERVIEW  This  document  provides  OC  Public  Works  responses  to  the  recent  performance audit findings and recommendations.  We have added this brief section to provide a context in which to view Planning and Development Services (PDS) beyond what is possible within the audit’s scope.  It is important to point out that PDS has gone through a number of organizational changes that date back to creation of Planning and Development Services Department (PDSD) in 1996 to 2004.  As a stand‐alone department,  Planning  and  Development  Services  Department  was  "merged"  into Resources  and  Development  Management  ...



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Bryan Speegle, Director 300 N. Flower Street Santa Ana, CA P.O. Box 4048 Santa Ana, CA 92702-4048 Telephone: (714) 834-2300 Fax: (714) 834-5188  
DATE: July 20, 2009 Steve D TO: anley, Performance Auditor FROM: Director, OC Public Works SUBJECT: Planning and Development Services Performance Audit      Attached is our formal response to the Performance Audit. Thank you for the opportunity to submit these responses.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at 834-4643 or Jess Carbajal at 667-3217/    (original signed and transmitted) Bryan Speegle, Director     Attach: OC Public Works Responses   cc: Tom Mauk, County Executive Officer  Alisa Drakodaidis, Deputy CEO             
Performance  Audit  Report  Planning  and  Development  Services  July  20,  2009   Page  1 of 15   
OVERVIEW   This document provides OC Public Works responses to the recent performance audit findings and recommendations. We have added this brief section to provide a context in which to view Planning and Development Services (PDS) beyond what is possible within the audit’s scope. It is important to point out that PDS has gone through a number of organizational changes that date back to creation of Planning and Development Services Department (PDSD) in 1996 to 2004. As a stand‐alone department, Planning and Development Services Department was " merged" into Resources and Development Management Department (RDMD) in January 2004, and became what is now known as Planning and Development Services. This merger included a shift of all the PDS’s administrative and finance functions to RDMD/Administration. This action was taken to free the Director of PDS and the staff to focus on planning and development, and to take advantage of the larger, specialized administration/finance resources of RDMD, now known as OC Public Works. Finally, PDS staff has been reduced from 204 positions in 2002 to only thirty‐nine (39) today in response to declines in workload.  While PDS’s areas of responsibility are diminishing due to annexation and incorporation, large portions of the unincorporated areas are not located in any City’s sphere‐of‐influence. These areas outside the cities spheres‐of‐influence will not be annexed unless there is a major change in policy or law and PDS’s business role will continue. It is important to note that PDS today is faced with more complex land use projects, major zoning and code enforcements issues, and environmental issues than ever before. Added to those complexities, PDS like other County services face a severe economic crisis that has virtually halted the development and construction industry.  As noted in the audit, PDS must continually adjust its spending and staffing levels to reflect sometimes rapid changes in workload and permit revenues. Unlike other City and County planning and development services units, Orange County PDS’s revenues include a relatively small subsidy of 18% from County General Funds. Whereas, other Cities or Counties derive up to 60% to 70% of their revenue from non‐fee sources usually by using general funds or redevelopment revenues to offset overhead services.  The slow down in development coupled with the staff reductions and growing mandated demands have yielded new broader divisional responsibilities and workloads with reduced resources.  PDS is focused on keeping direct costs low, revenues in line with workload, and o v e r he a d (indirect) costs to a mi n i m u m . The audit recommends many increases
Performance  Audit  Report  Planning  and  Development  Services  July  20,  2009   Page  2 of 15   in PDS services which will likely raise direct and/or overhead costs at a time when workload is severely down and the development industry has little ability to respond to cost increases.  Within these constraints, PDS is focusing on developing and implementing an action plan that results in sound fiscal solutions, improved services, and measurable performance outcomes. Our goal is to create an environment for PDS Planning to improve customer services as a core value and establishing a clear mission and vision for the future given the new realities associated with the economic down turn.  At this time, we would like to thank the Performance Audit Director and his team for their and assistance during this audit.
Performance  Audit  Report  Planning  and  Development  Services  July  20,  2009    Page  3 of 15   OC  PLANNING  AND  DEVELOPMENT  SERVICES  PERFORMANCE  AUDIT:   RECOMMENDATIONS  AND  RESPONSES  (The Performance Audit recommendations are listed below followed by the OC Public Works Response.)  Recommendation  1:   The  new  PDS  Director  must  formally  adopt  a  mission  for  the  organization,  communicate  it  to  all  staff  and  the  public,  and  be  actively  involved  by  taking  concrete  steps  to  align  the  current  organization  with  the  agreed  upon  mission.    OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.    The Chief Deputy Director and PDS employees have recently completed a review of the mission statement as part of the development of a balanced score card approach to performance management. The OC Public Works Director is developing approaches to communicate the mission within the department, to our customers, and the general public.  Recommendation  2:   The  PDS  Director  should  adopt  a  new  approach  to  managing  PDS,  one  that  is  proactive,  strategically  aligned,  involve  in  day Ǧ to Ǧ day  operations  sensitive  to  customer  service,  and  collaborative  with  line  staff.    OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.    The Chief Deputy Director has established a proactive management approach, which focuses on customer service and collaboration among the line staff.  Recommendation  3:   The  PDS  Director  must  establish  an  intentional  organizational  culture  built  upon  chosen  core  values  and  aligned  with  the  formally  articulated  mission.   OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.    The Chief Deputy Director, PDS Managers continue to work with staff to align the organizational culture with the mission and core values.  Recommendation  4:   Throughout  PDS,  performance  standards  should  be  established,  communicated,  and  enforced.   When  basic  performance  expectations  are  not  met,  employee  training,  counseling,  and  then  discipline  should  occur.   The  PDS  Director  should  serve  as  the  pre Ǧ disciplinary  hearing  office  in  all  cases  except  for  direct  reports.   OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.    OC Public Works is building on the performance standards developed during the balanced score card program to ensure management and staff participate together in meeting these performance expectations. The Chief Deputy Director serves as the hearing officer in all pre‐disciplinary hearings except for direct reports per County policy.  
Performance  Audit  Report  Planning  and  Development  Services  July  20,  2009    Page  4 of 15   Recommendation  5:   First,  determine  the  base  level  of  staffing  needed  to  ensure  an  acceptable  level  of  customer  service.   Second,  identify  those  employees  who  may  be  retiring  in  the  short  or  medium Ǧ term.   For  each  of  the  positions,  identify  the  knowledge,  skills,  and  abilities  required,  and  determine  if  any  current  employee(s)  can  fill  these  positions.   If  not,  either  train  existing  staff  or  examine  recruitment  options.    OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.    PDS in conjunction with OC Public Works/Administrative Services Division has analyzed workload demands and staffing needs and will be determining levels of staffing consistent with customer service requirements and in light of costs/revenue impacts. In conjunction with OC Public Works/ Administrative Services Division, PDS management is reviewing potential for retirements. Based on this assessment, PDS is updating the position requirements and will determine the capabilities of current employees to meet these requirements through training or propose recruiting or contracting to meet needs. PDS will identify the costs/revenue impacts of additional training, recruiting, or contracting prior to implementing any plan.  Recommendation  6:   Consultants  should  be  hired  only  if  there  are  opportunities  for  them  to  add  significant  value  and  advice,  and  only  if  leadership  will  be  receptive  to  the  advice,  especially  when  these  findings  and  recommendations  are  strongly  supported  by  operational  realities.    OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.    PDS Consultants will only be used to add significant value and advice, management will ensure that their recommendations supported by operational realities and thoroughly reviewed and vetted are stakeholders, customers, County Executive Office (CEO), and the Board of Supervisors especially in terms of operational improvements and the cost/revenue impacts of consultant recommendations.  Recommendation  7:   PDS  needs  to  determine,  with  CEO  concurrence,  the  minimum  level  of  staffing  needed  to  meet  basic  operational  requirements  and  to  provide  a  baseline  level  of  customer  service.   Once  this  minimum  level  of  staffing  is  established,  PDS  should  formally  prepare  contingency  plans  to  prepare  for  future  financial  shortfalls.    OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.    PDS continues to develop staffing needs analyses based on the baseline levels of operational requirements, which will be reviewed with stakeholders and the CEO. Based on the baseline levels agreed upon, PDS will prepare contingency plans including funding requirements for future financial changes.  
Performance  Audit  Report  Planning  and  Development  Services  July  20,  2009     Page  5 of 15   Recommendation  9.1:   PDS  Management  should  completely  reevaluate  and  redesign  a  Customer  Service  Plan  (CSP)  that  will  work  efficiently  and  effectively  for  PDS.   This  would  include  developing  an  adequate  tracking  system  for  customer  comments  and  complaints,  a  timely  follow Ǧ up  process,  and  adequate  reporting  tools.   Recommendation  9.2:   PDS  should  ensure  that  the  Customer  Service  Representative  (CSR)  is  properly  trained  to  perform  the  required  responsibilities,  and  is  informed  of  any  operational  changes  that  may  affect  the  information  provided  to  the public.  OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.   PDS management has commenced reevaluation of the current plan and will develop recommended improvements in customer service including the cost/revenue impacts of improving or expanding the current customer service levels. Changes in the CSP procedures have already been made and all operational changes, if any, will be communicated to the CSR.  Recommendation  10:   PDS  Management  should  review  the  CEOs  Customer  Care  Tracking  System  reporting  requirements  and  establish  procedures  to  ensure  the  system  is  updated  as  required.   PDS  should  designate  the  CSR  as  the  central  clearinghouse  for  all  comments  and  complaints.    OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.   PDS has implemented improvements consistent with the CEO’s Customer Care Tracking System including clearly designating it as the central clearinghouse for all complaints to be recorded and addressed. PDS management continues to evaluate the Customer Care System for potential improvements, including staffing, potential cost/revenue, or overhead cost impacts.  Recommendation  11:   PDS  should  re Ǧ examine  the  Project  Manager  concept  and  its  current  processes.   If  PDS  determines  that  the  Project  Manager  concept  is  appropriate  after  this  review,  staff  should  be  provided  adequate  training  to  ensure  it  is  successful.   On  an  ongoing  basis,  PDS  should  perform  and  evaluation  of  the  concept  in  coordination  with  a  review  of  customer  service  comments  and  complaints  to  determine  whether  modifications  are  needed  to  meet  the  intended  business  objective.    OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.    PDS will obtain an independent and expert review of the project manager concept with stakeholder input including recommendations for any training required to implement the approach to meet the intended business objectives. The analysis will include any modifications required to meet the intended business approach and the cost/revenue impacts of modifications and training.  
Performance  Audit  Report  Planning  and  Development  Services  July  20,  2009    Page  6 of 15   Recommendation  12:   PDS  should  continue  efforts  to  improve  the  tracking  and  monitoring  of  planning  applications  through  the  APPS  system.    OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.    PDS is continuing its program to improve planning application reporting in the APPS system and any upgrades or modifications of the APPS system will be identified including the cost/revenue impacts of these actions.  Recommendation  13:   In  the  short  term,  the  PDS  Inspection  Manager  should  perform  the  close Ǧ complete  process  in  addition  to  approving  the  final  permit  to  expedite  the  refund  process.   In  the  long  term,  PDS  should  establish  appropriate  performance  standards  to  track,  monitor,  and  assign  appropriate  level  staff  to  perform  this  process  in  a  timely  fashion.    OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.   The Building Inspection Chief will be tasked with the close‐complete process and expediting the refund process consistent with ensuring that all charges has been submitted for the permits. In the long term, PDS will analyze improvements in performance standards and appropriate classifications including the cost/revenue impacts of changes to expedite turn‐around times for inspection completions and refunds.  Recommendation  14:   PDS  should  move  forward  quickly  to  implement  the  balanced  score  card  in  order  to  establish  measures  that  comprehensively  and  sufficiently  track  and  report  operational  effectiveness.  A  detailed  balanced  score  card  sample  of  performance  measure  from  a  benchmark  jurisdiction  is  provided  in  Exhibit  3.     OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.    As part of the recent Board approved reorganization of OC Public Works, PDS is currently involved in developing a balanced score card performance approach. PDS will analyze the performance measures including similar jurisdictions’ approaches. Based on this analysis, PDS will propose performance measures and identify the cost/revenue impacts of meeting these measures.  Recommendation  15:   PDS  should  establish  appropriate  wait  times  for  Development  Processing  Center  (DPC)  customers  and  require  counter  staff  to  document  the  time  each  customer  was  seen  on  the  sign Ǧ in  sheet  in  order  for  PDS  management  to  monitor  whether  current  staffing  is  sufficient  to  meet  this  goal.     OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.   PDS has made changes to the DPC wait‐time tracking documentation and will continue to improve wait‐time performance for sound decision‐making on
Performance  Audit  Report  Planning  and  Development  Services  July  20,  2009    Page  7 of 15   staffing levels including the cost/revenue and overhead impacts of DPC staff levels.  Recommendation  16:   PDS  should  take  the  necessary  actions  to  meet  the  organizations  performance  goal  of  a  one Ǧ day  turn Ǧ around  for  inspection  request.   In  addition,  inspectors  schedules  should  be  adjusted  to  avoid  creating  days  (e.g.,  Fridays)  with  significantly  reduced  staffing.   OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.   PDS continuously monitors inspection response time, against the performance measure and is analyzing schedule changes to optimize workloads. PDS will make recommendations on changes in work schedules including elimination of flex days or other necessary changes, and identify the process for implementing these changes in work conditions.  Recommendation  17:   PDS  should  ensure  that  consultant  performance  may  be  accurately  monitored  through  APPS,  and  that  performance  outcomes  are  accurately  reported  in  reports  to  the  public  and  CEO  in  business  plans.   OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.   PDS is analyzing modifications to APPS to improve performance monitoring of plan check contractors, and will report and recommendation including the cost/revenue impacts of the APPS modifications and the additional reporting requirements to the CEO.  Recommendation  18.1:   PDS  should  continue  the  recently Ǧ implemented  quality  control  reviews  of  consultant  work.   The  Building  Official  can  and  should  be  used  to  assist  in  these  quality  control  efforts.    Recommendation  18.2:   PDS  should  continue  its  efforts  to  enhance  the  APPS  application  to  monitor  and  report  consultant  performance.   PDS  should  periodically  perform  random  evaluations  of  consultant  turn Ǧ around  times  through  review  of  correction  lists  or  other  data  to  confirm  consultants  are  performing  as  required.   This  performance  monitoring  should  also  consider  customer  complaints  received  by  the  Customer  Service  Representative.   OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.   PDS will continue quality control reviews including analyzing increased review by the Building Official including the cost/revenue or overhead impacts of potential increases in reviews. PDS will also continue to analyze enhancements to APPS to improve monitoring of contractor performance and add customer c o m p l a i n t s to the APPS monitoring d a t a . PDS recommendations for APPS improvements will quantify improvements and estimate the cost/revenue or
Performance  Audit  Report  Planning  and  Development  Services  July  20,  2009     Page  8 of 15   overhead impacts of proposed improvements for review by management and stakeholders.  Recommendation  19.1:   PDS  should  ensure  the  consultant  provides  documented  support  for  any  future  work  hours  billed  for  services  provided  to  JWA  before  final  payment  is  made.    Recommendation  19.2:   PDS  should  perform  periodic  reviews  of  time  records  for  all  consultants  to  ensure  the  appropriateness  of  billed  plan  check  hours,  not  only  for  larger  projects  such  as  the  JWA  terminal,  but  also  for  smaller  PDS  customers  whose  projects  are  reviewed  by  a  plan  check  consultants.   OC  Public  Works  Response:   Agree.    PDS, OC Public Works/Administrative Services Division, and Auditor‐Controller are working together to ensure that plan check contractor billings are completely accurate for large and small projects. PDS will analyze and recommend improvements in the contractor billing systems including audits and other reviews, including the cost/revenue impacts or overhead impacts of contractor management changes.  Recommendation  20.1:   PDS  management  and  Information  Technology  (IT)  staff  should  determine  the  specific  information  needed  to  effectively  measure/monitor  workload  and  performance,  and  ensure  that  this  information  is  accurately  tracked  in  the  APPS  system.    Recommendation  20.2:   PDS  should  formally  assign  one  PDS  employee  to  be  the  lead  on  the  management  of  the  APPS  application.   This  employee  should  be  adequately  trained  on  the  APPS  application  and  work  as  a  liaison  between  PDS  and  OC  Public  Works/Information  Technology.   Any  ad  hoc  reports  or  system  enhancements  should  be  reviewed  by  this  APPS  lead  person  on  a  case Ǧ by Ǧ case  basis  before  sending  them  to  IT  for  creation.    Recommendation  20.3:   PDS  should  evaluate  APPS  ongoing  support  needs  as  well  as  planned  enhancements  in  order  to  determine  a  realistic  budget  for  these  services  that  may  be  included  when  determining  billable  rates.   PDS  should  also  consider  establishing  a  surcharge  (as  has  been  done  in  other  benchmark  jurisdictions)  for  each  permit  issued,  based  on  a  percentage  of  permit  costs,  which  can  be  used  to  directly  fund  APPS  IT  support.    Recommendation  20.4:   Given  current  financial  constraints,  PDS  should:  (1)in  the  short  term,  pursue  cost  effective  modifications  to  APPS  that  will  streamline  the  user  interface  for  management,  and  (2)  in  the  medium/long  term,  prepare  a  thorough  comparison  of  costs  and  capabilities  resulting  form  the  retention  and/or  enhancement  of  APPS  versus  the  purchase  and  implementation  of  a  replacement  system.   
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