By Lauren Gibbons: Complete Post through this link…
- State agency reviewing discrimination claims took an average of 19 months to resolve complaints, well over its 6-month goal
- The department ‘needs to significantly improve’ timeliness to boost public faith in the process
- Department officials say a $10 million boost in its budget will provide staffing support needed to address backlog
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights took 19 months on average to resolve complaints of alleged discrimination, far exceeding the department’s 6-month turnaround goal and resulting in delays in 62 percent of cases, a state audit released Thursday concluded.
A report from the Office of the Auditor General found that the department — which is tasked with handling discrimination complaints and determining whether they amount to a violation of Michigan’s civil rights law — was “not effective” at completing investigations in a timely manner. Agency officials said they agreed with the audit’s findings and blamed delays on staffing shortages.