The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 18, 2010
Audit: State government's bilingual services inadequate

The Bureau of State Audits has released a report that says the state doesn't fully comply with the Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act. The 1973 law mandates that government agencies serving a "substantial" number of non-English-speaking people must employ enough bilingual workers to "ensure provision of information and services to the public in the language of the non-English-speaking person."

The State Personnel Board needs to do more to enforce the law at the state level, auditors said, and the departments/agencies reviewed needed to do a better job of surveying their foreign language needs and follow through, such as providing translations of written materials.

Auditors in 1999 had many of the same criticisms, the report says.

Local governments surveyed by the BSA fell down on the job, too. Of the 10 locals reviewed, nine conducted required language surveys, but four reported "erroneous results and two could not adequately support their results."

Click here for the summary of the report, scroll or word search the full document below using Scribd's tools, or click the link to download the PDF. Responses from the Personnel Board, Highway Patrol, DMV, Justice and other audited state departments start on page 71.

Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act Audit

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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