June 11, 2013

CSLB Committee Meeting Highlights 6/11/13


JUNE 11, 2013
Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

The Contractors' State License Board held a Board Meeting in Irvine on June 11, 2013. This was a joint meeting with the Nevada State Contractors License Board.

Board Members Present:

Chair, Paul Schiffino; Vice Chair, Joan Hancock; Secretary, Mark Thurman; David Dias; Pastor Herrera Jr.; Ed Lang; James Miller; John O'Rourke; Bruce Rust; and Frank Schetter.

Board Members Absent:

Matthew Kelly and Robert Lamb.


An individual representing a construction publisher brought up an issue regarding the documentation of individuals experience when applying for a license. He indicated that some individuals have to produce much more documentation than necessary in order to prove their experience. It was quickly determined that further discussion regarding acceptable forms of experience to get a contractor's license needed to be had and Karen Robinson will contact him to discuss further. We should be hearing more about this during later meetings.

Another individual came to the podium to inform the Board that there are currently businesses out there whose purpose is to consult others on the American Disability (ADA) requirements for businesses. The CSLB was further informed that some of these consultants are slowly crossing over into contracting. The Board decided that there would be discussion regarding how far these consultants can go before they need a Class B license.


There were not actually any issues on the agenda that needed to be discussed, but the economy was the big topic. On the positive side, both Boards see the construction industry slowly rejuvenating. The economy on the upswing has brought more unlicensed contractors out of the woodwork, adding to the problem of the underground economy. Enforcement against the underground economy is a priority to the Board. Because of the prior dip in licensed contractors, that left the industry to find jobs elsewhere because of the housing slump, apprenticeship programs are now in full swing to replace those contractors.



Intake and Mediation Centers (IMC)

The Intake and Mediation Center had over a $7 million financial settlement amount for the 2013-2013 Fiscal Year.


Large Cash Settlement Negotiated for Homeowner

Through CSLB mediation a $45,000 refund was obtained for an unhappy homeowner for a home improvement project to have the work completed by another contractor.

Contractor Suspended for Operating Without Insurance

A small dispute for workmanship issues lead to the discovery of a contractor that has an exemption from workers' compensation insurance who actually had employees. The matter with the homeowner was settled but the contractor was given 30 days to obtain workers' compensation insurance or have its license suspended.

Industry Referral Leads to Contractor Obtaining Policy

A sheet metal workers union tipped the CSLB to a contractor who had an exemption from workers' compensation insurance on file, but actually had 24 employees. The contractor has since obtained the required workers' compensation policy but the matter is under further investigation for filing the false workers' compensation exemption in the first place as well as the failure to have the appropriate license number on the vehicles and contracting with unlicensed contractors.

Assembly Member Contacts CSLB for Elderly Constituent

An elderly woman had a clogged toilet, which lead to $14,000 worth of unneeded pipe replacement and her contacting Assembly Member Steve Fox for assistance. The complaint ended with the elderly homeowner obtaining a $10,000 refund.

Investigation Centers (IC)

The Investigation Centers had almost a $3 million financial settlement amount for the 2013-2013 Fiscal Year.

CSLB's Most Wanted Arrested - Alex Mitchell

April saw the arrest of a contractor who was previously convicted seven times of contracting without a license. This last arrest warrant had five counts of grand theft, diversion of funds and two counts of elder abuse. Mitchell targeted rural area homes in the San Diego area with long asphalt driveways. He would collect down payments from $1,000 to $2,500 but never do the work.

CSLB's Most Wanted Arrested - Ronald Wayne Holland

Holland, an unlicensed salesperson, was arrested in May after lots of consumer complaints for taking large down payments, which were also illegal, and then doing poor work if the project was even finished. There were nine prior instances besides this one where Holland was cited and convicted for illegal contracting and is currently on probation. There are now felony charges for grand theft filed by the San Diego District Attorney as well as misdemeanor violations of diversion of funds, contracting without a license and soliciting illegally large down payments.

Update to Plans Go Awry; RMO in Denial Investigation

Andrade Construction had a CEO and a different person as RMO who was not actually a part of the daily operations of the business, as required. This was discovered after the CEO took $7,000 in payment to prepare plans and obtain a building permit on a $27,500 garage project. No work was ever done and the money was not refunded, leading to an accusation being filed for abandonment, willful act causing injury and receiving payments in excess of the value of work performed. In addition to the accusation, a violation of Business and Professions Code section 7068.1 was alleged for failure of the RMO to exercise direct supervision and control. The license has been suspended.

Fugitive Arrested on $1 Million Warrant at the Valencia Investigative Center

Norman Baker was previously arrested and found guilty for Grand Theft while posing as a public adjuster. He had kept over $95,000 worth of insurance claim settlement checks without doing the repairs for the homeowners. After serving three years, the same scheme began again but the Department of Insurance caught up with him quickly utilizing the joint efforts of a Valencia Intake Center peace officer and arrested him in May. He is charged with contracting without a license, elder abuse and forgery.

General Complaint Handling Statistics

A manageable level of pending complaints for the current CSLB staff is 3,705. As of April 2013, the CSLB is just under that with 3,692 pending complaints. It is anticipated that the caseloads will rise and possibly exceed manageable levels, leading to a longer investigation process.

Enforcement Objectives regarding complaint-handling (as of February 2006)

  • Maintain ER I production of closing 10 complaints per month -- They have hit an average of 10 complaints closed per month.
  • Increase the percentage of licensee complaints settled to 30% -- Settled complaints in April 2013 was about 42%
  • Accomplish Intake Mediation Center licensee complaint disclosure of 70% -- In April 2013, they did hit 70%
  • Reduce 270-day-old complaints to 100 or less -- By the end of April 2013, there were 99 aged cases.


Unlicensed Operating Gets 16 months in Jail

Alec Damos plead guilty to a felony count of fraudulent use of a contractor's license and a misdemeanor count of contracting for home improvement without a state license after defrauding two families out of more than $635,000 and not completing the construction projects. He received a jail sentence and was also ordered to pay restitution.

CSLB Nabs Contractor from Nevada's Most Wanted List

There were two stings in Coarsegold that the CSLB partnered with other agencies on. In this sting, Michael Skaggs, who has been on the Nevada State Contractor's Board Most Wanted List since 2009 for contracting without a license as well as unlawful acts and omissions, was cited for contracting without a license and illegal advertising. He was also driving without a valid driver's license so his vehicle was impounded.




SWIFT conducted 273 sting and sweeps in 2012, which resulted in over 1,491 legal actions.

Partnering with the Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF)

The CSLB has 11 SWIFT investigators assigned to LETF to enforce license, tax, insurance and Labor Code requirements.

The LETF goals are to:

  • Ensure workers receive proper payment of wages and are provided a safe work environment;
  • Ensure California receives all employment taxes, fees, and penalties due from employers;
  • Eliminate unfair business competition by leveling the playing field; and
  • Make efficient use of the state and federal resources in carrying out the mission of the Labor Enforcement Task Force.

Training Update

The following training has been conducted during the 2012-13 calendar years:

  1. Module 1: Basic investigative Techniques (January - June 2012)
  2. Module 2: Interview Techniques (January - June 2012)
  3. Bankruptcy Case Law & Impact on Enforcement (February 2012)
  4. Security Assessments for Enforcement Staff (February 2012)
  5. Northern California Fraud Investigators Association (March 2012)
  6. Improving Enforcement Skills (April 2012)
  7. Advanced Negotiation (April 2012)
  8. Supervisor Training (June 2012)
  9. Basic National Certified Investigator/Inspector Training (NCIT) (June 2012)
  10. Module 3: Effective Report Writing (Third Quarter 2012)
  11. Elder Abuse Training (September 2012)
  12. Improving Employee Performance & Accountability (September/October 2012)
  13. DCA's Enforcement Academy (October/November 2012)
  14. Enforcement Supervisor I and II Team-Building Workshop (October 2012)
  15. Professional Assistants Academy (December 2012)
  16. CSLB's Penal Code 832 Equivalent Course (January/February 2013)
  17. Criminal Investigation Meeting (March 2013)
  18. SOLID Writing Workshop (May 2013)
  19. DCA's Division of Investigation Peace Officer Training (June 2013)

Enforcement Prioritization

The Enforcement division has prioritized both the type of complaints that come in as well as who those complaints are made by, in order to determine which should be handled first.

The types of complaints made are prioritized as follows:

  • Elder Abuse
  • Predatory Criminal Acts
  • Health and Safety Code Violations
  • Unlicensed Practice
  • Workmanship Complaints
  • Worker's Compensation Violations
  • Misuse of a License
  • Failure to Obtain a Permit
  • Working Out of Classification
  • Electrician Certification
  • Advertising Violations

The order in which the complaints will be reviewed based on who made the complaint is as follows:

  • Elected Officials
  • District Attorneys
  • Consumers
  • Contractors
  • State and Local Government
  • Industry Associations
  • Media Referrals
  • Employees
  • Building Officials
  • Local Volunteer Groups
  • Proactive Enforcement
  • Anonymous Tips

Construction Enforcement Partnership

The 2013 Construction Enforcement Partnership Goals are:

  • Board of Equalization (BOE) and Franchise Tax Board (FTB) to join the Construction Enforcement Partnership
  • Building industry partners will provide targets to establish a "Top Ten Offender List"
  • Employment Development Department (EDD) to partner with CSLB on 1,400 inspections
  • Meet or exceed the $68 million of underreported tax withholding identified with EDD in 2012, through the addition of BOE and FTB to partnership.

Operation Underground

The 2013 operation relies on certified payroll records. Once targets are identified and investigated, they are then prosecuted criminally for premium fraud.

Government Partners Include:

  • CDI
  • EDD
  • Multiple local prosecutors
  • Numerous awarding agencies

Industry Partners Include:

  • Foundation for Fair Contracting
  • Work Preservation Fund
  • Sheet Metal Workers International Association
  • Northern California Electrical Construction Industry

Develop Target List:

  • Partner with state and local government to develop a list of 20 contractors in seven jurisdictions suspected of premium fraud or other public works violations
  • Obtain CPRs for active projects and projects completed more than 12 months prior

Target Research:

  • Vet CPRs through EDD's database

Enforcement Strategies

  • Execute search warrants by December 2013
  • CSLB to initiate administrative actions against contractors who fail to register with EDD within 20 days of hiring a worker
  • Identify contractors who underbid competitors on public works projects by 20 percent or more, and their subcontractors (if any) that actually perform the installation

Energy Efficiency and Permit Compliance Campaign

Pilot Jurisdictions

  • Butte County, Santa Clara County, Fresno/Clovis, and Huntington Park


  • California Energy Commission (CEC)
  • Local prosecutors
  • Building officials
  • Board of Equalization

Equipment Distributors

  • Distributors will be served with subpoenas to identify contractors who obtain HVAC units and do not pull permits
  • Execute search warrants on four major regional distributors, requesting distribution records for contractors who purchase a substantial number of units. Parameters will include the residential addresses where the units were delivered.

Create Ambassador Program

  • Identify law-abiding contractors to serve as Ambassadors for CSLB and CEC
  • CSLB, CEC and, potentially, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will partner to create an educational brochure for consumers that will demonstrate the cost benefit of having an HVAC system that is correctly installed. Additionally, a bid package will be developed for HVAC contractors to provide to consumers, awarding authorities, and prime contractors when they bid projects.
  • CSLB, CEC, and, potentially, PUC will develop posters and other outreach materials to be displayed and distributed by building departments and advise consumers of the four-year statute of limitations and how to file a complaint.

HVAC Industry Expert Program

  • CEC has provided a list of home energy rating system (HERS) raters who will be considered to be industry experts.
  • Currently, it is estimated that only 5 percent of HVAC systems are installed with permits and in compliance with HERS rating requirements. The goal is to increase permit and HERS rating compliance to 50 percent or more by January 2014.
  • HVAC complaints are expected to increase due to the educational materials that will be distributed to consumers, and CSLB will require that HVAC contractors who have complaints filed against their licenses will perform necessary work/repairs to bring systems into permit and HERS rating compliance. CSLB will utilize identified HERS raters to perform industry expert inspections for consumers and identify deficiencies to bring HVAC systems into compliance.
  • HVAC contractors who refuse to comply with permit and/or HERS rating requirements will be subject to formal disciplinary actions.

Public Works Update

The Public Works Investigative Unit has been successful since it started in June of 2010. The complaints investigated have ranged from felony construction theft to working with a suspended license.

The Unit investigated 80 complaints in 2012, more than half resulting in disciplinary actions or withdrawn applications.


CSLB has one enforcement representative (ER) designated to investigate electrician certification complaints, and current staffing levels are not sufficient to handle additional workload. Existing policies and procedures seem to be working well and are consistent with the Board's consumer protection mandate and priorities.

The electrical industry requested that the CSLB expand the definition of an electrician on public works, clearly defining the work included in the 'connection of electrical devices.' The CSLB revised the industry bulletin on May 1, 2013, to reflect the request but there are still concerns from the industry and the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement.

The Board will be amending the industry bulletin on this matter again and will also request a formal opinion from the Attorney General regarding the Roadway decision (which discusses this issue) as well as the CSLB's legal mandate for enforcement of electrician certification in order to get this matter fully resolved.



Staffing Update

The Public Affairs Office is fully staffed with six positions. The Chief of Public Affairs, Rick Lopes, an Information Officer II, two Information Officer I's, Graphic Designer II, and an Associate Governmental Program Analyst.

Website Highlights

Most Wanted

Three of the CSLB's Most Wanted were arrested in the past two months.

Website Assistance Project

To allow for timely posting to the CSLB website, the Public Affairs department has been working closely with the Information Technology staff to code press releases, industry bulletins, and many more items to the website.

Application Instructional Video

Public Affairs has finished redesigning their webpage and adding a tutorial video that shows how to fill out the license application correctly. There was focus on parts of the application where CSLB had identified high error rates. So far, it is still too early to tell the effect that the video will have on the rejection rate.

Social Media

CSLB has been continuing to gain followers to their Facebook and Twitter pages. In addition, they have a YouTube page which includes educational materials, videos of Board meetings and sting operations.

Email Alert Feature

CSLB is continuing to grow their email subscriptions for their newsletters, press releases, consumer alerts, industry bulletins and public meeting notices and agendas. All of the lists are growing at the same rate, with the most subscribers to the newsletters.

Media Relations Highlights

Media Calls

From April 1, 2013, to May 28, 2013, Public Affairs responded to more than two dozen different media inquiries and had interviews with newspapers, radio and television outlets.

News Releases

From April 4, 2013, to May 28, 2013, Public Affairs aggressively distributed seven news releases to publicize mostly their sting operations and enforcement actions.

Media Training

Public Affairs Office staff is finalizing plans to provide media training to enforcement staff around the state. Training is expected to take place this summer.

Industry/Licensee Outreach Highlights

California Licensed Contractor Newsletter

The summer 2013 edition of the licensee newsletter, California Licensed Contractor, is in final production. The edition will be printed and mailed to all licensees. Due to budget constraints, three of the four quarterly newsletters are published online only; one edition per year is printed and mailed.

Industry Bulletins

Since the last Board meeting only one Industry Bulletin has been issued. These are sent out on an as needed basis.

Video Production Highlights

Enforcement Operations

May 15, 2013, saw an East Bay home wired with six hidden video cameras. Suspected illegal contractors bid on sub-floor and dry-rot work. These contractors are suspected of misdemeanor and felony violations.

Board Meeting Services

The Public Affairs Office is borrowing equipment from the Department of Consumer Affairs until their newly purchased equipment is delivered in order to provide live web streaming of the Board meetings.

Publication Highlights

CSLB has completed three publications, with several other publications currently with various offices before being completed. The completed publications include the Spril 2013 California Licensed Contractor Newsletter, Sting/Sweep brochure, and the Stop Order brochure (Spanish).

Community Outreach Highlights

Senior Scam Stopper Seminars

There has been an increase in interest for the Senior Scam Stopper seminars since promotional information was sent to legislators in September of 2011. Since the April Board meeting there have been eleven seminars conducted and there are 27 scheduled through October.

Consumer Scam Stopper Program

This program started in September of 2012. These seminars are for all ages and audiences. There are six seminars scheduled for the remainder of the year.

Speakers Bureau

CSLB speakers are continuing to be in demand. The most popular requests are for enforcement related topics.

Contractor Outreach Program

The contractor outreach program objective got Board approval on April 17, 2012.

Program Goal

The goals of the program are to provide licensees with tools they can use to educate consumers/potential clients; and to provide licensees with resources that will help ensure that they are aware of laws and best business practices. This should help to aid in the fight against unlicensed contractors and give the law-abiding licensees a more competitive business platform.

Campaign Elements

Campaign elements include conducting research, developing/updating print & web materials, developing an online contractor resource center and developing videos and other web elements.

Current Status

An online survey has been completed. The survey results are being used to develop outreach materials. Prospective logos have been developed too.

Next Steps/Timeline

The next steps are to develop a State of California Licensed Contractor logo, build a website feature to display new/updated materials, launch new contractor resources on CSLB website, determine other program elements and determine if outside contracts are needed.



AB 44 (Buchanan) Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act

Amends the Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act that requires the entity taking bids for the construction of any public work of improvement to specify certain information regarding each subcontractor who will perform work or labor or render service to the prime contractor in or about the work of improvement. Requires that the state contractor license number of each subcontractor also be provided.

The CSLB supports this bill.

AB 186 (Maienschein) Professions and Vocations: Military Spouses: Licenses

Requires a board within the Department of Consumer Affairs to issue a temporary license to an applicant who qualifies for, and requests, expedited licensure if that person is married or in a domestic partnership or legal union with a member of the Armed Forces assigned to a duty station in the state, if he or she meets specified requirements. Authorizes an investigation to see if the person is legally licensed in another jurisdiction, a criminal background check, along with a signed affidavit.

The CSLB opposes this bill.

AB 811 (Lowenthal) Excavations: Regional Notification Center System

Amends existing law that requires any person planning to conduct an excavation to contact a regional notification center prior to excavation. Requires such center to post on their Internet websites statewide information provided by operators and excavators regarding violations of requirements in existing law and damages resulting from the violations.

The CSLB has this bill on their watch list.

AB 834 (Williams) Energy Efficiency Standards: Administrative Enforcement

Amends existing law that requires the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to establish, by regulations, building construction and design standards and energy and water conservation standards for new residential and new nonresidential buildings to increase the efficiency of energy and water. Authorizes the commission to establish an administrative enforcement process to enforce those regulations.

The CSLB has this bill on their watch list.

AB 972 (Calderon) Employment Electricians: Certification

Amends existing law that requires contractors and subcontractors to keep payroll records that include various forms of personal information of each journeyman, apprentice, worker, or other employee employed in conjunction with a public works project. Requires those records for projects that use an electrician to include the electrician's state certification number.

The CSLB has this bill on their watch list.

AB 993 (Linder) Contractors: Arbitration

Amends the Contractors State License Law. Applies conflict of interest provisions to an arbitrator in a proceeding regarding a dispute between a consumer and a contractor. Requires a prospective arbitrator to comply with certain disclosure requirements prior to accepting an appointment. Authorizes the release of a mechanic's lien and the return of tools. Provides for a waiver of rights to attorney fees or to challenge the award of attorney fees. Relates to the exclusion of persons from the proceeding.

The CSLB is sponsoring this bill.

SB 261 (Monning) Contractors Fraudulent Use of License

Provides that any licensed or unlicensed contractor who commits any of specified activities with respect to a contractor license is subject to the administrative remedies authorized by the Contractors State License Law.

The CSLB is sponsoring this bill.

SB 262 (Monning) Contractors

Relates to the Contractors State License Law; requires a qualifying individual to meet specified requirements with respect to his or her employer's or principal's construction operations. Provides that this person shall not act in the capacity of the qualifying person for an additional individual or firm except under certain circumstances. Provides that violations constitute a cause for disciplinary action, a fine and imprisonment.

The CSLB is sponsoring this bill.

SB 263 (Monning) Contractors: Unlicensed Activity

Relates to the Contractors State License Law. Provides that it is a misdemeanor for a person to act in the capacity of a contractor if the person either has never been licensed, or the person was a licensee, but performed acts covered by the law under a license that was inactive, expired, revoked, or under suspension. Provides that it is a cause for disciplinary action for a licensed contractor to enter into a contract with a contractor while the contractor is not licensed.

The CSLB is sponsoring this bill.

SB 822 (Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee) Professions and Vocations

Provides for licensure of out-of-state accountants. Relates to delinquency fees regarding the renewal application under the Contractors State License Law. Deletes a meeting requirement of the State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind for certification of schools that provide training of guide dogs. Creates a retired registration category and fee for geologists or geophysicists. Allows a fictitious business name statement to be signed by either party to a marriage.

The CSLB is sponsoring this bill.



License Application Workload

The number of applications received is still declining because of the economic recession and housing downturn. The number of original applications per month is down 8 percent.

Limited Liability Companies

CSLB has implemented the new LLC program. During the first year of the program, 169 licenses were issued. Since there is no case law for LLC's yet, an additional $100,000 bond is required for the benefit of workers relative to payment of wages and fringe benefits. This is to ensure workers are protected despite the absence of case law dealing with LLC's. Note that this bond is in addition to the $12,500 contractor bond. LLC's are also required to have $1,000,000 in liability insurance when five or fewer persons are listed as personnel, with an additional $100,000 required for each additional personnel, not to exceed $5,000,000.

Since the CSLB has implemented the program through to April 30, 2013, they have received 968 applications for LLC licenses. The most common reason for the rejections is being unable to confirm the LLC name with what the Secretary of State is able to provide since the Secretary of State has such a delayed processing time.

Workers' Compensation Recertification

Due to AB 397, which became effective January 1, 2012, the Licensing division implemented a new program where at the time of renewal of an active contractor licensee, there is a need to recertify the licensee's exemption or provide a current valid Certificate of Workers Compensation Insurance of Certificate of Self-Insurance. Since the law went into effect, the CSLB has started implementing these requirements for licensees expiring March 31, 2013. So far, they have sent notification to approximately 8,000 currently exempt licensees.

Fingerprinting/Criminal Background Unit

Since fingerprinting and criminal background checks were implemented, CORI files received through April 30, 2013, the Criminal Background Unit denied 1,156 applications and issued 1,364 probationary licenses. Five-Hundred Seventy Eight (578) of the denied licenses appealed their denials. There has also been a decline in fingerprint submissions since there has been a decline in applications.

Licensing Information Center (LIC)

LIC Workload

The call center has exceeded Board goals. The call wait time was around 2 minutes with 97% of all incoming calls answered in March and April say 98% of calls answered within one-and-one-half minutes.

Staffing Update

The remaining Program Technician II vacancies have been filled. They are also recruiting a new front counter supervisor. The call center has retained two part-time retired annuitants during peak call hours.

Unfortunately, licensing has lost their four student assistants due to those positions being eliminated. This has impacted licensing's workload as work has been shifted to full-time staff.

Increased Training

One of the Licensing division's goals is to provide timely, efficient and professional services to its customers. They have established a trainer position as an expert resource to other licensing staff. Training has proven to be an effective way to give the new employees an in-depth look at CSLB as a whole and the roles of the various units within it. In July they held a training program for 30 new employees. CSLB has another orientation planned for new employees during the first quarter of 2013.

Call Center Processing

A call center processing e-mail address has been set up as a full-service resolution program for licensees who need their licenses updated to satisfy a suspension or to avoid suspension. Having this capability allows for some matters to be resolved on the spot and prevents the callers from being transferred to other processing units. The call center can now scan and email renewal applications to licenses whose license is due to expire within a month. So far, licensees have been pleased with this increased level of service.

Judgment Unit

The Judgment Unit processes all outstanding liabilities, judgments and payment of claims reported to the CSLB by licensees, consumers, attorneys, credit recovery firms, bonding companies, CSLB's Enforcement Division and other governmental agencies as well as processing all documentation and correspondence related to resolving these issues.


Examination Administration Unit

The Examination Administrative Unit administers the 45 tests of the CSLB at eight different locations. There have been between 2,435 and 3,543 examinations scheduled each month from May of 2012 through April of 2013.

Testing Center Status

There are eight testing centers - Sacramento, Oakland, Oxnard, Norwalk, San Jose, San Bernardino, Fresno and San Diego.

The Oakland Testing Center will eventually be moved to Berkeley, it is scheduled for October 2013.

From May of 2012 to April of 2013, Norwalk had the most examinations at 8,815 and Fresno the least with 1,525.

Examination Administration Staffing

A new analyst has been hired and is responsible for conducting testing center audits, writing the EAU policy and procedure manual, maintaining applicant study guides, and handling applicant correspondence. Testing is recruiting for two test monitor vacancies: one in San Jose and one in San Diego. EAU is also working to select and train new proctors who are currently on the Department of Consumer Affairs' proctor list but who have not worked in CSLB's testing centers. In addition, new individuals are being recruited to add to the list to ensure an adequate proctor pool is consistently available.

Examination Wait Time

The current wait time for examinations throughout the state is three weeks. Just as in the past, applicants have a very good chance of obtaining a seat in any CSLB testing center on a walk-in basis.

Annual Staff Meeting

May saw the annual staff meeting in Norwalk for all of the southern California test monitors and proctors. A similar meeting was held in Sacramento as well.

Examination Development Unit

The Examination Development Unit ensures 45 examinations are maintained and updated in accordance with testing standards, guidelines and regulations.

Occupational Analysis and Examination Development Workload

There are two phases in the development process: occupational analysis and new examination development. These must be done every five to seven years for each examination.

Examination Development Unit Staffing

The newly hired EAU analyst also is responsible for editing examinations and other written materials for the EDU. One vacant testing specialist position is expected to fill in July.

Ongoing Consumer Satisfaction Survey

The Testing division conducts this survey of consumers whose complaint cases have been closed. This is designed to assess the overall satisfaction with the Enforcement division's handling of complaints in various content categories.




As of May 29, 2013, there are 42 vacant positions at CSLB. Between April 10, 2013 and May 29, 2013, CSLB had 3 transfers within CSLB, 3 transfers from another department, 2 promotions, and 4 new hires.

Business Services

Since the April Board meeting:

  • The State and Consumer Services Agency Secretary and the Department of General Services (DGS) approved the purchase of twenty five (25) vehicles for CSLB's Enforcement division. CSLB purchased 12 Toyota Prius', nine Ford Fusions, two Chevy Impalas, and two Dodge Avengers. The anticipated delivery date for most of these vehicles is August 2013.
  • DGS is processing leasing documents for the Oakland testing center move to a new office space in Berkeley. CSLB staff is working with DCA and DGS to draft floor plans. The anticipated move date is targeted for October 2013.
  • DGS will approve a new lease for the Modesto field office located at 814 14th Street, pending minor repairs (including interior painting, replacement of carpet, etc.). Upon approval of the requested repairs, a new lease agreement will begin on April 1, 2014. This lease includes a three-year firm term and five-year soft term agreement.
  • A purchase request for new mail machines for all CSLB field offices was submitted to the Department of Consumer Affairs on May 10, 2013.
  • Replacement furniture is in the process of being ordered for the Valencia and Oxnard field offices.
  • CSLB is in the process of soliciting bids for a new mail inserter machine for the Testing division, which will eliminate the need to rely on the Office of State Printing to print and assemble mailers (questionnaires) to save processing time.


BreEZe will include e-payment/online licensure; renewals, and on-line complaints once it is implemented. The "go-live" date has already been pushed back several times. They are currently trying to determine a new "go-live" date.

Video Conferencing

Public Affairs and IT will be analyzing the value (cost/benefit) of providing video conferencing services. CSLB representatives met with the Medical Board of California to discuss its recently implemented video conferencing system. Within the next quarter, CSLB expects to have an action plan, begin development of the requirements, have an understanding of the purchasing options (hosted or cloud) available, and any IT policy requirements that must be established.


Fiscal Year 2012-13 CSLB Budget and Expenditures

The CSLB spent $44.6 million, 76% of its Fiscal Year 2012-2013 final budget through April 30, 2013.


The revenue through April 30, 2013, was $48,769,816. This was a 3.5% increase from the prior year.

CSLB Fund Condition

The Contractor's License Fund for the Fiscal Year 2011-12 had about 6 months in reserve. The projected fund for the Fiscal Year 2012-13 is 5.7 months in reserve.

Construction Management Education Account (CMEA) Final Fiscal Year 2012-13 Budget and Expenditures

Through April 30, 2013, CMEA spent approximately $10,000 in pro rata charges.

CMEA Fund Condition

For the Fiscal Year 2011-12 there was 23 months in reserve. They are projecting about 15.6 months in reserve for the 2012-13 Fiscal Year and continuing to decline with an estimated 1.3 months in reserve for the 2014-15 Fiscal Year.

Statistics Summary

The following is the statistical summary for the 2012-13 Fiscal Year:

  • Applications Received - 2% increase from previous Fiscal Year
  • Original Licenses Issued - 9.4% decrease from previous Fiscal Year
  • Licenses Renewed - 5.5% decrease from previous Fiscal Year
  • Home Improvement Salesperson Registrations Renewed - 11.8% increase from previous Fiscal Year


Board members develop the CSLB's annual strategic plan after reviewing the previous fiscal year's accomplishments.

During 2012-13 fiscal year, the CSLB:

  • Began issuing licenses to limited liability companies (LLCs),
  • Implemented a workers' compensation (WC) insurance recertification process for contractors exempt from WC coverage,
  • Updated 10 examinations and completed 10 occupational analyses, keeping CSLB current with its goal of updating examinations every five years,
  • Identified strategies to collect licensee email addresses to improve contact for examination development surveys,
  • Expanded use of CSLB testing centers for training and civil service exams,
  • Conducted more than 50 Senior Scam Stopper seminars around the state, educating the vulnerable senior population about various scams that target them,
  • Produced a license application instructional video that explains how to correctly fill out a CSLB license application,
  • Developed an educational letter for consumers who repeatedly hire unlicensed operators, and
  • Worked with the Employment Development Department to develop an outreach packet to educate legislators, contractors, and consumers about the dangers of the underground economy.

The Board established the following priorities to direct program activities:

  • Focus on early enforcement intervention and high priority (health and safety) complaints.
  • Help keep licensees in business and maintain the collection of revenue by keeping renewals and license maintenance current.
  • License applicants by reviewing qualifications and criminal background, and administering legal and effective examinations.
  • Educate consumers about their rights and responsibilities, and empower consumers with methods to protect themselves.
  • Stress early intervention and resolution of reactive complaints, and refer minor complaints to small claims court.
  • Provide services through the Licensing Information Center (call center) and the public counter.
  • Ensure that Administrative Services and Information Technology divisions provide the support necessary to maintain unit operations.

CSLB has adopted and aims to establish the following vision by 2020:

1. Licensing/Call Center and Testing

  • Electronic/paperless application, renewal and license management processes
  • Fully automated bond and workers' compensation insurance submission processes
  • All communication with applicants and licensees via email
  • Virtual call center with chat ability
  • Email Unit
  • State-of-the-art security technology in testing centers


  • Appropriate management structure, including a Deputy Enforcement Chief
  • System for purchasing new vehicles that utilizes the latest technology, including GPS and Bluetooth
  • Improved, direct communication between CSLB headquarters and field offices including video conferencing, Skype, online training, etc.
  • Improved CSLB presence throughout the state with more small field offices (e.g., San Luis Obispo, Barstow)
  • Staff access to new communication equipment
  • Staffed in-house training program
  • Staffed Subsequent Arrest Unit
  • Pay differentials and adjustments for staff in high-cost areas of CA
  • Utilization of state-of-the-art audio/video equipment

3.Public Affairs

  • State-of-the-art audio/video studio to communicate directly with media/stakeholders
  • State-of-the-art social network communications
  • Ability to quickly look up license information with smartphones through QR codes or other technology
  • Ability to attend/participate in conferences (both inside and outside of California)

4.Administration and IT

  • Improved hiring and retention practices to minimize vacancies
  • Full-service Human Resources Unit
  • VDI (Virtual Desktop)
  • Hiring and retention plan for IT staff
  • Enhanced Tele-Work/Telecommuting in a Virtual Environment
  • Supervisors provided with real-time snapshot of work in progress
  • Automation of all internal services using state-of-the-art technology

The CSLB has identified the following objectives to help meet its goals:

1.Licensing and Testing

Ensure that all applicants and licensees are qualified to provide construction services.


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


    • Increase hi-tech security monitoring in testing centers.
    • Develop an online smart application package to reduce application decline rates.
    • Fully automate bonds and workers' compensation insurance submission processes.
    • Expand license application video to other languages.
    • Establish a task force to analyze the application process and reduce rejection rates.


    • Inform applicants about the top reasons applications are rejected.
    • Implement an online licensure tool for credit card payment.
    • Evaluate the productivity of CSLB's Licensing Information Center and determine if changes are needed.


Prevent, reduce or eliminate unlicensed activity and unprofessional conduct that pose a threat to public health, safety, and welfare.


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


    • Update the Industry Expert training program.
    • Provide for the disclosure of a partnering agencies administrative action section on CSLB's website.
    • Partner with the California Energy Commission to create an energy efficiency campaign.
    • Develop criteria and controls to monitor and prioritize proactive enforcement.


    • Automate an official educational letter to consumers who repeatedly hire unlicensed operators.
    • Prioritize enforcement complaints based on the potential to harm the public.
    • Conduct a feasibility study of a pilot program similar to law enforcement's citizens patrol.

3.Public Affairs

Educate consumers about how to make informed choices related to construction services, and provide information to licensed contractors so they can improve their technical management and service skills.


    • Migrate CSLB's website to the new state of California website standards.


    • Establish a multimedia unit with a focus on video production.


    • Create an archive of consumer stories for use in various outreach efforts and educate staff on benefits of sharing information.


    • Complete the flagship contractor and consumer publications.
    • Develop a contractor presentation kit.
    • Develop a CSLB style guide and brand standards manual.


Ensure that statutes, regulations, policies, and procedures strengthen and support CSLB operations.



    • Review and recommend changes to simplify Contractors State License Law and update by 2014.
    • Prepare and submit Sunset Review Report.

5.IT and Administration

Enhance organizational effectiveness, and improve the quality of service in all programs.


    • Prepare CSLB for implementation of BreEZe. (Information Technology)
    • Create a Subsequent Arrest Unit through the BCP process.


The Board elects a new Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary from its members every year. The term runs from July 1 to June 30, of each year. Reelections are acceptable.

David Dias is the new Secretary, Mark Thurman the new Vice Chair, and Joan Hancock the new Chair of the Board.


September 17, 2013 - Sacramento

December 10, 2013 - Norwalk

Late February/Early March of 2014 - Bay Area

April 23-24, 2014 - San Diego

June 5, 2014 - Orange County

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