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Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown was confiscating state-issued cellphones and cars. This year, he's finding grout pumps and chairs.

Such is his attention to budget dust in austere times.

In a memorandum last week to agency secretaries, Brown's executive secretaries, Jim Humes and Nancy McFadden, ordered agency secretaries to review their property-accounting procedures.

"We recognize that the state has over 190,000 employees, and that property can be occasionally lost or misplaced in the regular course of business," their memo said. "However, every state employee must use state property responsibly, and departments must have effective internal controls."

The agencies are to report their findings within six months.

Brown's office provided some examples of state-owned items that were found after being reported lost, stolen or destroyed.

They included one $415,000 X-ray machine and four $26,000 dental chairs at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, a surveillance system erroneously listed as "missing" at a Department of Motor Vehicles field office, and a $26,000 grout pump reported stolen, but later found.

Brown is trying to improve documentation and tighten controls, spokeswoman Elizabeth Ashford said.


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