Is more change on the way to the CHRO?

This week, the Connecticut Law Tribune reported on some significant legislative proposals that continue to be floated. One of them would take the agency and move it to the Judicial Branch. 

Previous proposals would consolidate the agency with other ones but keep much of the same structure.

Suffice to say that this is something to keep an eye on over the closing weeks of the General Assembly. 

In the meantime, the agency continues to press forward with its public hearings and making do with the limited resources it has. It released an updated newsletter this week.

Unfortunately, the CHRO has yet to update their statistics on cases filed and processed.  No word yet on when (or if) that will occur.

  • Charlie Krich

    Dan – We still don’t have a reliable data collection and reporting system 15 months after our IT person retired (DAS is now responsible for providing these services to the agency) so I think it is safe to more or less say that we aren’t going to be able to provide all the data we have in the past any time soon, and any statistics we do provide down the road are likely to be less accurate because we have not been able to collect all the data.

    One thing I can say with some confidence is that 6 months after P.A. 11-237 took effect our MAR retention rate is up. We are probably retaining something like 9 in 10 complaints instead of 7.5 in 10. Despite retaining more complaints though we are actually doing a better job in resolving cases. Mainly because of our mediation efforts but also because of early legal intervention, the ratio of cases closed to cases filed is a bit over 90% during the July 1, 2011 to February 29, 2012 period (3/4 of this fiscal year). In FY 11 the ratio was more like 70%. (These are rough estimates.) That is a big improvement, but the sobering reality is that unless it starts to exceed 100% we are going to continue to add to the backlog.

    We have been relatively creative in how we are managing life in the P.A. 11-237 world, but even the best procedural methodologies do not operate themselves. The only way we are going to make sustained headway is with more staff. A good deal of our progress is due to the simple fact that the Legal Division was able to pitch in because the public hearing process was suspended from July 1, 2011 until early this year. How much Legal is going to be able to do now that public hearings have resumed remains to be seen.

    As you know DAS and OPM continue to make it very difficult for us to fill positions. Thanks to the Appropriations Committee and the General Assembly, one bright spot is that we will have two new investigators starting on April 20. These and an administrative assistant are the first new hires in 3 years. We will now have 66 employees once everyone is on board. Meanwhile OPM has taken 6 unfilled positions away from us, bringing our authorized count down to 74; it was over 100 not that many years back. We are at our lowest staffing level since the mid-1970s.