California Association of Bond Oversight Committees

For Effective Oversight

Little Hoover Commission Recommendations

We are committed to carrying out the recommendation of the California Little Hoover Commission.

2017 Recommendations for Local Bond Oversight, Little Hoover Commission Report 236

In its update of its 2009 bond oversight study, the Commission heard testimony and recommendations focusing both on improving the bond issuance process and improving local oversight, particularly in bolstering the effectiveness of local Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees as previously recommended by the Commission. Based on the testimony and written comments received, the Commission expands on and refines its prior recommendations for improving local bond oversight.

Recommendation 3: The California Debt and Investment Advisory Committee is encouraged to expedite the development of training materials for locally elected officials on bond issuance.

Recommendation 4: Policymakers should enact legislation requiring a truth in bonding statement be provided for review by elected officials prior to authorizing a bond issuance.

Recommendation 5: Policymakers should enact legislation requiring the county treasurer to review and comment on bond issuance proposals prior to authorization. The county treasurer also should advise policymakers on maintaining a prudent debt ratio.

Recommendation 6: Develop easy-to-access online training materials for members of Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees. Specifically, the Governor and Legislature should direct and authorize one-time funding to the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team to develop online training for local Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee members, with input and assistance from the California Debt and Investment Advisory Committee and theCalifornia League of Bond Oversight Committees.

Recommendation 7: The Governor and Legislature should update and overhaul the education code related to the Strict Accountability in LocalSchool Construction Bonds Act of 2000. Specifically,

  • Amend statutory code on performance audits to include the effectiveness and results of the bond
  • Expand the role of Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees in selecting and interacting with bond program
  • Require bond measures proposed to voters under the reduced threshold to include specific project

Change the appointment authority for members of Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees.

  • Require districts to provide a minimal budget for the oversight committees, including a budget to hire independent counsel with municipal bond
  • Require districts to provide a Web presence for Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees to prominently display meeting agendas and reports.

Recommendation 8: Impose sanctions for school and community college districts that fail to adhere to constitutional and statutory requirements of Proposition 39, including preventing the district from adopting future bond measures under the reduced voter threshold.