Over the last year or so, I have been hearing on and off about problems that the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) has been having with its computer system. 

Want statistics about how many cases are open or closed? Good luck, I’ve been told.  In fact, the detailed statistics that the CHRO used to provide on their website haven’t been updated in over two years

A recent report on the Tech Crunch column of CT.com highlighted the problems with the agency:

Right now, there’s a persistent glitch with the agency’s central computer system that the state’s technology gurus haven’t been able to fix. And that means CHRO officials can’t tell exactly how well new reforms initiated by Gov. Dannel Mallow are working and how many of those old backlogged cases are being resolved.

The problem involves access to past files on complaints to the agency, which makes it more than a little difficult to tell what is happening with hundreds of old cases.

“We get 1,500 to 2,000 complaints a year,” says CHRO spokesman Jim O’Neill. “And I can’t access them … Now I can’t find out a damn thing.”

The problem is more important than ever because, as noted above, with new reforms having been adopted by the agency, it would be useful to know if those reforms have been working to cut the overall caseload.

But with a computer system on the fritz, your guess is apparently as good as the CHRO’s. 

(The next CHRO meeting is scheduled for June 13, 2012.)