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Outcome Objective 2.3

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Outcome Objective 2.3: Customer complaints against persons or firms registered under the Act are handled effectively and expeditiously.

Performance Measure 2.3.1(a)



Performance Measure 2.3.1(a): Percentage of filed complaints resolved within one year of the filing date for voluntary proceedings.
Status: Moderately Effective
Data Source: Reparations case tracking system and Judgment Officer Disposition report.
Verification: Weekly and monthly reports and statistics submitted by Judgment Officer.
ACTUAL
FY 2007
ACTUAL
FY 2008
ACTUAL
FY 2009
ACTUAL
FY 2010
PLAN
FY 2010
100% 67% 83% 71% 90%

Lead Program Office

Office of Proceedings

FY 2010 Performance Results

71%

Performance Analysis & Review

A claim of any size can be adjudicated through the voluntary proceeding if all complainants and respondents consent to use this approach and if the complainant submits the required $50 filing fee. All evidence is submitted in writing and there is no oral hearing. The decision issued by the Judgment Officer (JO) is final and is not appealable.

The voluntary proceedings tend to take less time because, given the non-appealable nature of the proceedings and the more informal nature of the resolution process, the parties are more inclined to settle and the proceeding is completed through a review of written documentation.

The summary and formal proceedings take more time because of the evidentiary and hearing requirements of the proceedings; the summary proceedings tend to take slightly longer, in part, because more parties are pro se. A variety of other factors can affect the length of the proceeding, including motions for extensions of time and stays pending payment of penalties agreed to in settlement.

With respect to the voluntary proceedings in FY 2010, 71 percent of complaints were decided in one year or less. The JO issued 14 decisions in the voluntary cases. Of those, 10 were completed in less than one year. The cases that exceeded one year included three related cases that consisted of uncooperative and non-responsive respondent and involved other procedural issues of the parties. The fourth case was completed in less than one year and two months (414 days).

Performance Highlights

None to report.

Performance Measure 2.3.1(b)



Performance Measure 2.3.1(b): Percentage of filed complaints resolved within one year and six months of the filing data for summary proceedings.
Status: Moderately Effective
Data Source: Reparations case tracking system and Judgment Officer Disposition report.
Verification: Weekly and monthly reports and statistics submitted by Judgment Officer.
ACTUAL
FY 2007
ACTUAL
FY 2008
ACTUAL
FY 2009
ACTUAL
FY 2010
PLAN
FY 2010
50% 57% 80% 77% 90%

Lead Program Office

Office of Proceedings

FY 2010 Performance Results

77%

Performance Analysis & Review

If the complainant does not select the voluntary proceeding and the claim amount is $30,000 or less, the complainant must select the summary proceeding and submit a $125 filing fee. In the summary proceeding process, evidence is submitted in writing and an oral hearing may be held by telephone. The decision by the JO is appealable to the Commission and, ultimately, to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

In FY 2010, the Performance Measure goal was to dispose of 90 percent of the cases within one year and six months. The agency did not meet this goal, resolving 77 percent of the summary proceedings cases in less than one year and six months, which resulted in a moderately effective rating for this performance measure. However, the agency disposed of 17 percent more summary proceeding cases within one year and six months than it did last year. Of the 13 cases decided in one year and six months only three cases took longer to be decided.

Although the Office of Proceedings undertook a number of actions to improve the speed of resolution, including resolving deficiencies more quickly during the complaint phase and allowing electronic filing of documents, the factors affecting this outcome can vary from case to case. Often external factors, including complaint deficiencies, requests for extension of time, and discovery issues, may impact the ability to resolve the complaint in a speedy manner.

Performance Highlights

None to report.

Performance Measure 2.3.1(c)



Performance Measure 2.3.1(c): Percentage of filed complaints resolved within one year and six months of the filing date for formal proceedings.
Status: Moderately Effective
Data Source: Reparations case tracking system and Administrative Law Judge’s Disposition reports.
Verification: Weekly and monthly reports and statistics submitted by Administrative Law Judges.
ACTUAL
FY 2007
ACTUAL
FY 2008
ACTUAL
FY 2009
ACTUAL
FY 2010
PLAN
FY 2010
90% 73% 93% 75% 95%

Lead Program Office

Office of Proceedings

FY 2010 Performance Results

75%

Performance Analysis & Review

The formal proceeding can be selected if the complainant does not select the voluntary proceeding and if the claim amount is more than $30,000. The complainant must submit a $250 filing fee. In addition to the submission of documentary evidence, an oral hearing may be held in a location that is, to the extent possible, convenient to the parties. The decision is appealable to the Commission and ultimately to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

In FY 2010, the Performance Measure goal was to dispose of 95 percent of the cases within one year and six months. The agency resolved 75 percent of the formal proceeding complaints in one year and six months, which resulted in a moderately effective rating for this performance measure. The Office of Proceedings undertook a number of actions to improve the speed of resolution, including resolving deficiencies more quickly during the complaint phase and allowing electronic filing of documents. Various external factors affect the timely processing and resolution of complaints, including: the facts and complexity of the case, whether the parties are cooperative in discovery and prepare and submit their evidence quickly, whether any procedural disputes arise, and whether an oral hearing is required (and, if so, when it can be scheduled.) Pro se complainants and inexperienced attorneys also impact the amount of time it takes to process this type of case. Lastly, one of the individuals, who presides over the formal proceedings was on extended leave.

The Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) resolved a total of eight formal complaints during FY 2010. All of these were resolved within one year and six months, except two cases that took over two years to resolve. One case involved the filing of 15 related cases that were eventually consolidated and assigned to one ALJ. This case was stayed by the Commission for approximately seven months because of the numerous filings submitted by the attorneys regarding how the cases should be assigned and adjudicated. The second case encountered several delays because of events not under the ALJ’s control and procedural complexities.

Performance Highlights

None to report.

 

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