BEST PRACTICES

     72.90.      (GP: Best Management Practices)  By September 1 of each year, agencies’ appropriated funds in this act must report on their website a self assessment of the agency's use of the following best practices during the prior fiscal year.  Agencies are encouraged to partner with other agencies for a peer review process.  For each of the best practices, the agency must publicly rate itself as in compliance, in progress, or in non-compliance.  State institutions of higher education are exempt from this requirement.

SLED Best Practices In Compliance In Progress Non-Compliance
1) Integration of Planning and Budgeting Yes    
2) Internal Audit Yes    
3) Collaboration and Partnerships Yes    
4) Outsourcing and Privatization Yes    
5) Process Analysis Yes    
6) Use of Automation and Technology Yes    
7) Energy and Other Resource Conservation and Mgmt. Yes    
8) Preventive and Deferred Maintenance Yes    
9) Alternate Revenue Sources Yes    
10) External Annual Financial Audit Findings Yes    
11) External Review Findings Yes    
12) Long Range Capital Plan Yes    
13) Risk Management Yes    

    1)      Integration of Planning and Budgeting:  The agency employs a multi-year strategic planning process that links the planning process with the annual budget review. SLED has been engaged in multi-year strategic planning since 1993 and continues to build on this foundation. The plan is directly linked to the agency budget as well as to budget requests submitted for review and consideration by the Governor and the General Assembly.

     2)      Internal Audit:  The agency utilizes an active internal audit process that includes:  (a) programmatic reviews along with fiscal reviews;  (b) consistent follow-up on audit findings; and (c) reporting of the internal audit function to the institutional head and/or to the governing board, if applicable.  Agencies that cannot afford a separate internal audit staff should use internal reviews that serve the same function as an internal auditor. SLED conducts programmatic and fiscal reviews through internal and external assessments by subject experts. SLED employs an inspection team charged with compliance reviews, is subjected to external audits, and is self-assessed and externally assessed through the accreditation process (see best practices item 11).

     3)      Collaboration and Partnerships:  The agency demonstrates financially beneficial collaborative efforts with other public entities in performance of business functions including, as applicable, but not limited to, financial management, energy management, printing and publications, mail service, procurement, warehousing, public safety, security, space utilization, and parking. SLED continues to explore methods to improve resource use to include collaborative efforts that capitalize on utilization of other public entities’ expertise where and when appropriate; utilization of other public entities’ personnel to enhance security and public safety when necessary; utilization of less expensive, reliable central mail service; utilization of central supply system; utilization of federal and state surplus property and discount programs; utilization of prison industries and services; utilization of 1% loan fund program to replace energy-inefficient equipment; and, utilization of web-based information dissemination to reduce paper publications and mass printing.

     4)      Outsourcing and Privatization:  The agency examines opportunities for contracting out various business functions, has performed cost analyses, and has implemented, where economically feasible, cost saving contracts. When available, SLED utilizes prison industry services, and utilizes private contractual services only when the most economical, efficient, and appropriate. This is accomplished through careful cost benefit analysis.

     5)      Process Analysis:  The agency makes a critical examination of its business processes in an effort to increase productivity, reduce waste and duplication, and improve the quality of services provided to its internal customers. SLED participates in appropriate agency/function-specific accreditation efforts; conducts internal and external programmatic and fiscal compliance reviews; redirects and restructures personnel and resources based on service demand and need; conducts 100% review of all purchase requests and contracts; and, solicits input from personnel to garner information and insight for possible changes, redirection, and improvement in agency operation and/or overall function.

     6)      Use of Automation and Technology:  The agency uses a long-range plan for improved use of technology to enhance business processes and takes deliberate efforts to implement this technology within budget constraints. SLED has established long-range plans for use of automation and technology. Many of the technological changes are in place and include establishment of web-based functions; online criminal history checks; online uniform crime reporting; and, online crime statistical information; other technological improvements include use of advanced automation and laboratory robotics; video-conferencing; and, pursuit of additional e-based operations (online grants applications).

     7)      Energy and Other Resource Conservation and Management:  The agency uses a plan to conserve energy and other resources and has demonstrated positive results from the plan. SLED has taken advantage of the Energy Office’s Loan Program to replace energy-inefficient equipment whereby the cost of the replacement of the equipment and the payback of the loan will ultimately result in savings through lower energy costs.

     8)      Preventive and Deferred Maintenance:  The agency uses a regular program of preventive maintenance to preserve its physical assets and has developed a plan to address overdue maintenance needs for its facilities. SLED developed a plan and attempts to address facility maintenance concerns. Measures to conduct preventive maintenance initiatives are directly aligned with available funds. SLED continues to pursue robust preventive maintenance vendors to reduce costs and to improve efficiencies and overall outputs.

     9)      Alternate Revenue Sources:  The agency makes substantial efforts to identify and secure alternate revenue sources (excluding categorical grants for specific functions) to supplement funds available from state appropriations. SLED continues to pursue federal and other funds as well as discount or surplus programs for acquisition or procurement of agency supplies, parts, and equipment.

     10)      External Annual Financial Audit Findings:  The agency minimizes or avoids all management letter and single audit findings in the annual audit performed or supervised by the State Auditor, especially violations of state law, material weaknesses, and single audit "findings" and "questioned costs". SLED continues to attempt to eliminate audit exceptions. The agency has been very successful in compliance reviews, demonstrating improvement in operations and compliance with rules, regulations, and policies.

     11)      External Review Findings:  The agency minimizes or avoids all non-compliance findings related to its business practices in external reviews and audits. SLED maintains accredited status by two organizations that are internationally recognized for their intensive accreditation process: the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). Both accreditations are coveted achievements in the law enforcement communities. SLED was the first South Carolina state level law enforcement agency to be accredited by either CALEA or ASCLD/LAB.

SLED was first accredited by CALEA in 1994 and re-accredited in March 2002. In addition, the SLED forensic laboratory was accredited by a separate organization (ASCLD/LAB) in 1994 and re-accredited in 1999. The agency and the employees are required to establish, implement, and comply with 336 written standards to achieve and retain CALEA accreditation, and over 135 criteria to achieve and retain ASCLD/LAB accreditation. SLED must undergo extensive scrutiny by outside inspection teams that audit agency maintenance, implementation, and compliance with all standards. If the agency fails to meet these strict standards, accredited status is lost. Re-accreditation by these organizations requires a complete review of the agency and laboratory, respectively, including on-site inspections by the inspection teams. Further, SLED is in compliance with DNA Advisory Board (DAB) standards which are established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and annually audited by peer laboratories in the Potomac Regional Group.

The State Law Enforcement Division is an agency committed to establishing the best professional practices, meeting rigorous standards, attaining high goals, and meeting stated objectives in order to complete our mission. Accreditation provides objective evidence from external peers of an agency’s commitment to excellence in leadership, resource management, and service delivery resulting in governmental officials being more confident in the agency’s ability to operate efficiently and meet community needs. Accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence, and competence. SLED employees take great pride in the agency, knowing SLED is among the best in law enforcement.

SLED complies with CALEA standards that address major law enforcement subjects to include; role, responsibilities, and relationships with other agencies; organization, management, and administration; personnel structure; personnel process; law enforcement operations; operational support; prisoner and court security activities; auxiliary and technical services. Further, SLED complies with ASCLD/LAB standards which demonstrate that our Forensic laboratory management, operations, personnel, procedures, equipment, physical plant, security, and health and safety procedures meet established standards. All of these standards help strengthen crime detection, investigation, prevention, and control capabilities; formalize essential management procedures; establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices; improve service delivery; solidify interagency cooperation and coordination; and boost citizen and staff confidence in the agency. In addition, accreditation standards give the Chief a proven management system of written directives, sound training, clearly defined lines of authority, and routine reports that support decision-making and resource allocation. SLED continues to attempt to eliminate audit exceptions. The agency has been very successful in compliance reviews, demonstrating improvement in operations and compliance with rules, regulations, and policies.

     12)      Long Range Capital Plan:  The institution uses a long range (minimum three to five years) capital improvement plan for major capital requirements for its buildings and has, subject to fund availability, begun implementation of the plan. SLED continues to develop long-range capital plans and reports these plans through CPIP reports to the Budget and Control Board, the Governor, and the General Assembly.

     13)      Risk Management:  The agency has an active risk management program in place to minimize its losses. SLED is an accredited agency. This status makes it easier for agencies to purchase police liability insurance; allows agencies to increase the limit of their insurance coverage more easily; and in many cases results in lower premiums; accredited agencies are better able to defend themselves against lawsuits and citizen complaints; accreditation standards give the Chief a proven management system of written directives, sound training, clearly defined lines of authority and routine reports that support decision-making and resource management; provides employee training to include: annual driving instruction, tri-annual firearms instruction, annual legal updates, and continuous policy and procedures updates; employs laboratory safety compliance personnel, Emergency Medical Technicians, and internal affairs personnel.