A little over one-third of last year’s civil grand jury recommendations were actually implemented but the subjects of those reports said they also planned to act on an equal number of suggestions.
In a breakdown of the previous year’s reports, the current civil grand jury found that 71 percent of the 106 total recommendations were either made or in the works, 27 percent were denied and 2 percent were slated for further study.
The numbers from the 2012-13 jury year were released Monday.
Grand jury reports carry no legal weight but recipients are required to respond in writing within 90 days. According to the summary, the agencies and individuals targeted were pretty good at getting back to the jury; they just didn’t always agree with the suggestions.
The 2012-13 jury tackled a wide variety of subjects, ranging from water recycling by cities and multilingual access by law enforcement to the county’s unfunded liabilities and structural deficit and the oversight of special districts.
In some case, the recommendations were not applicable, according to the replies. For example, San Mateo County said it has no areas consistent with the recycled water study and several cities said they had no water treatment facility to support such a program.
Providing smartphones to police officers to access free translation services isn’t fiscally reasonable for some jurisdictions while others say they already use in-car computers.
The county implemented some changes to its budget documents to improve transparency and clarity for the public at the request of the grand jury. But when it came to urging the Local Agency Formation Commission to review the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District, it replied there is no jurisdiction. From that same report evaluating special district oversight — particularly that district following a half-million dollar embezzlement — the mosquito district said it had already implemented changes to how the manager is evaluated, created new committees and planned to contract out for human resources support.
The sitting civil grand jury always generates an annual report on the previous year’s efforts but the document released yesterday includes an expanded format. The jury also asks that next panel issue its summary of reports and responses by the end of January.
The full summary report is available at www.sanmateocourt.org/grandjury.
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