For immediate release
Contact: Thuy Nguyen (802-828-2148)
November 23, 1999
Secretary of State Reports Backlog Improved
One Year Out,
Markowitz Reports on Licensing Case Backlog
Montpelier. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz today released the Office of Professional
Regulation's annual report which shows that the office has reduce the number of its oldest
cases by more than half, and which shows a continued improvement in the overall backlog of
professional licensing complaints.
According to Secretary Markowitz, "The backlog of complaints against licensed
professionals is not just numbers. It is about making government work for the people it is
supposed to serve. There is nothing that makes people lose faith in our democracy more
than government that is indifferent to its citizens. Vermonters who come to our office
seeking a redress of their grievances should not expect a guaranteed outcome, but it is,
indeed, reasonable for them to expect some outcome within a reasonable period of time.
That is why I have made speedy resolution of licensing complaints a priority of my
Shortly after Secretary Markowitz took office she took three steps to reduce the
backlog of licensing complaints and to ensure timely resolution of new complaints:
1. Implemented time frames and goals for the investigation and resolution of cases,
ensuring that everyone involved was regularly updated on the status of the case.
2. Formalized procedures for hearings before the boards, ensuring that cases and
participants are better prepared.
3. Making resolution of older cases a priority.
Secretary Markowitz said, "I am proud to report that because of the hard work of
the staff and with the support of the attorney general’s office, we have reduced the
number of cases that are over two years old by more than half. In July 1998 there were 67
cases that were over two years old. We now have only 21 cases on our docket that are over
two years old. This year our overall backlog has improved by 20%. We began with 273 cases
in July 1998, and we brought this number down to 239 cases by July 1999."
Secretary Markowitz said "During my campaign I promised the people of Vermont that
I would do something about the backlog of professional conduct complaints in our office of
professional regulation, and that I would particularly focus on those cases that had been
lingering for more than two years. We still have work to do, but I am proud of how much
the Boards, Tom Lehner and our staff have accomplished during my first year in
The Secretary of State's Office of Professional Regulation oversees 39 professions,
issuing licenses, establishing rules and hearing and determining the merits of complaints
of unprofessional conduct. These professions include, amongst others, realtors, nurses,
architects, accountants, cosmetologists, mental health professionals, dentists, physical
therapists and funeral home directors.