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Local Government Seeks Citation Assistance

The Southern California city hopes to capitalize on the success of an administrative citation program stood up roughly eight years ago.

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A key legal office at the state’s largest city is seeking assistance from IT vendors to make the most of an ongoing initiative.

In a request for proposal released July 30, the city of Los AngelesOffice of the City Attorney seeks a “Citation Processing Service for the Administrative Citation Enforcement (ACE) Program,” which processes citations on behalf of the city’s “administrative enforcement of municipal code violations.” Among the takeaways:

  • The city created the ACE program in 2013 via municipal code. It’s an “alternative to the criminal justice system” that is within the city attorney's community justice initiative. Generally, the ACE program creates a system wherein misdemeanor violations that could be criminally prosecuted may instead be cited and result in a fine or administrative contest – instead of the possibility of arrest, prosecution and incarceration. Those receiving ACE citations, typically, may get notifications of their fines and the option to contest. Departments issuing ACE citations for muni code violations under their authority are the Los Angeles Police Department, the Department of Animal Services, the Bureau of Street Services, the park rangers in the Recreation and Parks Department, the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Division; and the departments of Building and Safety, and Sanitation. Due to the program’s success, “new city departments are continuously added and/or considered for ACE enforcement,” particularly as L.A. “looks to decriminalize low-level offenses as a means to keep more people out of the criminal justice system.
  • Services needed that are in the scope of work include conducting mandated training sessions; receiving “numerically sequenced citations listing violation, cited person information and other data elements by various means,” including via hard copy, fax, spreadsheet or electronic transfer; and the ability to case manage recorded citations and update them to reflect notices, re-notices, appeals, fines and/or penalty payments, tax refunds and unpaid fines and penalties. Also needed is the ability to receive fine and penalty payments through ways including cash, check, installment, money order, credit card or voice-activated telephone payment. The ability to enter appeal statements and documentation into a citation case file is also needed, as is the ability to provide for notices to be sent via mail; and the capability to maintain a searchable database of citations and their general statuses.
  • Required experience for candidate entities includes five years’ experience doing citation processing for state agencies including “noticing of offenders, collection of fines, secure transfer of collected fines to client agencies, maintenance of a citation case database, and referral of case fine delinquencies to appropriate collection agencies.” Within the last two years, responders should have “processed citation cases for at least five client agencies,” doing at least 10,000 citations each year and collecting “no less than $750,000 within each of those two preceding years.” Respondents also need “recent prior experience” processing “administrative non-criminal citations, or administrative code enforcement citations, for a municipal or county client agency.”
  • The precise contract value is not stated. The contract term will be three years with the option of two extensions of one year each. The contract is estimated to start by Feb. 1. A mandatory proposers’ conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 17. Submissions are due by Aug. 27. A notice of interviews is expected Sept. 28, and interviews are anticipated Oct. 14.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.