March 16, 2015

CSLB Board Meeting Highlights 3/16/15

We hope that you enjoy the CSLB Board Meeting Highlights of the March 16, 2015, Board Meeting in Glendale.  For a downloadable copy in Adobe PDF please click here and save to your hard drive.  

Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

MARCH 16, 2015
Kenneth S. Grossbart
Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

The Contractors' State License Board held a Board Meeting in Glendale on March 16, 2015.  

Board Members Present:

Chair, David Dias; Vice Chair, Ed Lang; Secretary, Agustin Beltran; Kevin Albanese; Linda Clifford; Susan Granzella; Joan Hancock; Pastor Herrera Jr.; Frank Schetter; Paul Schifino; Johnny Simpson; and Nancy Springer. 

Board Members Absent:

Robert Lamb.

There are currently two vacancies on the Board.



Bob Lamb and Joan Hancock are on the nominations committee.  







The CSLB Enforcement staff as a manageable level of pending complaints of 3,255.  As of February 2015, the pending case load was over that manageable level at 3,508.


The Intake and Mediation Center Consumer Services Representatives are at their manageable level with 1,440 open complaints as of February 1, 2015. 


The Investigative Center Enforcement Representatives for formal investigations have an optimal working caseload of 1,855 complaints.  As of February 1, 2015, they too, are over the optimal level with 2,068 cases open and under investigation.


Restitution to Financially Injured Persons

For the first six months of the fiscal year 2015-15, Enforcement staff has been able to settle more than $7.7 million in restitution to financially injured parties.  Investigative Centers are responsible for just over $2.8 million and the Intake and Mediation Centers are responsible for almost $4.9 million.  


Investigation of Consumer Complaints

It is the goal for the Investigative Center Enforcement Representatives to carry between 30 and 40 pending cases each.  By the end of February 2015, the statewide average was 30 cases each.  They have also consistently achieved the Board's goal of 10 complaint closures per month. 


The Board attempts to close all but 100 complaints with 270 days of receipt.  As of February 5, 2015, they have met this goal with only 56 cases older than 270 days. 


Proactive Enforcement at Active Construction Sites

The Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) has exceeded the Board's goal of performing more than 13 proactive investigations per month.  Of those, more than 42% of these investigations result in legal action.  Of the 882 legal actions, 417 were referred to prosecutors. 




Contractors "Floored" by $16,000 Payout

Defective workmanship almost cost homeowner $20,000 to fix floors.  Thanks to CSLB Customer Service Representative, homeowner received $16,000 settlement to correct the bad floors


Homeowner Told Undersized HVAC Will "Work Just Fine"

Homeowner discovered that the HVAC he contracted with was actually smaller than he paid for but contractor stated "It will work just fine."  After filing a complaint with the Norwalk CSLB, a Customer Service Representative negotiated a settlement where the contractor refunded the entire contract amount to the owner and removed the unit.


Swimming Pool Work Won't Hold Water

Homeowner filed complaint against contractor for substandard and unpermitted work after payment of more than half on a $70,000 pool contract.  A Sacramento Customer Service Representative helped homeowner receive a $27,500 refund from the contractor.




Son Claims to be Agent for Deceased Father

Unlicensed contractor used deceased father's license and even forged renewal application but insisted he was his father's agent.  When son applied for own license and paid penalties, CSLB denied it because applicant failed to disclose California Bar suspension or criminal conviction.


CSLB Surveillance Results in Apprehension of Wanted Non-Licensee

Unlicensed contractor, who received citation in 2010 for having no license, was using many fictitious business names, still unlicensed, and breaking other laws.  After numerous complaints were received, the CSLB submitted the complaints to the Los Angeles City Attorney where criminal charges were filed for contracting without a license, collecting excessive deposits, grand theft, theft by false pretenses, and diversion of construction funds.  CSLB staked out several possible addresses and found the individual.  When in court, the unlicensed contractor plead "Nolo Contendre" (more or less guilty), received a 90-day sentence in county jail and agreed to pay $106,000 in restitution to his victims.


Whistleblower Tip Results in Revocation

Director of the Contractor's License School had students sign a blank CSLB Certification of Work Experience form and eventually this individual became an licensed contractor based on the fraudulent Certifications signed by the students (unbeknownst to them).  The licenses assigned to this individual were revoked at the charge as willfully misrepresenting material facts on an Application for Original Contractor's License and committing and fraudulent act were pressed.  The Board was awarded $6,530.59 in recovery costs and the owner of the Contractor's License School fired the director.


Do the Right Thing

A complainant passed away before the CSLB could finish an investigation but her attorney filed a $1.4 million lawsuit against the company that contracted with the complainant.  A settlement agreement was reached between the complainant's estate and the company where the estate was to be compensated $116,634.60 to resolve the matter. 




SWIFT performed 39 sting days between July 2014 and January 2015 that targeted  unlicensed repeat offenders and wanted criminals working in the construction industry.  SWIFT also performed 135 sweeps at active construction sites with partnering state agencies. 




Part of CSLB's Strategic Plan includes Enforcement's ongoing commitment to create a training curriculum for staff that includes basic enforcement procedures, a mentoring program, and specialized training.  Training conducted was:

  1. Peace Officer Workshop                                                             May 2014
  2. Module 4: Code Training, Phone Tactics & Time Management Ongoing
  3. Professional Assistants Academy II                                            March 2014
  4. Successful Promotional Interviewing Training                            March 2014
  5. Supervisors Training                                                                  January 2014
  6. Advanced Enforcement Course                                                 January 2015
  7. Enforcement Academy                                                               February 2015



August 2014, saw the Board create the Service and Repair Task Force to address predatory service and repair companies as part of the Strategic Plan.  It is comprised of four CSLB Peace Officers, one Enforcement Representative, an Enforcement Analyst, as well as representatives from the FBI, DA offices, and local law enforcement.


Task force objectives include:

  1. Identifying Predatory service and repair contractors.
  2. Establishing investigation partnerships with industry and local law enforcement.
  3. Developing consumer and industry outreach material.



The CSLB hopes to enter into operation agreement with building departments with the goal to establish a cooperative state/local partnership aimed at identifying and resolving problems created by licensed and unlicensed contractors that do not comply with code requirements and engage in underground economic activity.  The future collaboration with the CSLB and building departments will identify, discourage, report and prosecute unscrupulous and/or negligent individuals to provide greater safeguards.





The C-22 Asbestos is the first new classification in years.  The CSLB also issued license #1,000,000 to a tree serving business in Norwalk.


License Application Workload

CSLB received an average of 846 original exam applications per month during fiscal year (FY) 2013-14 and to date 835 for FY 2014-15.  Original waiver applications averaged 643 for FY 2013-14 and 611 for FY 2014-15, adding classification applications averaged 320 for FY 2013-14 and 294 for FY 2014-15, and replacing the qualifier applications averaged 188 for FY 2013-14 and 180 for FY 2014-15


The average total applications received were roughly the same for fiscal year 2013-14 and 2014-15 even though fiscal year 2014-15 was slightly less. 


Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)

The CSLB became authorized to issue licenses to LLC's effective January 1, 2012.  LLC's 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 is no case law dealing with LLC's.  LLC's are also required to have at least $1 million in liability insurance when there are 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 December 31, 2014, 2,448 original LLC applications have been received with 817 LLC licenses issued.  Inconsistencies between the contractor's application and the records with the Secretary of State are the main reasons why the denied applications were rejected. 


Workers' Compensation Recertification

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.  Since January 2014, there have been over 65,000 recertifications processed or rejected.  


Fingerprinting / Criminal Background Unit

The Criminal Background Unit has been conducting fingerprinting for all applicants for a CSLB license, this includes 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 314,273 transmittals from the Department of Justice with more than 55,000 of those containing criminal conviction records.  As of January 31, 2015, 1,210 of those applications have been denied, 1,421 have been issued probationary licenses, and 607 of the denied applicants appealed their denials. 


Experience Verification Unit

The CSLB is required by law to investigate a minimum of 3% of applications received to review applicants' claims of work experience.  January of 2013 began the process of streamlining the application process as well as reducing the time and expense of formal investigations by combining the work experience verification process with the standard application review.  In instances when the CSLB is not able to confirm the experience, three options are offered to the applicant:

  • Indentify a new qualifier who possesses the required work experience;
  • Withdraw the application and reapply when the necessary work experience has been gained; or
  • Request a formal investigation. 

Licensing will continue to track the number of applications reviewed as well as those verified or denied.




Licensing Information Center (LIC) Workload

The Licensing Information Center or call center continues to exceed Board goals with average wait times of 1:31 minutes and 95% of all calls answered with an average of 14,000 calls per month.  This is attributed to staffing levels and training. 


Staffing Update

Three (3) new Program Technician II's were hired effective September 1, 2014.  The Call Center has four vacancies, with 11 full-time Program Technician II's and two Retired Annuitants.


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.




The Judgment Unit staff processes 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 licensee's 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 license 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 CSLB has 46 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 examinations, they spend their time responding to all of the testing-related interactive voice response calls received by the CSLB. 


Test Center Status

CSLB maintains test centers in Sacramento, Berkeley, San Jose, Fresno, Oxnard, Norwalk, San Bernardino and San Diego.


Examination Administration

The Examination Administration Unit is fully.




The Examination Development Unit is responsible for making 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. 


Two new examinations were released in January 2015, for C-22 Asbestos and Abatement and ASB Asbestos Certification.  February 2015, saw the C-10 Electrical examination released.


Occupational Analyses is currently in progress for C-9 Drywall, C-29 Masonry, C-31 Construction Zone Traffic Control and ASB Asbestos Certification.


New Examinations are in progress for A General Engineering, B General Building, C-6 Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry, C-11 Elevator, C-15 Flooring and Floor Covering, C-20 Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning, C-23 Ornamental Metal, C-36 Plumbing, C-43 Sheet Metal, and C-51 Structural Steel.


Examination Development Unit Staffing

There is one Office Technician vacancy.


C-22 Asbestos Abatement Project

Because of the new C-22 Asbestos Abatement license classification, EDU, with the help of Subject Matter Experts, split the Asbestos Abatement Certification examination into two parts. The result is the C-22 Asbestos Abatement examination and an Asbestos Certification examination. Both examinations were ready for use on January 1, 2015 and full occupational analyses will be completed for both examinations in 2015.


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. 




Civil Service Examinations

The Examination Development Unit also works on civil service classification examinations that are used at the CSLB.  The Management Services Technician examination is now ready for use in the spring.





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




The Public Affairs Office is staffed with six full-time positions and one part-time Student Assistant. There is currently one vacancy for an Information Officer I.




Website Redesign Project

The Public Affairs Office and the Information Technology staff worked together to design and develop an entirely new CSLB website.  It is optimized for computers, tablets and smart phones.  The CSLB is one of the first state agencies to adopt the new technology template.  The site was successfully launched on September 5, 2104.  Staff continue to make minor edits on a weekly basis. 




Public Meetings

On February 20, 2015, live webcasts of two committee meeting (Legislative and Enforcement) were aired. 


Social Media



The CSLB is now on Flickr.  Flickr is a no-cost, photo-sharing social media website.  This site allows the Public Affairs staff to upload and post high-resolution photos as individual photos or in an album format.  Flickr allows professional media and industry followers of the CSLB to download photographs at the resolution level of their choosing.  February 20, 2015, had 83 photos on Flickr available for download.



From November 19, 2014, through February 22, 2105, the CSLB gained 50 additional followers on Twitter, for a total of 1,672 followers. 



As of February 22, 2015, the CSLB had 1,905 likes on its Facebook page.  This is an increase of 109 since the December 2014 Board meeting. 



Since the December 2104 Board meeting, the CSLB's You Tube page has been viewed 9,697 times with an average of ten subscribers per month.


Email Alert Feature

The Public Affairs Office continues to publicize a website feature launched in May of 2010 that allows people to subscribe to their choice of four types of CSLB email alerts:

  • California Licensed Contractor newsletters
  • News Releases / Consumer Alerts
  • Industry Bulletins
  • Public Meeting Notices / Agendas

The database growth is slow but steady.  There are currently 23,696 subscriptions with 302 of those being new since the December 2014 Board meeting.




Media Calls

The Public Affairs Office staff responded to more than 40 media inquiries from December 1, 2014 and February 20, 2015.


News Releases

The Public Affairs Office distributed 9 news releases to the media between December 11, 2014 through February 18, 2015.




Industry Bulletins

The Public Affairs Offices alerts industry members to important and interesting news by distributing industry bulletins via email.  Between December 11, 2014, and February 18, 2015, the Public Affairs Office distributed two (2) industry bulletins.



The CSLB publications in production:



  • 2014 Accomplishments & Activities Report
  • 2015 California Contractors License Law & Reference Book
  • HVAC Ambassador Bid Packet
  • February 20, 2015, Legislative Committee Meeting Packet
  • February 20, 2015, Enforcement Committee Meeting Packet

In Production

  • Description of Classifications Booklet
  • Contractor/Applicant Guide (booklet)
  • Consumer Guide (booklet)
  • Mechanics Lien (Spanish)

In Development

  • Contractor Outreach Materials
    • o   Checklist of Consumer Questions During Bid
    • o   Why You Should Hire a State-Licensed Contractor
    • o   Building Permit Information
    • o   Contractor Insurance and Bond Information
    • o   Contractor Reference form
    • Updated Stop Order Brochure



Senior Scam Stopper Seminars

Since the December 2014, Board meeting, 15 Senior Scam Stopper seminars have been conducted.  The 400th seminar was conducted on March 10, 2105.  There are an additional five (5), scheduled through early April 2015. 




Intranet (CSLBin)

The new employee only intranet site, "CSLBin" was launched in November of 2013.  This site has reorganized the information used by employees on a daily basis.  Staff's reaction to the site has been very positive.  






The Department of Consumer Affairs recently informed the Contractors State License Board that though it has clear statutory authority to share licensee Social Security numbers with the Franchise Tax Board (Business and Professions Code §30 (2)(d)(3)), it does not have authority to share them with the Employment Development Department. Sharing this information constitutes a critical part of CSLB's enforcement program. This proposal would authorize CSLB to share Social Security numbers (SSN) with the Employment Development Department.



The motion was proposed and passed.






Amendment to Business and Professions Code Section 7011.4 - Notice to Appear Authority

California's Business and Professions (B&P) Code, Chapter 9, Articles 1 through 9, known as the Contractors' State License Law, provides the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) with the authority to license and regulate all forms of construction activity in the State of California.  


B&P Code section 7011.4 establishes a separate enforcement division (Statewide Investigative Fraud Team - SWIFT), which shall rigorously enforce laws prohibiting all forms of unlicensed activity. CSLB Enforcement Representatives (ER) assigned to SWIFT investigate active construction sites for license and workers' compensation insurance compliance and conduct undercover sting operations targeting unlicensed and uninsured contractors.


Pursuant to B&P Code section 7028(a) it is a misdemeanor for a person to engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor without having a license.  


Further, Labor Code section 3700.5 (a) states that the failure to secure the payment of compensation by one who knew, or because of his or her knowledge or experience should have reasonably expected to have known, of the obligation to secure this payment of compensation is a misdemeanor and punishable by county jail, or fine, or both.


B&P Code section 7011.4 provides authority for non-sworn ERs to issue a written notice to appear (NTA) in court for unlicensed practice, but not for failure to secure workers' compensation insurance. An NTA is an order by the court mandating an individual's presence at a hearing, on a specified date, to answer to wrongdoings of misdemeanor crimes.


The Contractors State License Board requests to amend B&P Code section 7011.4, "Enforcement of Licensing Provisions." The modification will clearly state that CSLB Enforcement Representatives, with designated authority from the Director of Consumer Affairs, may issue an NTA for unlicensed activity pursuant to B&P Code section 7028, and failure to secure workers' compensation insurance pursuant to Section 3700.5 of the Labor Code.


Amendment to Business and Professions Code Section 7028.6 - Authority to Issue Citations - Collection of Additional Information


Under existing law, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) can collect Social Security numbers (SSN) from licensees, but does not have the authority to collect Social Security numbers from individuals who contract without a license.

As a result of enforcement activity, particularly undercover sting operations, CSLB issues citations, often with a fine, to unlicensed individuals. However, since these individuals are not licensed, CSLB has limited ability to enforce the citation and fine. Consequently, the compliance rate for non-licensees is significantly lower than that for licensees. In 2013, CSLB issued 1,139 citations to licensees, and 662 complied.  During that same year, CSLB issued 822 citations to non-licensees, and 363 complied. 


This proposal would provide CSLB the authority to collect SSNs from non-licensees for the purpose of pursuing payment of a fine.


Amendment to Business and Professions Code Section 7103.5 - Effect of Disciplinary Action by Division of Labor Standards Enforcement


At the December 11, 2014, Board meeting staff presented this proposal to add Business & Professions (B&P) Code section 7103.5 to permit the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to use a certified copy of the final order of a Civil Wage and Penalty Assessment (CWPA) issued by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) as conclusive evidence to take disciplinary action against a contractor's license.


At the Board meeting, some members expressed concern with this proposal. Specifically, there was concern that a CWPA can be issued over a very minor pay differential, and that the proposed language should be limited to serious or egregious violations of prevailing wage law.  There was also concern that this proposal provides new enforcement authority outside of CSLB's mission.  The Board appointed two members, Kevin Albanese and Agustin Beltran, to work with staff to further refine the proposal.


Staff did revise the language to limit its application to serious violations.  However, the new language did not completely address the issues raised at the December Board meeting. It also raised new issues for staff to consider, such as whether or not CSLB should, under its existing authority, suspend licenses that have a CWPA. 


Staff recommends that the Board not pursue this legislative proposal this year.  Instead, direct staff to pursue the following recommendations:


  1. Suspend Licenses Pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 7145.5 for Outstanding CWPAs - Failure to resolve outstanding liabilities as grounds for refusal to renew a license.  Staff believes that CSLB has the authority, under B&P Code section 7145.5, to suspend licenses for failure to comply with a CWPA.  If so, the Licensing suspension program will serve as a viable avenue to suspend licenses for unresolved CWPAs and to provide public disclosure.  CSLB does not have the ability to suspend licenses if the contractor discharges the debt in bankruptcy.  Staff will meet with Licensing Division management to discuss this option further.
  2. Amend the Application for Licensure to Require Disclosure of Outstanding Labor and/or Tax Liability - Currently, applicants for a license are only required to disclose an outstanding construction-related liability that has become an official judgment.  Staff will consult with Legal Counsel to determine if B&P Code section 7145.5 provides authority for the Registrar to disclose an assessed Labor liability, such as a CWPA, that is not an official judgment.
  3. Revise the Existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DLSE - CSLB will request to meet with Labor Commissioner staff to revise the existing MOU to provide for the early identification of contractors engaged in egregious prevailing wage violations that warrant formal CSLB disciplinary action.  Such a revision will provide CSLB the ability to take timely action against egregious offenders when they have failed to provide certified payroll records, as required, and/or issued fraudulent checks to employees.
  4. Monitor Two "Test" Accusations - Deputy Attorney General Rosie Perez has agreed to take two appealed prevailing wage accusations to hearing.  Staff anticipates that the resulting Administrative Law Decision will assist in determining the need for legislation. 

Amendment to Business and Professions Code Section 7137 - Fee Schedule


Existing law establishes fees for applications, examinations, and related activities.


This proposal would establish a fee to process officer/personnel changes, raise the fee for additional classifications and replacing the qualifier, and establish a fee for processing priority applications. 


CSLB's Licensing division has identified new workload related to processing applications for personnel changes, as well as the increased number of applications to add a classification and to replace a qualifier. In addition, while a process exists for applicants to request expedited application processing, there is no charge to do so. The division completed a review of workload and staff time dedicated to this work, which was used to determine the appropriate fees for each of these activities.


Since an author could not be found for this, the amendment is a no go.


Amendment to Business and Professions Code Sections 7152, 7153, 7153.2, 7153.3, 7154, 7155.5, 7156 and 7156.6 - Home Improvement Salesperson Registration


A home improvement salesperson (HIS) is an individual, employed by a home improvement contractor licensed by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), who is registered to solicit, sell, negotiate, or execute contracts for home improvements on behalf of the contractor.  Existing law requires that an HIS apply for, and be separately registered for each distinct contractor for which he or she works.


This proposal would eliminate the requirement that an HIS separately register to work for each contractor and, instead, allow a properly registered HIS to utilize his or her individual registration with one or more licensed contractors.


With this change, the licensed contractor would be required to notify CSLB about the pending employment of any registered HIS, including the submission of the HIS registration number, prior to the HIS beginning work.


Currently, CSLB has approximately 11,170 active HIS registrants, nearly 5,500 expired registrants, and almost 85,000 invalid registrants.




The Board is required to vote on and approve the duty statement of the new Registrar at this meeting, after which it will be signed by the Board Chair and the Registrar. 







The CSLB is coordinating with the Department of General Services to increase the rental space of the San Bernardino office and is currently preparing the lease renewal agreement with increased rental space, a new alarm system, a new security system, and additional voice/data cabling. 


Renovations to the West Covina office are complete and include one additional enclosed office space, the relocation of three workstations, new paint throughout the office and new carpet. 


The Norwalk field office is having the lease renewal agreement prepared and the space planner will review the office space specifications to identify any needed adjustments.


To provide better security for CSLB testing center staff and clients, surveillance cameras at eight testing centers throughout California are being installed.


Three electric vehicle charging stations have been installed at the Sacramento Headquarters; one in front of the building for public use and two in the enclosed state vehicle parking lot for official vehicles only. The stations will be usable after SMUD installs meters.  The replacement of the employee security card reader system is in progress.  The design and planning phase is underway for an additional enclosed office space within the Administration division to accommodate the relocation of the Business Services Manager's office.


Contracts and Procurement

  • Contracts in Progress
    • Five copiers, with maintenance service contracts, for various field offices;
    • Maintenance service contracts for three UPS machines for various field offices; and
    • New scanning system for packages/letters received in the mailroom at Sacramento headquarters.
  • Procurement in Progress
    • Twenty-four ergonomic chairs for the Berkeley Testing Center;
    • Seventeen utility chairs for the Sacramento SWIFT conference room;
    • Ergonomic Furniture for the Information Technology programming office located with the Sacramento Testing unit; and
    • Polo shirts for Enforcement division staff.
  • Executed Contractors/Procurement
    • Collection agency to pursue monies owed by unlicensed contractors; and
    • Two 50" Smart Televisions for the IT division


In January 2015, CSLB contracted with the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) to provide onsite training at the Sacramento headquarters office during the quarterly Enforcement Manager meeting. CalHR provided 40 CSLB managers and supervisors, from all divisions, with in-depth training on "The Supervisors Guide to Managing Poor Performance." 



CSLB has submitted a Fleet Acquisition Plan to DCA to replace seven vehicles statewide:  five for the Enforcement division (San Francisco (1), Valencia (1), Fresno (1), and Norwalk (2)), one for the Administration division, and one for the Testing division. The Enforcement division has requested four Ford Fusions and one Ford F-150 truck and the Administration division has requested an all-electric vehicle, which will help meet the Governor's office requirement that 10 percent of DCA's fleet be zero emission.  The Testing division has requested a Dodge Caravan. The Fleet Acquisition Plan is pending approval from DCA, DGS, and the Governor's Office Agency Secretary.


Imaging Workflow Automated System (IWAS)

The IWAS unit, along with the Programming and Technical Support units, is upgrading and replacing the current Microsoft software since it can no longer support the IWAS programming system. This upgrade will affect only the IWAS system's infrastructure.  Also, a proposal has been submitted to DCA to add a second indexing feature to all new documents received at CSLB, which will ensure greater accuracy when Licensing division staff research information associated with a document in IWAS.



Ms. Cindi Christenson, the first female Registrar, assumed office January 1, 2015.  Recruitment efforts are currently underway to fill Ms. Christenson's former position of Chief Deputy Registrar.  The position should be filled within 30 days.


To ensure that staff are up-to-date on current policies and procedures, all CSLB employees received updated Staff Expectations and Workplace Guidelines and must submit an acknowledgement that they understand and will comply with these policies and procedures.


To continue to offer quality service to CSLB employees, Personnel staff are being cross-trained in many areas, including the completion of various reports such as the Management Information Retrieval System Report (MIRS) and the Weekly RPA/ Vacancy Report. Additionally, Personnel staff are in the development planning phase of a training tool, Career Consultation, to assist CSLB employees with state civil service career advancement. Personnel has also updated the Hiring Guide for supervisors and managers to help ensure that CSLB hires the best qualified candidates.





The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) continues to work with Accenture and the Release One Boards to ensure that the Enterprise Licensing and Enforcement System (BreEZe) meets operational needs according to system requirements and modifications. 


Release Two Boards/Committees are currently in the build phase of the project. The expected implementation of Release Two Boards is currently spring 2016.   

CSLB staff continues to prepare for the Phase Three Release by working with programs to document and map current "as is" business processes, conducting meetings with CSLB end users to verify mapping, and completing gap/fit analysis from the current system to BreEZe.  


After all three releases are completed, BreEZe will be the largest enterprise licensing and enforcement solution in the world.


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 November 2014, through January 2015, IVR handled a total of 95,624 calls, averaging 31,875 calls a month.  This system is available 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week. 


Enterprise IT Security - Firewall Hits

CSLB's IT staff maintains high security on all of the Board's information technology systems and applications. Using a multi-layered defense that relies on various security products (firewall, anti-spam, anti-virus programs, event management, and correlation tools), CSLB proactively blocks/denies any unauthorized attempts to access CSLB data from all sources, including those emanating from foreign countries. The chart below shows the top 10 countries from which users have attempted to access CSLB systems and applications between January 1, 2015 and February 22, 2015, all of which were successfully denied. To date, utilizing best practices, CSLB's IT security systems have effectively safeguarded CSLB information assets, and no unauthorized attempts to penetrate the system have succeeded.


E-Payment Expansion to Norwalk

Currently, contractors throughout the State can mail check or cash payments for licensing and application fees, along with the appropriate documents, to the Sacramento HQ office.  However, in-person payments can only be made in the Sacramento office - at the front counter if paying by check or cash, or using a dedicated kiosk station if paying by credit card.


CSLB first began to accept in-person electronic credit card payments in Sacramento in August of 2010, an option limited to this location because of other Department of Consumer Affairs projects. Designed initially by CSLB programming staff and a consultant, the system allowed payment for four different CSLB transactions. In August of 2011, CSLB programming staff expanded the payment offerings to 16.


CSLB plans to expand the e-Payment system, utilizing technology to better serve applicants and contractors. Norwalk, site of the first phase of this expansion, should have a usable kiosk system for electronic payments by the end of March 2015.  IT staff will demonstrate the kiosk system at the March 16, 2015, Board Meeting in Glendale, CA. Following the launch in Norwalk, expansion at additional field offices throughout the State, including San Diego, Fresno, and San Bernardino, will be considered.





The CSLB spent or encumbered $36.7  million through January 31, 2015, which is roughly 41% of the fiscal year budget.  



The CSLB received just over $36 million in revenue through January 31, 2015.



The CSLB revised final FY 2014-15 budget increased by $1.2 million, from $61.9 to $63.1 million.  This budget includes the following one-time adjustments and reductions:  reconciliation of salaries and wages with projected operating expenditures, adjustments to employee retirement contribution rates, and adjustments to employee compensation and health rates.  



The Contractors' License Fund reserve for fiscal year 2013-14 is over $26 million, which gives approximately a five month reserve.  The projection for fiscal year 2014-15 is just over $20 million, leaving a reserve of 4.5 months. 



The Construction Management Education Account expended roughly $5,000 in pro rata charges through January 31, 2015.



The final fiscal year 2013-14 reserve was $33,000 for two (2) months.  The projected 2014-15 fiscal year reserve is $81,000. 


2014-15 UPDATE / GOALS



  • Increase high-tech security monitoring in test centers (Important) / Target - December 2015 (for Installation) / Status - At Department of General Services.  Surveillance cameras planned for December 2015.
  • Establish task force to analyze application process and reduce rejection rates (Important) / Target - January 2015 / Status - Workload analysis of application units completed; recommendations under review for implementation in 2015
  • Develop and apply consistent application evaluation criteria (Essential) / Target - January 2016 / Status - Training of all application staff conducted in May 2014 on existing evaluation criteria; task force to be appointed to develop regulation proposal(s) for evaluation criteria
  • Develop online smart application package to reduce application rejection rates (Important) / Target - January 2016 / Status - Tied to DCA BreEZe project.  Research other options to move forward.
  • Fully automated bonds and workers' compensation insurance submission process (Important) / Target - January 2016 / Status - Tied to DCA BreEZe project.  Research other options to move forward.
  • Implement online licensure tool for credit card payment (Beneficial) / Target - January 2016 / Status - Tied to DCA BreEZe project.  Research other options to move forward.


  • Establish enforcement strategy to address predatory service and repair scams (Essential) / Target - July 2014 / Status - Complete.  Through the Service and Repair Task Force, CSLB investigators partnered with the California District Attorney's Association and local law enforcement to focus on contractors using predatory scare tactics.  The Task Force will continue to provide updates to the Board as required.
  • Update Industry Expert Training Program (Important) / Target - October 2014 / Status - Complete.  The Enforcement division has updated the training program.  Training sessions were held with industry experts in September 2014.
  • Automate official educational letter to consumers who repeatedly hire unlicensed operators (Beneficial) / Target - December 2014 / Status - Complete.  IT staff currently is working to format the letter into a TEALE-compatible template to finalize the automation process.
  • Establish RMO/Application Waiver Task Force to identify issues and make enforcement strategy recommendations (Essential) / Target - December 2014 / Status - Complete.  The Application Waiver Task Force, comprised of two ERs was established in August 2014.
  • Create Peace Officer Special Investigation Unit (Important) / Target - December 2014 / Status - Complete.
  • Implement Peace Officer Training Curriculum (Important) / Target - December 2014 / Status - Complete. 
  • Provide section for the disclosure of partnering agencies' administrative actions section on CSLB website (Beneficial) / Target - December 2015 / Status - CSLB now discloses Division of Labor Standards Enforcement Civil Wage & Penalty judgments and contracts subject to egregious Stop Notices filed with Caltrans.  Staff continues to work with IT to assess further programming needs to display additional state and local government disciplinary actions.
  • Partner with Public Affairs Office and California Energy Commission to create an energy efficiency campaign (Beneficial) / Target - January 2015 / Status - This is an ongoing effort.


  • Establish outreach strategy to address predatory service and repair scams (Essential) / Target - August 2014 / Status - Completed.  Ongoing adjustments.
  • Complete flagship consumer publication (Essential) / Target - May 2015 / Status - Delayed due to graphic designer vacancy and Sunset Review report.
  • Complete flagship contractor publication (Essential) Target - July 2015 / Status - Delayed due to graphic designer vacancy and Sunset Review report.
  • Work with Information Technology division to determine feasibility of developing opt-in "Find a Contractor" website feature (Beneficial) / Target - December 2014 / Status - Completed.  Implementation may not happen until BreEZe.
  • Work with Information Technology division to determine feasibility/need to update pocket license cards (Beneficial) / Target - December 2014 / Status - Preliminary meeting has occurred.
  • Determine feasibility of developing system to send licensees renewal information and updates via text and email (Beneficial) / Target - June 2015 / Status - Tied to BreEZe.
  • Explore feasibility of obtaining a contract for advertising services to enhance media outreach opportunities (Beneficial) / Target - June 2014 / Status - Not necessary at this time.
  • Develop contractor bid presentation kit (Beneficial) / Target - March 2015 / Status - Completed.  "Ambassador Program" Information Posted Online
  • Develop CSLB style guide and grand standards manual (Beneficial) / Target - June 2015 / Status - Delayed due to graphic designer vacancy.


  • Prepare and submit Sunset Review Report to California Legislature (Essential) / Target - November 2014 / Status - Report completed and submitted.
  • Provide end-of-year training to staff on new laws that will take effect the next year (Beneficial) / Target - December 2014 / Status - Completed.
  • Pursue legislation to allow CSLB enforcement representatives to investigate active job sites (Essential) / Target - January 2015 / Status - SB 315 approved by Legislature, and signed by the Governor.
  • Pursue legislation to increase amount of surety bond to reflect homeowner risk (Important) / Target - December 2015 / Status - Included in Sunset Review Report as a new issue.
  • Review CSLB's laws and rules (Beneficial) / Target - Ongoing / Status - In process.


  • Request additional staff in Case Management (Citation Program) through the Budget Change Proposal (BCP) process to meet operational demands (Essential) / Target - July 2015 / Status - BCP denied.  Does not meet DCA's mission critical requirements as outlined in the Department of Budget Policy Letter BL 14-12.
  • Request additional Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) staff in remote locations through the BCP process to meet operational demands (Essential) / Target - July 2015 / Status - BCP denied.  Does not meet DCA's mission critical requirements as outlined in the Department of Budget Policy Letter BL 14-12.
  • Request additional staff for the Public Works Program through the BCP process to meet operational demands (Essential) / Target - July 2015 / Status - BCP denied.  Does not meet DCA's mission critical requirements as outlined in the Department of Budget Policy Letter BL 14-12.
  • Implement State Contractor Official Regulatory Exam (SCORE) 2.0 computer testing system to improve security and make exams more user-friendly (Important) / Target - Fall 2016 / Status - When fully implemented, SCORE 2.0 will consist of six applications.  IT finished the development of the first application "Score Exam," and is gathering user/business requirements on the proctoring application.
  • Prepare CSLB for implementation of BreEZe by actively working with Department of Consumer Affairs BreEZe team (Essential) / Target - January 2017 / Status - CSLB staff continues to prepare for the Release Three release by working with programs to document and map current "As Is" business processes; conducting meetings with CSLB end users to verify mapping and completing Gap/Fit analysis from the current system to BreEZe.

2015-16 UPDATE / GOALS



  • Research Security Devises for Testing Center and Workshop Conference Room Windows (Important) / Target - June 2015 / Determine - Research and evaluate various security devices that could be installed in test centers and conference rooms.
  • Evaluate Testing Centers for Functionality (Important) / Target - August 2015 / Determine - Determine possible improvements to the layout (floor plan, types of cubicles, etc.) of test centers.
  • Research National Contractor Examinations (Beneficial) / Target - August 2015 / Determine - Testing Division staff will review and evaluate existing examinations for licensure in the construction field.
  • Install Surveillance Cameras in Testing Centers (Important) / Target - December 2015 / Determine - The Department of General Services is putting this project out to bid.  This will enhance the security at all eight (8) test centers.
  • Review Current Reciprocity Agreements (Important) / Target - January 2016 / Determine - Review current agreements with Arizona, Nevada, and Utah; research licensing criteria for other states to determine whether reciprocity should/can be expanded.
  • Determine Feasibility of Tiered General Building "B" Classification (Important) / Target - January 2016 / Determine - Determine whether a secondary "B" classification is needed to address contractors who provide home improvement services that do not include structural changes.
  • Fully Implement SCORE 2.0 (Essential) / Target - September 2016 / Determine - The most critical SCORE 2.0 modules will be completed first, with completion date of Fall 2016.  SCORE 2.0 will provide enhanced functionality for examination development and administration.  


  • Establish of Government Accounts to Obtain Court Records (Important) / Target - October 2015 / Determine - County criminal records are online, but require establishment of a fee-based account to access them.
  • Disclosure of Partner Agency Information (Important) / Target - December 2015 / Determine - DLSE and CalTrans disciplinary actions are now disclosed.  Disclosure protocol needs to be established with city, county and other state entities.
  • Revision of Enforcement Manual (Essential) / Target - December 2015 / Determine - Establish task force to update and improve the existing complaint handling manual.
  • Update Regulation for Assessment of Civil Penalties (Important) / Target - December 2015 / Determine - Revisit penalty guidelines to determine if they have kept up with inflation and consumer protection requirements.
  • Refine Proactive Strategies and Objectives (Important) / Target - December 2015 / Determine - Develop a matrix to prioritize proactive response to leads, sweeps, and stings.


  • Complete Flagship Consumer Publication (Essential) / Target - May 2015 / Determine - Continued from 2014-15 strategic plan
  • Complete Flagship Contractor Publication (Essential) / Target - July 2015 / Determine - Continued from 2014-15 strategic plan
  • Develop Realtor Outreach Program (Beneficial) / Target - September 2015 / Determine - Develop program to educate realtors, a prime referral source for new homeowners to locate contractors.
  • Develop CSLB Style Guide and Standards manual (Beneficial) / Target - December 2015 / Determine - Continued from 2014-15 strategic plan
  • Determine Feasibility of Building a Full Service Broadcast Studio (Important ) / Target - December 2015 / Determine - Assess feasibility/costs of construction a broadcast studio in space currently occupied by Public Affairs Office staff.
  • Determine Feasibility of Updating John C. Hall Hearing Room, including Video Monitors, and Improved Audio System (Beneficial) / Target - December 2015 / Determine - Assess feasibility/cost of updating hearing room to improve visual/audio services for meeting participants and audience.


  • Seek Legislation to Authorize Sharing of Licensee Information with the Employment Development Department (Essential) / Target - July 2015 / Determine - To address new issue raised by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • Prepare Legislative Proposal to Eliminate Capital Requirement for Licensure and Increase Contractor's Bond by Corresponding Amount (Beneficial) / Target - July 2015 / Determine - To address new issue raised by the Board in the Sunset Review Report.
  • Prepare Draft Proposal to Contractors State License Law (Important) / Target - December 2015 / Determine - To make the law easier to follow.
  • Prepare Legislative Proposal to Provide for Comprehensive Rewrite of the Home Improvement Contractors Provisions / Target - December 2015 / Determine -- To address new issue raised by the Board in the Sunset Review Report.
  • Seek Amendments to Arbitration Program Statutory Provisions (Important) / Target - December 2015 / Determine  -- To address issue the awarding of attorney's fees as a result of participation in arbitration program.


  • Continue to Prepare for Implementation of BreEZe (Essential) / Target - Ongoing / Determine - Map "as-is" process for critical licensing and enforcement transactions.  Identify business requirements and complete gap-fit analysis.
  • Determine Feasibility of Relocating Front Counter and Record Certification Unit (Essential) / Target - December 2015 / Determine - Plan, reorganize, and consolidate office workgroups that best meet the needs of CSLB divisions.
  • Establish Process Improvement and Evaluation Unit (Essential) / Target - December 2015 / Determine -- Provide on-going evaluation and analysis of the Board's business processes.
  • Continue Expansion of ePayment Kiosks to Various Locations Around the State (Essential) / Target - December 2015 / Determine - Provide payment kiosks at CSLB offices in Fresno, San Diego, and San Bernardino.  Pursue continued expansion opportunities. 
  • Explore Available Online Licensing and Payment Options (Essential) / Target - July 2016 / Description - Conduct business analysis of current environment and technology necessary to provide online functionality.
  • Request Additional Enforcement Staff through BCP Process (Essential) / Target - July 2016 / Description - Additional Enforcement staff is critical to process increased workload and backlog due to focused enforcement activity.



June 18 & 19, 2015, Fairfield (Joint meeting with Nevada)

August 31, 2015, San Diego


Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman


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Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

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