Reports on General Government

  • Improving State Permitting for Local Climate Change Adaptation Projects
    (Report #238, June 2017)
  • Borrowed Money: Opportunities for Stronger Bond Oversight
    (Report #236, February 2017)
  • Jobs for Californians: Strategies to Ease Occupational Licensing Barriers
    (Report #234, October 2016)
  • Time and Again: Overtime in State Facilities
    (Report #231, April 2016)
  • A Customer-Centric Upgrade For California Government
    (Report #229, October 2015)
  • Conversations For Workable Government
    (Report #227, June 2015)
  • Level the Playing Field: Put California's Underground Economy Out of Business
    (Report #226, March 2015)
  • From Hiring to Retiring: Strategies for Modernizing State Human Resources
    (Report #220, February 2014)
  • Building Value: Modernizing Property Mangement
    (Report #212, September 2012)
  • A Review of Government Reorganization Plan No 2.
    (Report #211, May 2012)
  • Better Regulation: Improving California's Rulemaking Process
    (Report #209, October 2011)
  • Letter to Governor Brown and the Legislature on Information Technology Governance
    (Report #208, September 2011)
  • A Review of the Governor's Reorganization Plan to Unify and Streamline the California State Personnel System
    (Report #206, June 2011)
  • Chairman Hancock Letter to Governor Edmund G. Brown
    (March 2011)
  • Public Pensions for Retirement Security
    (Report #204, February 2011)
  • Making up for Lost Ground: Creating a Governor's Office of Economic Development
    (Report #200, February 2010)
  • Stem Cell Research: Strengthening Governance to Further the Voters' Mandate
    (Report #198, June 2009)
  • Bond Spending: Expanding and Enhancing Oversight
    (Report #197, June 2009)
  • A Review of the Governor's Reorganization Plan to Consolidate Information Technology Functions
    (Report #196, March 2009)
  • A New Legacy System: Using Technology to Drive Performance
    (Report #193, November 2008)
  • Serving the Public: Managing the State Workforce to Improve Outcomes
    (Report #181, June 2005)
  • Historic Opportunities: Transforming California State Government
    (Report #176, December 2004)
  • Regulation of Acupuncture:  A Complementary Therapy Framework
    (Report #175, September 2004)
  • Governing the Golden State:  A Critical Path to Improve Performance and Restore Trust 
    (Report #174, July 2004)
  • We The People:  Helping Newcomers Become Californians 
    (Report #166, June 2002)
  • Only A Beginning:  The Proposed Labor & Workforce Development Agency
    (Report #164, April 2002)
  • Card Clubs in California:  A Review of Ownership Limitations
    (Report #163, April 2002)
  • Special Districts:  Relics of the Past or Resources for the Future?
    (Report #155, May 2000)
  • Of the People, By the People:  Principles for Cooperative Civil Service Reform
    (Report #150, January 1999)
  • Governor's Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1998 
    (Report #147, June 1998)

    On April 30, 1998, the Secretary for the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency submitted Governor's Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1998 to the Little Hoover Commission. The plan, which was amended by the Administration on May 27, 1998, would dissolve the Department of Corporations, transfer the department's health-care related regulatory programs to a new Department of Managed Care, and would transfer certain investment and lender-fiduciary programs from the Department of Corporations to the Department of Financial Services. On June 25, 1998, the Commission recommended that the Legislature reject the Plan.
  • Consumer Protection: A Quality of Life Investment
    (Report #146, June 1998)
  • Budget Reform: Putting Performance First
    (Report #135, October 1995)

    As the State seeks ways to maximize its ability to perform effectively, the Commission examined the pilot project for performance-based budgeting established in several departments within the State of California. The report contains three findings and nine recommendations. The Commission found out that the traditional process for funding, achieving accountability, and setting priorities does not encourage the best policy decisions, increases costs, and decreases program successes. The Commission recommends that the Governor and the Legislature make a commitment to performance-based budgeting by providing support and oversight, extending the time line for the pilot project, and encouraging its expansion as appropriate.
  • Review of State Fire Marshal/Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Reorganization
    (Report #134, June 1995) 

    Although this plan leaves the complexities of merging the two organizations to be finalized at a later date, there is widespread agreement that the consolidation is in the best interest of the State. The Commission recommended that the plan include an explicit commitment to work with all affected parties as the functions and personnel are combined in the future. Because the consolidation holds the promise of enhanced firefighting capability and a strong focus on fire prevention, the Commission believes that the Legislature should allow the plan to take effect.
  • Too Many Agencies, Too Many Rules: Reforming California's Civil Service
    (Report #133, April 1995)  

    In this report, the Commission examines the complex and at times redundant system for managing 185,000 state workers. The Commission's report contains eight findings and recommendations crafted to eliminate redundancies, clarify authorities and deregulate a system that has evolved over nearly a century. Chief among the recommendations is the elimination of the State Personnel Board, with oversight of personnel management and central leadership assigned to the Department of Personnel Administration; the elimination of review by the Office of Administrative Law of rules, regulations and negotiated agreements relating to the internal personnel administration of the State; and allowing the Department of Personnel Administration the flexibility to delegate to individual departments more authority over classification, selection, discipline, compensation and layoff procedures.
  • State Fiscal Condition
    (Report #132, March 1995)

    This report examines the State's fiscal condition and urges policy makers to make eliminating California's structural deficit and improving the State's credit ratings a top priority. While policy makers in the past have addressed tough budget choices with creativity, they have not been able to break the repeated cycles of short-term borrowing that have driven the State's credit rating down and its overall costs up. The Commission offers four recommendations for future action, which include crafting a budget that is based on reasonable and sustainable estimates of revenues, federal reimbursements and debt obligations; focusing on a realistic cash flow plan; cutting programs as deeply as necessary to end the 1995-96 fiscal year in a balanced position; and adopting long-term plans, budgets and policies that California's budgets will be balanced in reality and not through financial maneuvers.
  • Review of Governor's Energy Regulation
    (Report #131, March 1995)

    Based on an analysis of information received from 30 witnesses during two days of public hearings, meetings with agency officials and numerous interviews with people in affected industries, the Commission submits its review of Governor's Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1995. The plan eliminates the Energy Commission, transfers all existing divisions and functions of the Energy Commission and the Department of Conservation, except recycling, to a newly created Department of Energy and Conservation, moves the recycling program to a modified Integrated Waste Management Board and removes oil oversight functions from the State Lands Commission. The Commission qualified its approval of the energy reorganization by requesting the Administration to consider adding a public member to the new Energy Facilities Siting Board and requiring the adoption of an explicit state energy policy each two years that will be a guide for all policy decisions.
  • Workers' Compensation: Containing the Costs
    (Report #120, February 1993)

    California's Workers' Compensation System costs $11 billion annually yet fails to adequately serve injured workers. Areas of concern include delivery systems for medical care, rehabilitation services, fraud prevention, medical/legal reports and stress claims. The report concludes that the state must take immediate steps to institute reform and reduce premiums. In addition, the report notes that of the three major issues that require reform by California's government -- education, health care and workers' compensation -- only workers' compensation can be reformed without the infusion of billions of dollars and only it has the potential of immediately affecting the State's economy. The Commission presents four findings and nine recommendations to reform the present system, including reducing medical costs through managed care; making changes in the vocational rehabilitation program; and restricting stress claims.
  • The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB): Costly, Slow and Unsure
    (Report #103, April 1990)

    The PERB takes too long to issue its decisions and has members that are not qualified by expertise or experience to carry out required duties. In addition, this study notes that the State is providing an unlimited subsidy for school district collective bargaining costs. The report contains three findings and seven recommendations with regard to accelerating the decision-making process and monitoring the Board's effectiveness and productivity.
  • Review of the Organization, Operation and Performance of the California State Lottery
    (Report #98, December 1989)

    A follow-up to the Commission's January 1987 report, this review notes that, in general, the Lottery has matured well since voters approved its creation in 1984. However, the Commission continues to find fault with budgetary oversight and the monitoring of contracts. This report contains four findings and four recommendations regarding legislative review, research and development procedures, methods of evaluating advertising efforts and contract monitoring procedures.
  • Boards and Commissions: California's Hidden Government
    (Report #97, July 1989)

    More than 400 boards, commissions, authorities, associations, councils and committees exist in state government. These bodies operate to a large degree autonomously and outside of the normal checks and balances of representative government. The Commission focuses on overall state problems with boards and commissions rather than evaluating the need and/or performance of any single entity. This report contains three findings and five recommendations, including the development of criteria for evaluating the most effective means of problem-solving before a new organization is created; a "sunset clause" in the statutes; and the creation of an information database to track and monitor all such governmental entities.
  • A Review of the Organization, Operation and Performance of the California State Lottery
    (Report #94, May 1989)

    This letter report addresses the convoluted situation that has revolved around unclaimed, low-tier Lotto and instant game prizes. At various points the State Lottery Commission has adopted and/or modified policies to sweep unclaimed prizes into, first, the Education Fund and, second, into the game prize fund. The Commission's letter report assesses the Lottery's policy and urges changes. Specifically, the Commission recommends that the Lottery Act be amended to clarify language related to unclaimed prize moneies, and to provide adequate time for public input into the Lottery Commission's rule-making process.
  • A Review of the Current Problems in California's Workers' Compensation System
    (Report #87, March 1988)

    The Commission's original workers' compensation study focuses on the system's escalating costs, the expansion of liability into new and subjective areas of benefits, and the negative effects of the increasing cost of the system upon workers, employers and the State's business climate. The report contains eight findings and 13 recommendations. Foremost among these, the Commission recommends establishing written criteria for opening and closing workers' compensation fraud and abuse cases; establishing a method for identifying employers who intentionally fail to report wages; and establishing a method of identifying employers who change business or corporate identities to avoid being properly rated.
  • A Review of the Organization and Administration of California's Overseas Trade and Investment Offices
    (Report #83, July 1987)

    California's activities regarding world trade, investments and tourism promotion are fragmented and uncoordinated. This study reviews the administration and coordination of these activities. Included in the report's 10 findings and eight recommendations, the Commission proposes: the establishment of a Governor's Office of World Trade to oversee coordination of world trade activities in state government; the creation of a Protocol Division within the Office of World Trade; and the formation of a world trade information clearinghouse.
  • A Review of the Organization, Operation and Performance of the California State Lottery
    (Report #77, January 1987)

    The Commission reviews the California State Lottery's activities in the start-up years after the system was created by voters. The study reveals that the Lottery needs to take aggressive action to fully implement the business systems, procedures and controls that would be expected in any private enterprise of the same magnitude. The Commission's report makes nine findings and 12 recommendations. They focus on three major areas for improvement: procurement procedures and practices; existing relationships with contractors; and financial accountability and control.
  • A Report on the Liability Insurance Crisis in the State of California
    (Report #74, July 1986)

    This study identifies five major factors in the liability insurance crisis in California, including the evolution of tort reform, lack of predictability in risk assessment, unsound rate-setting practices, withdrawal of the reinsurance market, and the Insurance Commissioner's lack of authority in the rate-setting process. The report contains 16 findings and 16 recommendations, which include establishing a "cap" on the recovery of compensatory damages in personal injury actions; prohibiting collusion between plaintiffs and settling defendants; and establishing a stricter burden of proof for punitive damages.
  • Review of the Organization and Operation of the State of California's Major Revenue and Tax Collection Functions and Cash Management Activities
    (Report #71, April 1986)

    In this 1986 study, the Commission reviews the organization and operations of the state departments in charge of revenue collection and management. The report focuses on accountability, increasing revenues and the State's cash management. The Commission concludes that the current organization does not maximize opportunities to increase revenue flow for the State. As a result, the Commission supports the general concept of creating a single revenue and tax collection department, rather than continuing to have these functions split among several agencies. The report contains 37 findings and 35 recommendations, which include consolidating certain revenue and tax collection operations currently performed by state departments. The Commission also makes specific recommendations regarding a state run "lock-box" facility for remittance processing, cashiering operations, and mail collection and processing.
  • A Review of Government Competition with Private Enterprise
    (Report #68, January 1986)

    This letter report summarizes the findings of the Little Hoover Commission on the extent of State and local governmental business activities which appear to compete with private enterprise and may not be authorized by constitutional or statutory provisions. The report concludes that there are numerous instances of competitive governmental activities, but no identified cases of unauthorized or illegal activities.
  • A Review of Selected Taxing and Enforcing Agencies' Programs to Control the Underground Economy
    (Report #66, August 1985)

    The largest segment of California's underground economy involves self-employed persons and employers and employees who pay or receive cash for work performed or for goods sold without reporting to the various taxing agencies. In this study, the Commission finds that the State's organization of taxing and enforcing agencies is a major obstacle to more effectively combatting this rapidly growing underground economy. The Commission makes 22 findings and 20 recommendations which include reorganizing some or all State taxation responsibilities; establishing a Multi-Agency Task Force to conduct complete audits and investigations of blatant tax and cash-pay violations; and creating a standing committee of all appropriate agencies to expand information sharing.
  • State Employee Air Travel Report
    (Report #58, February 1984)
  • Horse Racing in California: Revenue and Regulation
    (Report #49, July 1982)
  • Personnel Management in the State Service
    (Report #40, August 1979)
  • The Tax Appeals System in California
    (Report #38, May 1979)
  • Comments and Recommendations Regarding Professional and Business Licensing
    (Report #35, January 1979)
  • Should Social Security Coverage Be Continued for California State Employees
    (Report #28, April 1977)
  • The Internal Auditing Program in the Executive Branch of California State Government
    (Report #21, March 1974)
  • Study of Salaries of Executive and Administrative Positions in California Government
    (Report #18, January 1972)
  • A Pilot Study of California State Employee Workmen's Compensation and Other Work-Related Disability Benefits
    (Report #16, May 1970)
  • A Study of the Department of Industrial Relations
    (Report #14, December 1969)
  • Report on California Statutory Salaries of Executive Branch of Government
    (Report #13, December 1968)
  • An Examination of the Department of Professional and Vocational Standards
    (Report #12, September 1967)
  • Statement of the Commission's 1967 Legislative Interests (placing top priority on unification of tax collection activities, procedural changes that will result in direct economies in the operation of the State Government, etc.)
    (Report #10, December 1966)
  • Program Budgeting
    (Report #9, February 1966)
  • Management Manpower Requirements
    (Report #6, February 1965)
  • Need for Revenue Unification
    (Report #5, December 1964)
  • Proposals Relating to Inheritance Tax Administration
    (Report #4, December 1964)
  • Findings and Recommendations Concerning Organization for Central Staff Services
    (Report #2, March 1963)
  • Findings & Recommendations Concerning Reorganization of the Executive Branch of California State Government
    (Report #1, December 1962)