On February 17, 2011 the Director of Iowa Workforce Development, Teresa Wahlert, was before the Joint Iowa Economic Development Appropriations Sub-Committee where she spoke about the IWD plan to comply the with Governor’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation comprises a large part of the IWD cuts comparatively.
As background, the division has already lost 3 compliance administrator positions and 1 docket position due to budget cuts in the past year. Additionally, Deputy McElderry and Deputy Pohlman are already working in the unemployment division for the next 6 months and 1 year respectively.
The new budget cuts proposed by Director Wahlert call for a reduction of an additional $404,698 to comply with the Governor’s budget. The cornerstone of the IWD plan is to remove the 3 remaining compliance administrator positions. After the budget reductions take effect, the agency will be down to 21 FTE’s (from the 30 FTE’s at the start of the last fiscal year).
The plan will also do away with hearings in all venues other than Des Moines. The parties will be given the option to hold their hearing by telephone. Other potential means will be explored, such as video conferencing, but that is not an immediate option. The plan will also put an end to all out of state travel and will also stop the funding of the division’s small law library.
If approved, the changes will be effective on July 1, 2011. However, the plan to move all hearings to Des Moines will probably go into effect before July 1, 2011 in order to take advantage of the resulting cost savings.
I will update here as more fiscal information becomes available.
Chris J. Godfrey
There has been much productive discussion of the proposed administrative rule amendments. A conference call meeting with held with the division’s rules committee and members of IAWC. That meeting was recorded and published by IAJ and is available at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok6oXdj7bAg
Additional amendments will be proposed following the discussion with IAWC and a subsequent meeting with the Advisory Committee.
The anticipated start date has been, unfortunately, again delayed. The delay will continue to late spring or early summer. To avoid further inconvenience to all who will use the PERFECT System it has been decided that we will not provide a specific start date for the new system. Rather, we will provide notice 60 DAYS prior to the start of the system. Once the 60 day notice is provided all users will be offered free online training as a refresher course for the training already provided. In addition, training will be provided for external claims examiners.
The Division is sorry for the further delay and any inconvenience that has resulted from the delay. Our depleted IT staff and the vendor, HCL America continue to work on fixing corrupted EDI data within the legacy mainframe system. Once the migration is completed we will move onto testing of the application with migrated data. Once testing is completed the 60 day notice will be provided.
Please continue to check back periodically for additional updates.
In the coming months there will be significant changes happening within the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation and for those who practice before the division. The primary change will be the launching of the new paperless electronic records filing and electronic claim technology system – the PERFECT System.
This blog is initially meant to be a mechanism to share updates in a timely fashion prior to the launch of the new system. Updates, training exercises, requests for comments, and other matters may be topics of blog postings.
Post-launch of the new system most notifications will be posted directly on the PERFECT System or be delivered to registered users via email. At that time this blog will continue to be a potential resource for the division to make various announcements and share information on the division’s website.