The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) must adhere to several reporting requirements. The agency must report on its finances, budgets, legislative appropriations requests, legislative reports, and organizational reports. TDLR reports are made available to the public.
The TDLR released its 2018 Internal Audit Report over Enforcement Administration. This report primarily focuses on the enforcement administration process of the agency, which is the way in which it handles complaints and disciplines licensees.
The objectives of the audit were to evaluate the effectiveness of the TDRL's enforcement process, determine whether internal controls are adequate to ensure consistent processes, evaluate access controls to ensure that access is restricted to appropriate individuals, and verify that controls over critical Enforcement Administration processes are operating effectively and in accord with Texas law and TDLR policy.
Internal Audit Report Findings
The audit identifies six findings, including "items that have been identified and are considered to be non-compliance issues with documented Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation policies and procedures, rules and regulation required by law, or where there is a lack of procedures or internal control in place to cover risks" to the TDLR.
- Review of Intake Procedures: The Enforcement Division lacks a complaint intake procedure that is consistently performed. The audit report recommends implementation of a compliant intake process that ensures complaints are processed accurately, completely, and uniformly.
- Timeliness of Intake Procedures: The TDLR does not have adequate procedures in place to monitor timeliness of intake complaint processing. The recommendation is that management should increase the frequency of review of pending complaints to every two weeks to effectively monitor the average days complaints are open and ensure complaints are addressed within TDLR's two-week goal.
- Timelines of Investigations: The audit report recommends more robust monitoring procedures to address the issue of timeliness of investigations, including methods to prioritize cases that have remained open for an extended period of time.
- Timeliness of Prosecutor Resolutions: The TDLR does not have a required timeframe in place for case resolution by Prosecutors. The audit report recommends that a timeframe be put in place, as well as heightened monitoring of cases by management to ensure timely resolutions.
- Timeliness of Motions for Rehearing Processing: The TDLR "should ensure that all State requirements for processing motions for rehearing are consistently followed."
- Inappropriate User Access: User access must be appropriate based on the user's job title and function. The audit report recommends that the Enforcement Division remove inappropriate access to legal files and review user access permissions at least annually.
The TDLR is focused on efficiency of administration. If you are a TDLR licensee facing a complaint, timely processing of complaints is your right and to your advantage. The sooner a complaint against you can be resolved, the sooner you can move forward.
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, BERTOLINO LLP can help.
Experienced TDLR License Defense Attorneys
We are experienced TDLR license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the Department's complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license.
Our Firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced TDLR license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. With offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, we serve clients all over the state. As experienced attorneys, well-versed in state and federal laws, we know how to win. Our results speak for themselves.
BERTOLINO LLP helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board. If you are facing disciplinary action from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation or any professional licensing board, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
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