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Governor Rauner Takes Executive Action to Improve Administrative Hearing Process

Press Release - Friday, April 29, 2016

CHICAGO - Governor Bruce Rauner today signed an Executive Order to begin a pilot program in an effort to reduce the backlog of administrative hearings in Illinois. Executive Order 16-06 will create the Bureau of Administrative Hearings at Central Management Services to analyze current administrative procedures to improve government efficiency and services for Illinois residents.

"The current system does not work, causing lengthy delays in justice for residents and businesses," Governor Rauner said. "It's time we address this backlog head on to give people the justice they have been waiting for."

To reduce and eliminate the backlog of hearing requests, the pilot will explore the creation of a centralized panel of adjudicators to conduct hearings for multiple agencies. In addition, it will draft Model Rules of Administrative Procedure that can be used across all agencies to reduce confusion and legal costs.

More than 100,000 hearing requests are filed in Illinois every year by businesses and taxpayers, and many agencies have a significant backlog. For example, the Human Rights Commission has a backlog of more than 1,000 cases and it can take up to two years to conclude a hearing at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

"It's important to take steps to modernize government to ensure we are working efficiently and effectively for taxpayers," IDFPR Secretary Bryan Schneider said. "This Executive Order will help improve automation and streamline IDFPR's high volume of administrative hearings. By utilizing this pilot program's innovative technology, we can provide better services to Illinois licensees and consumers."

A large focus of the Executive Order will focus on data collection and improving technology. Currently, each agency uses its own system to track hearings with some using technology that is nearly 20 years old, and a fifth of hearing requests are filed with agencies that do not have an electronic case management system.

"There should be one enterprise case management system and a one-stop portal for all administrative hearings," said Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) Secretary-designate Hardik Bhatt. "DoIT will work with the agencies to create a more unified system to help streamline the administrative hearing process in order to improve the services government delivers to taxpayers."

A central administrative hearing model is used in 30 other states, and many cities, including the City of Chicago.

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