April 24, 2014

CSLB Board Meeting Highlights 2/19/14

We hope that you enjoy the CSLB Board Meeting Highlights of the April 24, 2014, Board Meeting in San Diego. For a downloadable copy in Adobe PDF please click here and save to your hard drive.

Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman


APRIL 24, 2014
Bruce D. Rudman
Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

The Contractors' State License Board held a Board Meeting in San Diego on April 24, 2014.

Board Members Present:

Chair, Joan Hancock; Vice Chair, David Dias; Secretary, Ed Lang; Pastor Herrera Jr.; Robert Lamb; Paul Schifino; Frank Schetter; Nancy Springer; and Augustin Beltran.

Board Members Absent:

Kevin Albanese; Linda Clifford; John O'Rourke; and Bruce Rust.



Steve Sands, Registrar of the Contractors' State License Board since January 1, 2001, announced his plan to retire at the end of the year. He will be sorely missed. During Steve's time as Registrar, he earned the respect of Sam, Ken and Bruce for the way that he handled the CSLB, including the fight against the underground economy and the budget crisis that the state, especially the construction industry, has gone through. The process of selecting the next Registrar of Contractors will begin immediately.



Review and Approval of Committee's Recommended Position for:


AB 1702

Existing law established criteria to qualify for a license and authorizes denial of a license if the applicant has been convicted of a crime that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the profession.


This bill provides that an applicant who satisfied the requirements to obtain a license while incarcerated, and that applies upon release, that is otherwise eligible for a license, shall not be subject to a delay in his or her application or a denial solely based on the prior incarceration. It also specifies that this charge does not apply to substantially related convictions and does not apply to a petition for reinstatement of a license.


The fiscal impact that this bill would have if enacted is unclear. The CSLB staff recommends the CSLB to watch this bill, to see if it is amended to have a more significant impact on the CSLB.


AB 2165

Existing law requires boards within the Department of Consumer Affairs to establish eligibility and application requirements, including examinations, to license, certify, or register each applicant who successfully satisfies applicable requirements.


This bill requires every board to complete the application review process within 45 days and issues the applicant a license if he/she has satisfied all of the applicable licensing requirements; and offer a required licensing exam at least six times per year.


Then fiscal impact to the CSLB if this bill were enacted is pending. Prior to the meeting, the CSLB staff recommended opposing this bill because there is not a problem identified with CSLB applications that this bill would solve. The CSLB did not believe the bill would provide any additional benefit. However, at the meeting they decided to watch this bill rather than oppose.


AB 2396

Existing law authorizes a board within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to deny, suspend, or revoke a license on various grounds, including, but not limited to, conviction of a crime if the crime is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the business or professions for which the licensed was issued. It also permits a defendant to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty in any case in which a defendant has fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation, or has been discharged prior to the termination of the period of probation, or has been convicted of a misdemeanor and not granted probation and has fully complied with and performed the sentence of the court, or has been sentenced to a county jail for a felony, or in any other case in which a court, in its discretion and the interests of justice, determines that a defendant should be granted this or other specified relief.


This bill would provide that a person may not be denied licensure based solely on a criminal conviction that has been dismissed pursuant to Penal Code sections 1203.4, 1203.4a, or 1203.41. (These sections of law set forth conditions under which certain convictions may be expunged or otherwise set aside by the court, as described above).


The fiscal impact to the CSLB if this bill was enacted is pending. The CSLB staff recommends opposing the bill. This bill could result in a risk to consumers by prohibiting the denial of licensure based on convictions that have been expunged/dismissed under the Penal Code. For such cases, evidence of rehabilitation should still be considered as a condition that is prerequisite to the granting of a contractor license. This is especially true given the fiduciary relationship that is inherent between CSLB's licensees and consumers, not to mention the level of trust that consumers attribute to a contractor based upon a state-sanctioned licensing process.


SB 1467

As it pertains to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), this bill further revises Business and Professions Code section (BPC) 7011.4, to clearly provide that all CSLB enforcement representatives may issue a written notice to appear (NTA).


There will be no significant impact to the CSLB if this bill is enacted. The CSLB staff recommends that the CSLB support this bill. This legislation will allow CSLB to implement the expanded NTA authority without the need to modify its organizational structure, and will benefit consumers and licensees by providing an opportunity to refer more criminal complaints to prosecutors through NTAs.


This will enhance CSLB's enforcement efforts by allowing investigators in CSLB Investigative Centers to issue NTAs and Stop Orders so that they can partner with the California Department of Insurance and the Premium Insurance Fraud Task Force to combat unlicensed and uninsured practice.


AB 1918

Existing law requires the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Energy Commission) to prescribe, by regulation, building design and construction standards and energy and water conservation design standards for new residential and non-residential buildings.


This bill would require the Energy Commission, in consultation with the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), local building officials, and other stakeholders to develop a system to track central heating and air cooling equipment sales and installations in the state. It would also require the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to establish, by January 1, 2016, an incentive program for contractors and local governments to improve the verification of building code compliance and acceptance of central heating and air cooling systems following installation. The incentives may include all of the following:

(a) Funding for training and certifications for installers and building officials

(b) Technical and financial support to establish performance protocols necessary to verify performance compliance of air conditioner appliance systems

(c) Financial or other support to assist local agencies to help expedite permitting


There would be no fiscal impact for the CSLB if this bill was enacted. The CSLB staff recommends that the CSLB support this bill. This bill would provide a significant benefit to CSLB's Enforcement division. Contractors in this specialty classification have one of the worst building permit compliance rates of all trades; studies have shown a compliance rate of less than 10 percent.


As introduced, this bill would have required CSLB to develop a system to track air conditioner appliance sales and installations in the state and to ensure that air conditioner appliance systems are installed according to applicable building code and with the necessary permits. That language was amended out of the bill and it no longer directly impacts CSLB.


Regulatory Proposal: Asbestos Abatement

At its September 6, 2013 meeting, the Board gave preliminary approval of the proposed language for a new asbestos abatement classification and again approved it at this meeting.

Applicants for the C-22 Asbestos Abatement contractor license would be required to satisfy experience and examination requirements, and C-22 licensees would be required to be registered by the Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH). The new stand-alone asbestos classification would not take the place of the existing CSLB asbestos certification that is established in Business and Professions Code section 7058.5. Contractors who perform asbestos work within their licensed trade(s) would not need to obtain a separate C-22 license if they hold the CSLB certification and are DOSH-registered. Importantly, a "B" license cannot do the C-22 type work unless itself has a DOSH certificate.

Public comments on this matter saw the Roofing Contractors Association and Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman argue against the new classification as duplicative and more harmful than the good it could bring.


Predatory Service and Repair Contractors


Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractors

Information received indicates that unscrupulous Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) contractors are targeting consumers, especially the elderly, through telephone and direct mailing solicitations, offering maintenance services at reduced prices.


Better Business Bureau Partnership

Through a newly formed partnership with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), CSLB has additional access to critical information regarding unscrupulous HVAC contractors. The BBB has a complaint process where consumers provide detailed information regarding their experiences with a contractor; the BBB then addresses consumer concerns and explains the CSLB complaint process. The BBB requests voluntary actions by contractors to resolve consumer concerns and will remove their endorsement if the contractor fails to correct their business practices. Also, the BBB has given access to all complaint files to assist CLSB.


Since the Intake and Mediation Center (IMC) is first to receive a consumer complaint, it is responsible for early identification of service and repair violators, obtaining BBB information, and packaging the complaint to forward on for investigation. Highlighted below are some recent service and repair complaints received by the IMC.


Item for the Board's Consideration

The Board is asked to approve directing designated CSLB peace officers to partner with DAs, BBB, and industry partners to establish strategies and develop protocol to research and perform criminal investigation of construction-related violations committed by predatory HVAC contractors.


Peace Officer Special Investigations Unit

The CSLB's Enforcement Division's Special Investigations Unit is being proposed to focus on cases that victimize the elderly. This was approved at the meeting. The Special Investigations Unit will provide the continuity needed to ensure that peace officer standards of professional conduct and methods of operation are utilized to investigate and complete lengthy, complicated cases. The magnitude of criminal cases the peace officers will investigate could span district boundaries; boundaries non-peace officer enforcement representatives are normally prohibited from investigating due to the complexity and amount of time a criminal case can take to complete. Criminal cases often involve obtaining search warrants, conducting surveillance, undercover operations, examining evidence, interviewing numerous witnesses, and joint investigation efforts with partnering agencies.


The program goals are to:

  • Investigate construction-related elder abuse cases.
  • Target repeat offenders that prey upon elderly citizens.
  • Become subject matter experts in the field of elder abuse.
  • Increase the number of criminal case filings for elder abuse with DA offices.
  • Develop ongoing relationships and approaches with partnering agencies to combat and prosecute elder abuse cases.

Peace Officer Training


Investigation of Elder Abuse and Construction - Related Criminal Activity

Suggested training modules to be developed for the CSLB peace officers are:

  • Elder Abuse Training Module - training designed to identify and develop protocols with partner law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to enhance criminal prosecution of predatory licensed and unlicensed contractors who prey on the elderly.
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance Training Module - training designed to identify and develop protocols with partner law enforcement, prosecutors, and CDI to enhance criminal prosecution for workers' compensation insurance violations.

This was approved at the meeting.


Waiver Application Task Force

The CSLB staff has developed criteria to identify suspicious waiver applications that require no examination. October of 2012 saw a review of 92 licenses obtained through a waiver application and determined that 32 of those licenses received a consumer complaint within 18 months of issuance. The Board approved the Enforcement Division's request to assign to Enforcement Representatives to specifically research and investigate suspicious waiver applications.


Little Hoover Commission Written Testimony

The Little Hoover Commission is an independent state oversight agency whose mission is to investigate state government operations and - through reports, recommendations and legislative proposals - promote efficiency, economy, and improved service.


The Commission is a bipartisan board composed of 13 members who have a statutory obligation to review and make recommendations on proposed government reorganization plans. Unlike fiscal or performance audits, the Commission looks beyond whether programs comply with existing requirements, instead exploring how programs could and should function in today's world. The Commission works to implement its recommendations either through legislation or administrative changes.


On January 23, 2014, the Little Hoover Commission held a meeting to discuss the impact the underground economy has on California and its workforce. Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations, and Bruce Wick, Risk Management Director of the California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors (CalPASC) testified and updated the Commission on their partnering success with CSLB.


Enforcement staff had the opportunity to speak to the Little Hoover Commission on March 27, 2014, to explain the positive progress CSLB has achieved in combating the underground economy, and made recommendations about how to continue to be successful in curbing the underground economy in the future.


Review of 2013 Consumer Satisfaction Survey

The Consumer Satisfaction Survey Reports are based on surveys of individuals who have filed complaints with the Contractors State License Board's (CSLB's) enforcement program against licensed or unlicensed contractors. These surveys assess the public's satisfaction with the CSLB's handling of their complaints. The original benchmark survey began with complaints that were closed in 1993, and assessment of consumer satisfaction has continued since that time. The present report assesses consumer satisfaction for complaints closed in the calendar year of 2013.


Eight of the nine questions on the 2013 survey were identical to the questions used since 1993. The same seven point agreement scale was used. From 1993-2009, a total of 4800 complainants (400 per month) were randomly selected to receive surveys. In 2010 the survey's format and sampling method were changed. Beginning with 2010, the survey was emailed to all consumers with closed complaints who provided email addresses to the CSLB. In 2013, the total number of complainants who provided email addresses was 4960, 102 less than in 2012. Surveys were sent out in individual monthly batches throughout 2013 and early 2014.


Additional questions have historically been included to ask consumers about other CSLB issues. In 2007 one of the additional questions was changed from "Before hiring, I inquired about my contractor's qualifications with the Contractors State License Board" to "Before hiring, I inquired about my contractor's license status with the CSLB." The answer choices for this question were also changed from the agreement scale to a yes/no format. In addition, an open-ended question was included to assess the reasons why respondents who said "No" to the earlier question were not inquiring about their contractor's license status with the CSLB. In 2007 the survey questions were also reordered so that the two questions regarding checking the contractor's license status became Questions 9 and 10. In 2010 the open-ended question that was a follow-up to Question 9 was eliminated.


A total of 1089 complainants, 22% of those surveyed, responded to the questionnaire. This response rate is 5% higher than the response rate for the 2012 survey, and 3% lower than the response rate in 2011.


Major Findings and Comparison with Previous Years

The results from surveying consumers with complaints closed in 2013 are summarized in Table 1 on the following page along with the ratings on the eight questions related to consumer satisfaction (service categories) for the last five years. In 2009 the lowest percent agreement (50%) was for the question "The action taken in my case was appropriate," whereas the highest percent agreement (80%) was found for the question related to being treated courteously. This pattern has remained for the last five years. From 2012 to 2013, two service categories showed a 6% decrease, one service category showed a 4% decrease, three service categories showed a 3% decrease, and two service categories showed a 2% decrease.


Licensing & Testing Objectives / Target / Status


1. Develop language for establishment of an asbestos abatement specialty classification.

  • June 2014 Target
  • Status
    • Language completed and approved by Board
    • Regulation hearing held March 2014
    • Approval by Board expected at April meeting

2. Increase hi-tech security monitoring in testing centers.

  • December 2014 Target
  • Status
    • In process of identifying, purchasing, installing security cameras in testing centers

3. Develop an online smart application package to reduce application decline rates.

  • January 2016 Target
  • Status
    • Tied to Department of Consumer Affairs BreEZe project

4. Evaluate the productivity of CSLB's Licensing Information Center and determine if changes are needed.

  • April 2014 Target
  • Status
    • Initial evaluation completed
    • Re-evaluation required after recommended ACD coding change complete for agent call wrap time

5. Fully automate bonds and workers' compensation insurance submission processes.

  • January 2016 Target
  • Status
    • Tied to Department of Consumer Affairs BreEZe project

6. Expand license application video to other languages.

  • July 2015 Target
  • Status
    • Working with Public Affairs to identify languages and determine if outside vendor will be needed to complete the translations.

7. Inform applicants about the top reasons applications are rejected.

  • Completed
  • Status
    • Information is included online and in "Completing a Contractor License Application" video

8. Establish a task force to analyze the application process and reduce rejection rates.

  • January 2015 Target
  • Status
    • Ongoing - Study Exam Application unit in process

9. Implement an online licensure tool for credit card payment.

  • January 2016 Target
  • Status
    • Tied to Department of Consumer Affairs BreEZe project

Enforcement Objectives / Target / Status


1. Update the Industry Expert training program.

  • Fiscal year 2013-14 34d Quarter Target
  • Status
    • Development of IE Training Module completed
    • Training is now available for IEs to be conducted by each Investigative Center supervisor & staff
    • IC staff to determine which classifications are needed for each region and schedule training as necessary

2. Provide for the disclosure of a partnering agency's administrative action on CSLB's website.

  • Completed
  • Status
    • CSLB now disclosed Division of Labor Standards Enforcement Civil Wage & Penalty judgments, and contractors subject to egregious Stop Notices filed with Caltrans
    • Staff continues to work with IT to assess additional programming needs to display additional state and local government disciplinary action disclosure

3. Partner with the California Energy Commission to create an energy efficiency campaign.

  • Fiscal year 2014-15 2nd Quarter Target
  • Status
    • The Energy Efficiency Campaign has been developed
    • The first conference to launch the program is scheduled for May 7, 2014, in San Jose
    • Board Members David Dias and Nancy Springer will serve as presenters

4. Address enforcement vacancies in hard-to-fill geographic areas.

  • On-Going Target
  • Status
    • Investigators have been hired to work in San Luis Obispo, Butte, and Stanislaus Counties
    • Staff continues to pursue hiring in other remote locations

5. Develop criteria and controls to monitor and prioritize proactive enforcement.

  • Completed
  • Status
    • Regular meetings have been scheduled with Labor Enforcement Task Force and Joint Enforcement Strike Force partners to identify targets and refine enforcement strategies

6. Automate an official educational letter to consumers who repeatedly hire unlicensed operators.

  • Fiscal year 2013-14 3rd Quarter Target
  • Status
    • Submitted to the Enforcement Committee on October 24, 2013
    • Revised letter was approved by DCA Legal Affairs and approved by the Board on December 11, 2013
    • Staff is currently working with IT to automate the letter

7. Prioritize enforcement complaints based on the potential to harm the public

  • Completed
  • Status
    • The Board has approved the Enforcement Prioritization Chart
    • Staff review priorities on an on-going basis to meet changing consumer protection needs

8. Conduct a feasibility study of a pilot program similar to law enforcement's citizens patrol.

  • Fiscal year 2013-14 3rd Quarter Target
  • Status
    • The butte County Industry Expert Volunteer Pilot Program has been approved by the Board
    • A retired annuitant was hired on January 24, 2014, to implement the program

Legislative Objectives / Target / Status


1. Review and recommend changes to simplify and update Contractors State License Law by 2014

  • Fall 2014 Target
  • Status
    • In process

2. Prepare and submit Sunset Review Report

  • November 1, 2014 to Legislature Target
  • Status
    • First Draft in progress

IT & Administration Objectives / Target / Status


1. Prepare CSLB for implementation of BreEZe (Information Technology)

  • December 2015 Target
  • Status
    • Continuing to work with BreEZe staff to prepare for Phase Three release
    • Meeting with CSLB staff to discuss specific BreEZe requirements
    • Detailing functions that will directly impact CSLB operations
    • Working on data conversion

2. Create a Subsequent Arrest Unit through the BCP Process

  • July 2014 Target
  • Status
    • Approved by Department of Finance
    • Needs to pass Legislative hearing this spring and be included in the fiscal year 2014-15 Budget Act.

Proposed Concepts


1. Service and Repair Scams Targeting Seniors/Elderly


2. New Website Tools/Features


Citation Processing Center Expansion

The Citation Processing Center within the Enforcement division's Disciplinary Enforcement Services program handles all citations issued by Enforcement Representatives (ERs) from the Intake and Mediation Centers, Investigative Centers, the Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT), and the Quality Assurance and Subsequent Arrest Units.


The Citation Processing Center has experienced an increase in the number of citations issued by Enforcement staff during the past three years.


The Enforcement division seeks approval to expand the Citation Processing Center to keep up with the increasing workload, and requests that CSLB submit a Budget Change Proposal to establish three permanent, full-time positions; two Enforcement Representatives to review citations and, if appealed, enter into negotiation with the contractor during the mandatory settlement process to reduce hearing costs; and one Office Technician to help process citations, schedule mandatory settlement conferences, and manage citation appeals.


SWIFT Expansion to Remote Geographic Locations

It is evident that there is a need for more SWIFT investigators in these outlying areas. The Enforcement division requests that CSLB submit a Budget Change Proposal (BCP) to obtain more positions for these remote areas. These positions would be designated as Home-as-Headquarters, allowing investigators to be based out of their home.


Questions for the Board's Consideration

  1. Should the Board consider recruiting SWIFT investigators in remote locations to handle proactive enforcement in Mendocino, Stanislaus, and Santa Barbara Counties?
  2. Should the Enforcement division advertise vacant positions as Home-as-Headquarter designations, allowing staff to work from their home when the nearest CSLB office is located more than 50 miles away?
  3. Should CSLB specifically recruit in these hard-to-fill geographical locations and consider administering spot exams for the Enforcement Representative series in these regions?
  4. Should the Enforcement division submit a BCP for an additional SWIFT supervisory position to direct the additional staff?

Expanding the Public Works Unit

The Enforcement division seeks approval to expand the Public Works Unit to keep up with increasing workload, and requests that a Budget Change Proposal be submitted to establish two additional ER positions that are dedicated to the investigation of public works complaints.


In addition, the Enforcement division requests approval for one Enforcement Supervisor position to oversee the Public Works Unit. Currently, these investigators report directly to the Chief of Enforcement. Providing a supervisor to oversee the unit will free up the Chief's demanding schedule and allow the supervisor to better direct day-to-day PWU operations.


The Board also is asked to approve the establishment of an Office Technician (OT) position to provide clerical support to PWU. The OT would assist by opening and closing complaints in TEALE, packaging the complaints, and performing other clerical tasks.


The Board did not discuss this at the meeting but the following information was provided in the meeting packet.


License Application Workload

Received applications continue to decline because of the economic recession and housing downturn. Fiscal year 2013-14 saw 837 original exam application whereas fiscal year 2008-09 saw 1,293.


Limited Liability Companies

The CSLB became authorized to issue licenses to LLCs effective January 1, 2012. LLCs require an additional bond (over the $12,500 contractor bond) of $100,000 for the benefit of workers relative to payment of wages and fringe benefits in order to protect those workers since there no case law dealing with LLCs. LLCs are also required to have at least $1 million in liability insurance when there or five or fewer persons listed as personnel and another $100,000 required for each listed personnel over five, but not to exceed $5 million.


As of March 31, 2013, 1,760 LLC applications have been received with 542 LLC licenses issued. Inconsistencies between the contractors application and the records with the Secretary of State are the main reasons why the denied application were rejected.


Workers' Compensation Re-certification

January 1, 2013, started the Workers' Compensation Re-certification process. Now, an active contractor with a current exemption for workers' compensation insurance with the CSLB needs to provide a current and valid Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance or a Certificate of Self-Insurance at the time of license renewal.


Fingerprinting/Criminal Background Unit

The Criminal Background Unit has been conducting fingerprinting for all applicants for a CSLB license, each officer, partner, owner and responsible managing employee as well as home improvement salespersons since January 1, 2005. Since inception, the fingerprint program has received almost 294,000 transmittals from the Department of Justice with more than 52,000 of those containing criminal conviction records. As of March 31, 2014, 1,190 of those applications have been denied, 1,462 have been issued probationary license, and 602 of the denied applicants appealed their denials.


Licensing Information Center (LIC)


LIC Workload

The Licensing Information Center or call center, continues to exceed Board goals with average wait times of 2:12 minutes and 97% off all calls answered with a total of 42,051 calls. This is attributed to staffing levels and training.


Staffing Update

Two new hires have been made to fill all vacancies and there are also two part-time retired annuitants for peak call hours.


Increased Training

The License Information Center provides timely, efficient, and professional services to its customers and this is accomplished by new employees spending a large amount of time getting one-on-one training with seasoned staff and supervisors.


Judgment Unit

The Judgment Unit staff process all outstanding liabilities, judgments, and payment of claims reported to the CSLB as well as process all documentation and correspondence related to resolving these issues.


Once the CSLB receives timely notification of an outstanding liability, judgment, or payment of claim, they send a letter to the licensee. This letter explains the licensees options and a time frame for compliance - 90 days for judgments and payment of claims and 60 days for outstanding liabilities. If the licensee does not comply within the allowed time frame, the licensee is suspended and a letter of suspension is sent to the contractor. If the contractor complies at a later time, a reinstatement letter will be sent at that time.


The Board did not discuss this at the meeting but the following information was provided in the meeting packet.


Examination Administration Unit

The CSLB has 45 examinations at eight computer-based testing centers that are the responsibility of the Examination Administration Unit. Most of the testing centers have two full-time test monitors and part-time proctors are used to fill in when test monitors are not at work. When test monitors are not monitoring examination they spend their time responding to all of the testing-related interactive voice response calls received by the CSLB.


Testing Center Status

The eight testing centers are located in Sacramento; Oakland; San Jose; Fresno; Oxnard; Norwalk; San Bernardino; and San Diego. April 2014 was the scheduled relocation of the Oakland testing center to Berkeley.


Examination Administration Staffing

There is one Office Technician vacancy at the San Jose testing center.


Examination Administration Projects

An analyst/editor has been auditing one testing center each month and continues to write the Examination Development Unit Procedure Manual.


Examination Development Unit

The Examination Development Unit is responsible to make sure that the 45 examinations of the CSLB are written, maintained, and updated in accordance with the testing standards, guidelines, and CSLB regulations.


Occupational Analysis and Examination Development Workload

There are two phases required to maintain a licensure examination. Occupational analysis, which determines what information is relevant to each contractor classification. Examination development involves reviewing and revising the existing test questions, writing new test questions, and determining the passing score for examinations from that point forward. These cycles must be completed every five to seven years for each examination.


April will see the release of new examinations for C-5 Framing and Rough Carpentry, C-45 Signs, and C-50 Reinforcing Steel.


Current examinations that are in progress with occupational analyses are the A General Engineering, C-11 Elevator, C-15 Flooring and Floor Covering, C-36 Plumbing, and C-51 Structural Steel. New examinations are also in progress for B General Building, C-10 Electrical, C-13 Fencing, C-28 Lock and Security Equipment, C-35 Lathing and Plastering, and C-60 Welding.


Civil Service Examinations

The Examination Development Unit also works on civil service classification examinations that are used at the CSLB.


Examination Development Unit Staffing

The Examination Development Unit Supervisor position has been filled. There is not a Personnel Selection Consultant II position that is in the process of being filled.


Ongoing Consumer Satisfaction Survey

There is an ongoing survey of consumers whose complaint cases have been closed which is designed to assess overall satisfaction with the Enforcement Division's handling of complaints.


The Board did not discuss this at the meeting but the following information was provided in the meeting packet.


Intake and Mediation Centers

The Intake and Mediation Centers financial settlement amount from July 2013 through February 2014 was $5,880,578.82.


Investigative Centers

The Investigative Centers financial settlement amount for the fiscal year 2013-14 was $2,201,464.82.


General Complaint-Handling Statistics

The Enforcement staff determined manageable level of pending complaints for the current staff is 2,940. February of 2014 saw the pending caseload as 2,713. The maximum working case load for any Enforcement Representative has been established at 35.


It is anticipated that the caseloads will rise with time and possibly exceed current manageable levels. An increase in these caseloads will lead to a longer investigation process for the consumers.


The Board has adopted the following Enforcement objectives regarding complaint-handling. Staff success in accomplishing these objectives follows:


  • Maintain Enforcement Representative I Production of Closing 10 Complaints Per Month - The Enforcement Representatives are closing an average of 10 complaints per month.
  • Increase the Percentage of Licensee Complaints settled to 30% -- Consumer Services Representatives are settling an average of 37% of licensee complaints.
  • Accomplish Intake and Mediation Center Licensee Complaint Disclosure of 70% -- Consumer Services Representatives are maintaining a licensee closing disposition of 67%.
  • Reduce 270-Day-Old Complaints to 100 or less - Staff's effective management of pending complaints has resulted in consistently maintaining the Board's goal. At the end of February 2014, there was only 56 aged cases.

Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT)

The fiscal year 2013-14 (from July 2013 through February 2014) SWIFT conducted many successful undercover sweep and sting operations and developed new strategies and partnerships to combat the underground economy. The 238 sting and sweep days, resulted in over 949 legal actions including Notice to Appears and citations.


Spring California Blitz

March 25-27, 2014, saw SWIFT investigators from around the state partner to conduct the spring California Blitz. This is a series of simultaneous undercover operations held in nine counties where investigators pose as homeowners seeking bids for home improvement projects targeting illegal advertisements on craigslist.org. During the stings held at Bass Lake in Madera County, Clovis in Fresno County, Dana Point in Orange County, Handord in Kings County, Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County, Sacramento in Sacramento County, San Jose in Santa Clara County, Vista in San Diego County, and Woodland in Yolo County, there were121 arrests made. Misdemeanor charges for contracting without a license are pending against 115 of the arrests. There are also another 94 suspects that may be charged with illegal advertising, 7 charged with requesting excessive down payment, and 19 issued Stop Orders.


CSLB Investigation Academy

Enforcement management and the Attorney General's Office has developed the CSLB Investigation Academy for training that is specific to CSLB investigations. The Academy will be a five-day voluntary course that is offered to all staff comprised of 4 different training modules.


Training Update

Under the CSLB's Strategic Plan, the Enforcement Division has an ongoing commitment to create a training curriculum for staff that includes basic enforcement procedures, a mentoring program, and specialized training. Following is a list of training that has been conducted to date:

  • Module 1: Basic Investigative Techniques (January-June 2012)
  • Module 2: Interview Techniques (January-June 2012)
  • Bankruptcy Case Law & Impact on Enforcement (February 2012)
  • Security Assessments for Enforcement Staff (February 2012)
  • Northern California Fraud Investigators Association (Mary 2012)
  • Improving Enforcement Skills (April 2012)
  • Advanced Negotiation (April 2012)
  • Supervisor Training (June 2012)
  • Basic National Certified Investigator/Inspector Training (NCIT) (June 2012)
  • Module 3: Effective Report Writing (Third Quarter 2012)
  • Elder Abuse Training (September 2012)/span>
  • Improving Employee Performance & Accountability (September/October 2012)
  • DCA's Enforcement Academy (October/November 2012)
  • Enforcement Supervisor I and II Team-Building Workshop (October 2012)
  • Professional Assistants Academy (December 2012)
  • CSLB's Penal Code 832 Equivalent Course (January/February 2012)
  • Criminal Investigation Meeting (March 2013)
  • SOLID Writing Workshop (May 2013)
  • DCA's Division of Investigation Peach Officer Training (June 2013)
  • Elder Abuse Training with San Diego County DDA (August 2013)
  • Supervisors Training (January 2014)
  • Successful Promotional Interviewing Training (March 2014)
  • Professional Assistants Academy II (March 2014)


The Board did not discuss this at the meeting but the following information was provided in the meeting packet.


The Public Affairs Office (PAO) is responsible for media, industry, licensee, and consumer relations and outreach.


Staffing Update

The Public Affairs Office is staffed with six full-time positions and one part-time Student Assistant. There are currently two vacancies for a Graphic Designer and Student Assistant.


Website Highlights


Website Redesign Project

The Public Affairs Office and the Information Technology staff are working together to design and develop an entirely new CSLB website.


CSLB's Most Wanted

The Public Affairs Office continues to publicize suspects added to the CSLB's Most Wanted list. This list consists of the worst unlicensed violators who are known to prey on vulnerable and unsuspecting homeowners who embark on new home or home improvement projects. The main criteria for a violator to be included in the CSLB's Most Wanted list are that the violator has an active arrest warrant.


Application Instructional Video

The tutorial video that explains how to correctly fill out a CSLB license application was launched August 28, 2012. This video can be viewed in its entirety or in individual sections. Even with the video being viewed about 1,500 times a month, the application rejection rate bounces up and down.


Social Media



The CSLB Twitter account has 1,463 followers. There have been 538 tweets posted.



The CSLB Facebook account has 1,595 followers.



The CSLB YouTube channel had over 16,000 visitors from January 1, 2014 through April 7, 2014 with over 220,000 views. 61% of these visitors came from the CSLB website.


Video / Digital Services


NewTek Live Streaming Conference

On March 6, 2014, PAO's Media Specialist did a day-long training session on Web streaming with representatives from NewTek (the company makes the machine (Tricaster) that PAO uses to produce live Web streams). The Tricaster has many compression and streaming capabilities not highlighted in any manual or owners guide. The conference was free and provided valuable insight into the equipment functions and capabilities.


Video Retention Research

Since the CSLB is capturing and producing more video than ever, the question of how long to store the material and in what format has arose. The Public Affairs Office received information from various agencies about their video retention. The CSLB has decided that the Public Affairs Office will archive all raw video and audio and the approach will be reevaluated in one year.


Spring California Blitz

For the first time, the Public Affairs Office's visual highlights of the spring 2014 California Blitz included broadcast quality video from five major media markets.


Email Alert Feature

People can still subscribe to four email alerts from the CSLB. The alerts are for the California License Contractor newsletter, News Releases/Consumer Alerts, Industry Bulletins, and Public Meeting Notices/Agendas.


Email Alert Sign-Up Statistics

The current total of subscriptions is 22,462. There is also the database that consist of email addresses that contractors voluntarily submit on their license applications. This list has 78,436 active email addresses. This bring the total combined email database to 100,898.


Media Relations Highlights


Media Calls

There were more than 3 dozen media inquiries and interviews that the Public Affairs Office responded to from February 3, 2014 and April 8, 2014.


News Releases

Between November 20, 2013 and February 4, 2014, there were four news releases distributed by the Public Affairs Office.


News Media Events

The Public Affairs Office conducted a press event on March 28, 2014 to announce the results of the annual spring California Blitz. This event attracted extensive new coverage from dozens of media outlets in the Los Angeles market and from around the state.


Industry / Licensee Outreach Highlights


Industry Bulletins

Between February 4, 2014, and April 8, 2014, the Public Affairs Office distributed three industry bulletins.


Publication Highlights


Completed CSLB Publications

  • April 2014 Enforcement Committee Meeting Packet
  • Spring California Licensed Contractor Newsletter
  • April 2014 Legislative Committee Meeting Packet
  • April 2014 Board Meeting Packet

CSLB Publications in Production

  • Contractor/Applicant Guide (booklet)
  • Consumer Guide (booklet)
  • Mechanics Lien (Spanish)

CSLB Publications in Development

  • Contractor Outreach Materials
    • Checklist of Consumer Questions During Bid
    • Why You Should Hire a State-Licensed Contractor
    • Building Permit Information
    • Contractor Insurance and Bond Information
    • Contractor Reference form
    • Description of Classifications Booklet (Spanish)

CSLB Forms / Letters

The Public Affairs Office is working with other CSLB divisions to review and update all forms and letters, and to ensure that all distributed materials have received proper legal review and have been assigned a tracking number.


Community Outreach Highlights


Senior Scam Stopper Seminars

The first quarter of 2014 saw 10 Senior Scam Stopper seminars. From February 20, 2014 through October 17, 2014, there are 41 Senior Scam Stopper seminars scheduled.


Additional Opportunity for Senior Outreach

Last year, the Public Affairs Office held a Senior Scam StopperSM seminar with Assembly Member Paul Fong at the Saratoga Senior Center. It was an overwhelming success, with 400 attendees. Recently, Assembly Member Fong's office was contacted by the director of the Saratoga Senior Center inquiring about other presentations for seniors. Assembly Member Fong's staff contacted CSLB's Outreach Coordinator, and the Senior Resource Fair was born. This year's event will be held at the Saratoga Senior Center on May 19, 2014.



The Board did not discuss this at the meeting but the following information was provided in the meeting packet.


Personnel Update



As of April 7,. 2014, the CSLB had 36 vacant positions.


Business Services Update


Space / Leasing / Facilities

The Oakland office relocated to Berkeley with a $6,600 per month savings.


The facility lease for Monterey has been renewed through June 30, 2017.


A new video monitoring system has been installed throughout the Headquarters office. This system will record any movement 24/7 within the Headquarters building.


The Headquarters office also reconfigured the modular furniture for Human Resources, the Public Counter and the Mailroom to accommodate additional staff and to make the area more functional.


The San Bernardino office prepared justification to increase office space for additional staff.


The West Covina Department of General Services is in negotiations to renew the lease for five additional years.


Contracts / Procurement

  • CHP for Standby Security - In process
  • West Publishing for Electronic Library Services - In process
  • Purchased eight new copiers with maintenance agreements for Headquarters and field offices. These new copiers are used for coping, scanning, printing and faxing.
  • Purchased and installed 15 new postage/mail machines for Headquarters and field offices, including maintenance agreements for the mail machines and rental agreements for the postage machines.
  • Purchased new chairs for Headquarters conference rooms and hearing room.
  • Purchased new ergonomic chairs for Headquarters office.



Beginning March 24, 2014, the capability of scanning in color went into production, primarily for transcripts. The need for color became a concern when applicants' school transcripts were not clearly legible by our scanners under their previous settings due to water marks on the documents. Legible transcripts are most important to our Licensing division so give proper credit can be given to an applicant for experience purposes.



CSLB is waiting for DGS to approve DCA's Vehicle Acquisition Plan to purchase 2 vehicles for Enforcement (1 for Sac South IC and 1 for Sac North IC)



The Mailroom is developing enhanced procedures to improve the tracking of overnight mail shipments (i.e., FedEx, UPS, Golden State Overnight, USPS Priority Overnight, etc.). This will improve service to licensees and DCA staff by locating important, expedited documents more quickly.


The Board did not discuss this at the meeting but the following information was provided in the meeting packet.


IT Service Desk

The CSLB's IT Service Desk Technical staff resolves IT issues for the board. CSLB employees who need assistance generate a ticket via phone of the CSLB intranet. Incoming tickets are assigned within 15 minutes. Level-1 tickets are resolved in under 30 minutes and Level-2 tickets are resolved in approximately 1 hour. The first quarter or 2014 saw a total of 1,061 tickets.


Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System

The IVR is an interactive, self-directed telephone system that is a valuable source of information for consumers, contractors, and others. From January 2014 through March 2014, IVR handled a total of 118,834 calls, averaging 39,611 calls a month. This system is available 24 hours a day.


Enterprise IT Security - Firewall Hits

The IT staff maintain high security on all of its information technology systems and applications. The CSLB is proactively blocking/denying any unauthorized attempts from all sources including foreign countries. No authorized attempts have been successful.


The Board did not discuss this at the meeting but the following information was provided in the meeting packet.


Fiscal Year 2013-14 CSLB Budget and Expenditures

The CSLB spent or encumbered $38.6 million through February 28, 2014. That is roughly 63% of its fiscal year 2013-14 budget.



The CSLB received over $38 million in revenue through February 28, 2014. That was a 3.2% increase from the prior year.


CSLB Fund Condition

The Contractors' License Funds reserve for fiscal year 2013-14 it over $28 million, which gives approximately a 6 month reserve.


CSLB Fiscal Year 2014-15 Proposed Budget Change Proposal (BCP)

The proposed fiscal year 2014-15 budget that requested additional resources for the Subsequent Arrests and Convictions Unit within the Enforcement Division was approved by the Department of Finance but must still get through Legislative hearings in order to be included in the budget.


Construction Management Education Account (CMEA) Fiscal Year 2013-14 Budget and Expenditures

The Construction Management Education Account expended roughly $6,000 in pro rata charged and awarded $76,000 in grant awards through February 28, 2014.


CMEA Fund Condition

The fiscal year reserve was $165,000, for approximately 15 months reserve.


June 5 & 6, 2014 - Newport Beach with the Nevada Contractors Board

Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

provide this information as a service to its friends & clients and it does not establish an attorney-client relationship with the reader. This document is of a general nature and is not a substitute for legal advice. Since laws change frequently, contact an attorney before using this information.

Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

(818) 760-2000 FAX (818) 760-3908