Risk Management & Internal Control

State Government Volunteers Act

Government Code Sections 3110, et seq., entitled the "California State Government Volunteers Act," sets out some general parameters which define the state’s relationship to those who volunteer on its behalf.  The act first defines a volunteer as:

"Any person who, of his own free will, provides goods or services, without any financial gain, to any state agency." (California Government Code Section 3111(a)).

It then requires that volunteers comply with the rules and regulations applicable to the public agency for which they volunteer and places responsibility on the agency to ensure that they do so by the following:

"All volunteers shall comply with applicable department and other state policy and regulations.  It shall be the responsibility of the state department in which a volunteer participates to insure this compliance."  (California Government Code Section 3118).

The responsibility of the public agencies to ensure the appropriate behavior and conduct of their volunteers is underscored by the following section:

"Each state department or division utilizing the services of volunteers shall: (a) provide sufficient staff for the effective management and development of volunteer programs.  (b) develop written rules governing job descriptions, recruitments, screening, training, responsibility, utilization, supervision, and insurance of volunteers. (c) take such actions as are necessary to insure that volunteers understand their duties and responsibilities."  (California Government Code Section 3119).

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