Overview of the Sunset Review Process
Joint Sunset Review Oversight Hearings
Each year, the Assembly Business and Professions Committee and the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee hold joint sunset review oversight hearings to review the boards and bureaus under the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). The DCA boards and bureaus are responsible for protecting consumers and the public and regulating the professionals they license. The sunset review process provides an opportunity for the DCA, the Legislature, the boards, and interested parties and stakeholders to discuss the performance of the boards, and make recommendations for improvements.
Like all boards and bureaus (including architects and engineers) who are under the purview of the California Dept. of Consumer Affairs (DCA), CCIDC undergoes regular evaluation and review, which is called the sunset review process.
The sunset review process provides a formal opportunity and mechanism for the DCA, the Legislature, the boards and bureaus, interested parties and stakeholders to make recommendations for board and bureau improvements. This is performed on a standard four-year cycle and was mandated by SB 2036 (McCorquodale, Chapter 908, Statutes of 1994).
In Sunset Review, the Law Mandates that the DCA Perform the Following:
- Provide assistance to the boards and bureaus in preparing their sunset reports
- Provide testimony at the annual sunset hearings
- Review the Joint Committee’s findings and recommendations
- Report its findings and recommendations to the Joint Committee Consistent with the Consumer Affairs Act and the sunset review law
- Provides the appropriate forum for the Legislature, the boards and bureaus, interested parties and stakeholders, and the Department to facilitate needed changes
The Goal of Sunset Review Focuses on Application Processing and Complaint Handling
Sunset review’s goal is to improve the quality of services provided to consumers. It examines a board’s operations, including application processing and complaint handling to:
- Ensure that the public’s complaints are handled in a courteous and expeditious manner
- Ensure the public is informed about any complaints, disciplinary actions, judgments and criminal actions against a licensed (certified) professional
- Establish appropriate performance measures for each board reviewed
As with all DCA Boards and Bureaus, Every Aspect of CCIDC’s Operation is Reviewed and Monitored
CCIDC is given a questionnaire of over 300 questions. This initiates the sunset review process for each board and bureau. Highlights of specific evaluative questions regarding applications processing, complaint handling, and operational systems include:
- Has the board/bureau specified its vision, mission and goals and objectives for its agency?
- Has the board/bureau been involved in strategic planning, any type of basic self-assessment quality management practices, or reorganization to improve the board’s overall effectiveness and efficiency?
- Are there any undue delays in approving an application, providing an exam, or in issuing a license or certification?
- Does the consumer have access to application and licensing or certification information?
- Are complaints handled in both an expeditious and appropriate manner, either through informal or formal processes? Is there any reduction in complaint handling time-frames, or have time-frames increased?
- Is complaint information disclosed to the public?
- How many investigations have been commenced and completed for each year over the past four years, and how many are currently open/pending? What has been the time-frame for these investigations? Has there been a backlog or reductions of outstanding investigation cases?
- Are investigations, inspections and/or audits handled in both an expeditious and appropriate manner by the board/bureau, through use of their own investigative staff? How accurate are the initial and subsequent decisions on investigations?
- Have there been any extreme delays in handling of disciplinary cases over the past four years?
- What disciplinary information is disclosed to the public?
In addition, the initial round of sunset review includes a Consumer Satisfaction Survey, which asks each board and bureau to assess what percentage of consumers are satisfied with the way in which the board handled their complaints.