In 1993, the Legislature consolidated six hazardous waste and materials programs into one program to be administered by local Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) under state oversight. This consolidation was done in order to improve the overall effectiveness of these programs.
While the CUPA program has generally resulted in greater coordination among state agencies and less fragmentation in program implementation statewide, we find that state agencies overseeing the program have missed many opportunities to make the program more effective. In particular, we identify a number of actions that state agencies can take to make the program more consistent on a statewide basis and to ensure a minimally adequate level of program activity in each local jurisdiction.
The state regulates the generation and management of hazardous materials and has various programs to prevent, and respond to, the accidental release of these substances. The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is the main state agency regulating hazardous waste generation and management. The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) regulates hazardous substance activities that impact water quality (such as underground storage tanks), and the Office of Emergency Services (OES) and the State Fire Marshal (SFM) have jurisdiction over hazardous material emergency response planning and prevention. Entities that are regulated under these programs range from small businesses such as dry cleaners and gas stations to large operations such as oil refineries.
Chapter 418, Statutes of 1993 (SB 1082, Calderon) required the Secretary for Environmental Protection (Secretary) to develop and implement, by January 1, 1996, a program to consolidate various of these hazardous waste and material programs. The consolidated program is to be administered by local agenciesknown as Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs)that are certified by the Secretary. While each county was required to apply to be certified as a CUPA by January 1, 1996, the Secretary may designate another local agency applicant to be a CUPA within a particular jurisdiction.
As shown in Figure 1, the CUPA program has six components, each overseen by a state regulatory agency. While the Secretary is responsible for overseeing the program as a whole, much of this responsibility has been delegated to DTSC.
Pre-CUPA Program Was Fragmented and Inconsistent. Prior to the creation of the CUPA program, the six program components were implemented statewide by over 1,300 state and local agencies. As set out in Figure 1, the role of state versus local agencies in implementing these programs varied widely throughout the state. This was because although the state was responsible for implementing most of the program components, local agencies could be delegated or assume authority to implement these components. While local agencies in many jurisdictions assumed this authority (particularly agencies in the larger, urban counties that had the resources and technical expertise), other jurisdictions left it to the state to implement most of the programs.
This patchwork of state and local program implementation was further complicated by the fact that local program implementation was itself fragmented. In any given county, the program components assumed by local agencies were typically implemented by multiple local agencies. For example, in a single county, multiple fire departments, emergency services departments, and environmental health agencies could be involved in delivering some of the program components.
As a result of this fragmentation, program implementation was not efficient. For example, inefficiencies were reflected by the multiple fees, multiple permits, multiple inspections, and multiple reporting forms that could apply to a single regulated facility.
Additionally, program implementation was not consistent among jurisdictions. This was for two main reasons. First, the level of regulatory activity tended to vary depending on whether the state or a local agency was implementing a program component. For example, in areas where the state remained responsible for hazardous waste generator inspections, the state generally was conducting far fewer inspections than local agencies in other jurisdictions that had assumed this responsibility. Second, program implementation also varied depending on the technical expertise of local implementing agencies, and few mechanisms were in place to ensure that locally assumed responsibilities were consistently implemented on a statewide basis. State oversight of locally implemented programs was generally informal and rarely encompassed a comprehensive evaluation of local program performance.
Finally, program implementation was not consistent among program components. This reflected a lack of coordination among state agencies in adopting regulations and overseeing or implementing their respective programs. As a result, regulations were sometimes inconsistent, overlapping, or duplicative.
|CUPA Program Components|
|State Oversight Agencya||State Versus Local Roles|
|Hazardous waste generators and on-site treatment operations (inspections, enforcement, permitting)||Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)||Generator program: State
responsibility, but about half
of the counties had MOUs
with DTSC to implement the
On-site treatment operations ("tiered permitting"): State responsibility.
|Underground storage tanks (inspections, permitting)||State Water Resources Control Board||Mainly local implementation.|
|Aboveground storage tanks (spill prevention control and countermeasure plan assurance)||State Water Resources Control Board||State implementation, but many local jurisdictions assumed responsibility.|
|Acutely hazardous materials accident prevention (risk-based accidental release prevention plans)b||Office of Emergency Services||State implementation, but many local jurisdictions assumed responsibility.|
|Hazardous materials emergency response planning and inventories ("Business Plans")||Office of EmergencyServices||State implementation, but many local jurisdictions assumed responsibility.|
|Hazardous materials management plans and inventories (Uniform Fire Code)||State Fire Marshal||State implementation, but many local jurisdictions assumed responsibility.|
|a Oversight of program as a whole is the responsibility of the Secretary for Environmental Protection. This responsibility has been largely delegated to the Department of Toxic Substances Control.|
|b California Accidental Release Prevention Program (CalARP), formerly Risk Management Prevention Program.|
CUPA Program Goals Include Consolidation, Coordination, and Consistency. Chapter 418 was intended to address the above problems that led to inefficiency and inconsistency in the pre-CUPA programs. Specifically, the program is designed to be locally implemented, with all six components to be implemented by a CUPA (or a participating agency under agreement with a CUPA) in a particular jurisdiction. A designated CUPA is required to consolidate permits, fees, inspection, and enforcement in implementing the program components. State agencies are required to coordinate their activities, with the state role being limited to:
Funding for the CUPA Program. Chapter 418 required CUPAs to institute a single fee system and implement a "fee accountability" program. Under the single fee system, a regulated facility would pay one fee annually to the CUPA, instead of several fees to a number of local agencies. The fee accountablility requirement is intended to ensure that the single fee is set at levels that cover necessary and reasonable program costs and to encourage more efficient and cost-effective operation of the program.
The oversight by three state agenciesSWRCB, OES, and SFMis funded mainly by an annually set surcharge on the local fee. Oversight costs of DTSC are funded mainly from the Hazardous Waste Control Account, which generates its revenues from fees paid by persons that generate, transport, store, treat, or dispose of hazardous wastes. The budget proposes about $3.6 million for state agencies to oversee the CUPA program in 2000-01.
While the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) program has resulted in better coordination among state agencies and less fragmentation in program implementation, other program goals, such as consistency in statewide implementation, have not been fully realized by the state agencies overseeing the program.
For purposes of this review, we surveyed a wide range of stakeholders of the CUPA program. These included state agencies, various CUPAs, regulated businesses and trade associations, rural county organizations, and environmental groups.
Our review finds that the creation of the CUPA program has resulted in a number of improvements in the regulation of hazardous waste and materials. At the local level, there is generally less fragmentation in program implementation, which has resulted in a number of efficiencies. For instance, the standardization and consolidation of permit applications and various reporting forms have resulted in both time and money savings for the regulated community. Additionally, the relative accessibility of CUPAs as a local point of contact provides improved assistance to the regulated community in complying with various regulatory requirements.
At the state level, there is better coordination of state agencies in developing program requirements. For instance, instead of requiring CUPAs to report to the state on enforcement activities on a separate form for each of the six program components, the state agencies developed a consolidated form for this purpose.
However, our review finds that state agencies could do more to help the program achieve its goals. In the following sections, we discuss problems that remain with the implementation of the CUPA program, including:
We make recommendations on how to improve the program's implementation. Many of these recommendations involve statutory changes. For the most part, we recommend these statutory changes as a means to require that state agencies take specific action to improve the program that might not otherwise be taken.
Currently, 15 counties are without a designated Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) and, in most of these counties, aspects of hazardous waste and material regulation are not being carried out by any state or local agency. We recommend enactment of legislation to provide for program implementation statewide by a date certain. We also recommend that the Secretary for Environmental Protection report to the fiscal and policy committees on actions it plans to take, and on any statutory changes that may be necessary, to ensure such statewide implementation.
Numerous Counties Are Without a CUPA. Under Chapter 418, the Secretary is responsible for designating CUPAs and ensuring that the CUPA program is being implemented throughout the state. To date, the Secretary has certified 69 CUPAs which, along with participating agencies, are implementing the program in 43 counties. In these counties, it appears that with few exceptions (namely Yolo and Placer Counties), a program is in place to implement all six components of the CUPA program. Figure 2 shows the variety of local agencies that are certified as CUPAs.
|CUPAs by Agency Type|
|Agency Type||Number of Certified CUPAs|
|County environmental/health agency||39|
|City fire department||20|
|County fire department||3|
|Other city agency||5|
|Other county agency||2|
However, as shown in Figure 3, 15 mainly rural counties currently do not have a CUPA. Some of the non-CUPA counties did not apply to be a CUPA on the basis that they were ill-equipped or could not afford to establish the administrative structure necessary to implement the CUPA program. This was because they had very small environmental health staffs (perhaps two to three people) and limited fee-raising capacity due to the relatively small universe of facilities that would be regulated under the program. Seven counties raising this "economy of scale" concern have proposed to form a multicounty joint powers authority to implement the program. Of the remaining non-CUPA counties, four have expressed interest in pursuing CUPA certification, and four have shown little or no interest in certification.
We find that in many of these 15 non-CUPA counties, various aspects of hazardous waste and materials regulation are either not being carried out by any state or local agency, or if carried out, are being done so at a very minimal level of activity. For example, none of these 15 counties has a local program to inspect any of the estimated 2,750 hazardous waste generators located in those counties and DTSC plans to inspect only 46 of these generators in the current year.
The lack of CUPA program implementation throughout the state has two major consequences. First, the level of environmental protection is inconsistent statewide. Specifically, the level of environmental protection afforded residents in non-CUPA counties most likely is less than in jurisdictions with a designated CUPA.
Second, the treatment of the regulated community is also inconsistent statewide. Businesses in counties where aspects of the CUPA program are not being carried out are subject to fewer regulatory requirements, a lower level of enforcement, and a lower fee burden than businesses in other jurisdictions that have a fully operational CUPA program. This potentially results in an unfair competitive advantage to businesses in non-CUPA counties over those located in CUPA counties.
Recommend Date Certain for Full Statewide Implementation. More than four years have passed since applications for CUPA certification were due to the Secretary. We believe that the Secretary can take additional steps to ensure that the CUPA program is implemented on a statewide basis as envisioned by the implementing legislation. Statewide implementation would (1) ensure that the state's residents, no matter where they live, receive a minimally adequate level of environmental protection and (2) provide consistent treatment of the regulated community.
Under current law, the Secretary is required to work cooperatively with local agencies in counties without a designated
CUPA (as of
January 1, 1997) in order to implement the CUPA program in that county and to designate CUPAs for that county. Statute does not provide a date certain for program implementation on a statewide basis or for the designation of CUPAs for every jurisdiction. To provide the necessary assurances to the Legislature that the Secretary will fulfill these responsibilities on a timely basis, we recommend the enactment of legislation that requires the Secretary, by a date certain, to have CUPAs in place to implement the program in every county.
We also recommend that the Secretary report to the fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature on actions it plans to take, and any statutory changes that may be necessary, to ensure that the program is implemented in every county. While we believe that the Secretary has the authority under existing law to implement the CUPA program statewide, we think that the Legislature could facilitate the Secretary's efforts in a couple of ways. First, while current law does not expressly prohibit regional agencies from becoming CUPAs, providing the Secretary with explicit authority to designate regional CUPAs (as opposed to county CUPAs) may further existing proposals to form multicounty, regional CUPAs. Second, in order to ensure that all aspects of the CUPA program are being implemented before CUPAs are designated in the non-CUPA counties, statute could be amended to provide state agencies with the authority to implement all program components in these counties in the interim and to assess a fee to cover their reasonable costs.
We find that state agencies overseeing the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) program have failed to take actions to adequately ensure that program implementation is consistent statewide. We recommend the enactment of legislation to require: (1) the adoption of a statewide enforcement policy in regulations, (2) better tracking of violation and enforcement data to help CUPAs set enforcement priorities and improve state evaluations of CUPA performance, and (3) better coordination of training and evaluation activities.
We find that the CUPA program's goal for greater consistency in program implementation statewide has not been fully realized, particularly with respect to enforcement. For instance, our review finds significant variance in the degree of follow-up by CUPAs after violations are initially discovered and informal enforcement action (such as issuing a notice of violation) is taken. We also find that state agencies can do much more to ensure that the enforcement activities of the CUPAs are conducted at an adequate level and consistently statewide. In the following sections, we discuss a number of actions that can be taken in this regard, including:
Lack of Statewide Enforcement Policies. The state has an interest in ensuring that a minimally adequate level of environmental protection is afforded its residents, regardless of where they live. In order to achieve this in locally implemented programs such as the CUPA program, we think that the state has a role in setting minimum standards for service levels throughout the state and providing guidance as to an acceptable range of program activity. Local implementing agencies should be given the discretion to exceed minimum standards and to choose appropriate measures to meet these standards based on broad program parameters provided by the state.
The level of environmental protection depends both on applicable standards and the level of enforcement of these standards. However, we find that relative to the six hazardous waste and material regulatory program components, the level of enforcement varies statewide, reflecting a general lack of state regulations and policies that guide CUPAs in their enforcement activities.
For example, in cases where statute is silent as to the frequency of inspections, it has been left to the discretion of the CUPAs to determine a minimum frequency of inspection. Even where statute provides for a certain frequency of inspections, state agencies have set few standards and provided little policy guidance regarding minimally adequate conduct for each inspection. Similarly, state agencies have provided few guidelines to CUPAs regarding the range of appropriate enforcement actions to be taken when violations are found. Specifically, there is no state policy explicitly setting a protocol for escalated enforcement in cases where prior, more informal enforcement actions have not proven effective. State guidance is also lacking concerning the use of administrative enforcement toolssuch as administrative penaltiesthat fall between informal enforcement (such as notices of violation) and the referral of civil and criminal cases to district attorneys.
Inadequate Violation and Enforcement Data Tracking. The CUPAs are required to report to the state on violations and enforcement activity. Existing regulations require CUPAs to report annually on the total number of violations for each program component by broad categories, and the number of various types of enforcement actions taken. We find that the data as reported reveal little about the nature of the violations, what substances were involved, and the relative threat to the environment as a result of the violations. As a consequence, it is unclear whether the data can be used by the CUPAs or the state in setting regulatory priorities.
The reported data also reveal little, on a violation-by-violation basis, about the extent to which CUPAs follow up on violations and the resulting impact on compliance from enforcement actions taken. Accordingly, the data do not allow for an effective evaluation by the state of the consistency and adequacy of enforcement by the CUPAs.
Recommend Enactment of Legislation to Ensure State Agencies Take Actions to Improve Consistency and Adequacy of Enforcement. We think that the state oversight agencies can take a number of actions to ensure that CUPA enforcement activity is consistent and minimally adequate statewide. These actions include:
In order to provide the Legislature with the assurances that these actions will be taken in the future, we recommend that the Legislature enact legislation to accomplish the regulatory and reporting changes noted above.
Training Needs Could Be Better Addressed. The level of technical expertise among CUPAs and in counties currently without a CUPA varies significantly. This partially reflects the varying specialized training of staff among the CUPAs as building inspectors, firefighters, public health officers, among other reasons. Additionally, CUPAs that were implementing some of the program components prior to the CUPA program being established tend to have more technical expertise due to their prior experience.
While some training has been offered by the state oversight agencies, CUPAs have characterized this training as "hit or miss." The CUPAs have expressed a need for more training in certain subjects, including the use of some of the enforcement tools and the hazardous material accident prevention component of the program. Additionally, some CUPAs have found it difficult to find the staff time and funds to travel to training sessions that are offered far outside their geographic area.
Recommend Secretary Coordinate Training Activities. Providing technical training to local CUPA staff can effectively increase consistency statewide in program implementation. We think that training would be more effectively provided by the state if training activities (currently offered by the various regulatory oversight agencies) were coordinated, and developed in consultation with the CUPAs to ensure that local priorities for training are addressed. To accomplish this, we recommend the enactment of legislation directing the Secretary to coordinate training activities provided by various state departments to the CUPAs. The Secretary should also be directed to assess the need to provide financial assistance to CUPAs that have difficulty in accessing training. Since technical guidance provided by state regulatory agencies to a particular CUPA may be of use to other CUPAs, we think it would be cost-effective if such guidance is made accessible to all CUPAs via the Internet.
State Evaluation of CUPAs Needs Improvement. Chapter 418 requires the Secretary to perform periodic evaluations of the CUPAs to determine whether the CUPAs are adequately implementing the program. If the Secretary determines that a CUPA is failing to meet its statutory obligations, the Secretary may decertify the CUPA or alternatively require program improvements. Apart from these basic parameters, statute provides no further direction as to the conduct or frequency of these evaluations.
The Secretary has recently established an evaluation process involving triennial reviews of CUPAs. To date, evaluations of 35 CUPAs have been conducted, and about ten evaluation reports have been finalized. These evaluations have been conducted throughout the state by different groups of staff from DTSC, SWRCB, OES, and SFM. Generally, these staff have not had specialized training in performance evaluations.
Our review finds that the evaluation process relies heavily on information provided by the CUPAs and lacks an adequate "quality assurance/quality control" component by which the state can independently determine the quality of the CUPAs' activities. For example, DTSC rarely (1) joins CUPAs on hazardous waste generator inspections, (2) conducts its own inspections independently of the CUPAs, or (3) reviews the CUPAs' inspection reports, in order to verify and evaluate the quality of the CUPA inspection activities. Additionally, according to some CUPAs that have been through the evaluation process, it appears that the different evaluation teams may be holding the CUPAs to different standards of performance, resulting in inconsistencies in evaluations across CUPAs.
Recommend Enactment of Legislation to Improve Evaluation Process. An effective evaluation process can serve a useful purpose in ensuring consistency in CUPA program implementation. We find that the current evaluation process could be more effective by improved coordination and better training of the evaluators and by including an enhanced quality assurance/control component in the process. To ensure that these improvements are made, we recommend the enactment of legislation requiring the Secretary to coordinate evaluation staff in the various state oversight agencies. Evaluators should be cross-trained in various program components, as well as in performance evaluation, and required to conduct an appropriate level of quality assurance and control. This quality assurance/control should be conducted in accordance with the statewide enforcement standards that we have recommended be adopted.
We find that the Secretary for Environmental Protection has not adequately ensured that Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) justify their fee levels. We recommend that the Legislature adopt supplemental report language directing the Secretary to take various actions to hold CUPAs more accountable for their fees, and to enact legislation requiring CUPAs to prepare annual program budgets that identify the level of CUPA activities that would be carried out in justification of the fees charged for these activities.
CUPAS Are Required to Have a Fee Accountability Program. Chapter 418 requires each CUPA to implement a "fee
accountability" program to justify fee levels, based on various factors, including the range of services provided and the
types of businesses regulated. It was anticipated that a benefit from requiring CUPAs to establish fee accountability
programs would be to encourage CUPAs to operate more cost-effectively and efficiently. A single local fee is to be set by
CUPAs at a level sufficient to pay the necessary and reasonable costs of the local program.
Chapter 418 also requires the Secretary to periodically evaluate the CUPAs to make sure that CUPAs are meeting all statutory requirements, including fee accountability.
Local Fees Have Generally Increased. Our review finds that local fees are generally the same or higher under the CUPA program compared to fees paid previously to local administering agencies. This is for two main reasons:
Local Fees Vary Widely. Our review also finds that there is a wide range in the fees charged by different CUPAs to similar types of facilities. In fact, the regulated community has raised concern about this variation. For example, the hazardous waste generator fee component of the single local fee is capped at around $1,000 in Los Angeles County, but is as high as $68,000 in several CUPAs in the Bay Area. In fact, there appears to have been greater consistency in local generator fees prior to Chapter 418. This was because prior to the CUPA program, statute specified the fee charged by the state but also allowed that fee to be offset by any fees paid to local agencies that implemented a hazardous waste generator program. As the local fees were typically set at the same levels as the state fee, the state fee level in fact became the standardized total fee paid by generators.
The variation in fee levels among CUPAs is partially explained by the varying methodologies used by CUPAs to set fees. For example, some CUPAs base the generator fees on the number of employees of the regulated facility, while others base these fees on the volume of waste generated. Other variation in fees may be explained by varying levels of service among CUPAs, since, as mentioned above, the state has not set comprehensive standards for service levels in program areas such as enforcement. It is unclear, however, how much this factor contributes to the variation in fees.
Inadequate Evaluation of Local Fees By Secretary. Based on the evaluations of 35 CUPAs that have been conducted to date by state staff, we find that the Secretary has not adequately held CUPAs accountable for their fee levels. Specifically, evaluations have been limited mainly to an inquiry as to whether a CUPA's program expenditures are at least as great as the local CUPA fee revenues collected.
We do not think that a mere matching of revenues and expenditures is adequate. This is because doing so fails to address whether the fees are justified by the level of service provided. As mentioned above, there is a statewide interest in ensuring a particular level of service from all CUPAs to ensure consistency in environmental protection throughout the state. We find that a number of improvements will have to be made, however, in order for the Secretary to effectively evaluate fees based on service levels. First, state standards for CUPA service levels will need to be adopted to provide much clearer expectations for minimum service levels. Second, we find that a number of CUPAs do not have a separate budget for the CUPA program. Without such a budget, it makes it difficult to assess whether the local fee is justified based on service levels and expenditures.
We think that an effective review of the CUPAs' fee accountability programs, as part of the evaluation process, allows the Secretary to determine whether the CUPA program is being implemented consistently and in a cost-effective manner. The Secretary can evaluate cost-effectiveness by reviewing the use of fees and the results from these expenditures. Consistency can be evaluated by considering the service levels supported by the fees, and the extent to which statewide minimum standards are being met by CUPAs.
Recommend Adoption of Supplemental Report Language. In order to provide more effective enforcement of the fee accountability requirements in Chapter 418, we recommend that the Legislature adopt the following supplemental report language directing the Secretary to take various actions:
The Secretary for Environmental Protection shall: (a) develop statewide standards for service levels in the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) program so as to allow for an effective evaluation of CUPA fee accountability; (b) conduct an in-depth evaluation of fees for a sample of CUPAs, representing a variety of fee levels and methodologies and including the high-fee jurisdictions in the Bay Area; and (c) report to the Legislature, by January 10, 2001, on the standards development, the findings from its in-depth fee evaluation, and actions which it plans to take or could take to ensure fee accountability, including any required statutory changes to implement those actions. The report should address the advantages and disadvantages of the state standardizing the fee methodology used by the CUPAs.
Based on the Secretary's report, the Legislature will be in the position to evaluate legislative changes that may be appropriate to enhance the accountability of CUPAs for their fees.
Recommend CUPAs Prepare Annual Program Budgets. To facilitate the Secretary's evaluation of local fee accountability, we also recommend that the Legislature enact legislation requiring CUPAs to prepare annually a CUPA program budget that can be made available to the Secretary or other interested parties for their review.
We recommend that the Legislature withhold approval of $1,538,000 and 22 positions proposed for the Department of Toxic Substances Control to oversee the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) program, pending receipt of an expenditure plan from the department that provides evidence that the requested resources will be used effectively to promote the program's goals.
Existing Resources Not Being Used As Effectively As Possible. As shown in Figure 4, the budget proposes a total of $3.6 million (about 40 positions) for state agencies to oversee the CUPA program in 2000-01. Of this amount, $1,538,000 and 22 positions are for DTSCthe lead state agency overseeing the day-to-day operations of the CUPA program as a whole. As the lead state oversight agency, a primary responsibility of DTSC is to ensure that the CUPA program is meeting its statutory objectives.
|CUPA Program: State Oversight Expenditures|
|Department of Toxic Substances Control||$1,538|
|Hazardous Waste Control Account||(1,202)|
|State Water Resources Control Board||1,092|
|Unified Program Accounta||(621)|
|Office of Emergency Services||676|
|Unified Program Accounta||(581)|
|State Fire Marshal||246|
|Unified Program Accounta||(246)|
|a State surcharge on local CUPA fees.|
The DTSC positions are to carry out various functions, including rule-making, policy development, program evaluation, technical assistance, and general administrative activities such as fee collection and budgeting. However, our review has found that the current state oversight efforts have not been very effective. Consequently, we question whether DTSC is deploying its staff resources in an effective manner.
Legislature Needs Assurances That Oversight Resources Will Be Used Effectively. In order that the Legislature can be assured that DTSC's oversight role is carried out effectively, we recommend that DTSC provide justification for its proposed positions in the form of a workload and expenditure plan that identifies the proposed work activities, the amount of resources to be devoted to these activities, as well as what DTSC expects to achieve in terms of oversight. To the extent that existing functions are necessary to effectively promote the program's goals, these should be maintained. However, the work plan should justify the amount of resources being used for these activities.
Accordingly, we recommend that the Legislature withhold approval of these resources ($1,538,000 and 22 positions), pending receipt prior to budget hearings of a plan that delineates how these resources will be used effectively by the department to achieve the program's statutory objectives and address the oversight issues that we have discussed above. With such a plan, the Legislature will be able to determine the appropriate level of expenditures for the department's oversight responsibilities.