The efforts to reorganize the Division of Workers' Compensation which commenced over two years ago as part of the 1993 reform implementation have now been completed. Two major changes were made: creation of a single Chief Deputy Administrative Director position to operate as DWC's chief operating officer, and the creation of three regional managers in the Claims Adjudication Unit.
To make these changes, legislative approval was sought and obtained in the 1994-95 fiscal year budget. Approvals were obtained from the Department of Industrial Relations, the Department of Personnel Administration, and the State Personnel Board, and the necessary civil service examination for the new positions was created and administered.
Under the previous administrative structure, there were three chief assistants: an Assistant Chief and two Deputy Administrative Directors. The Assistant Chief managed the Claims Adjudication Unit and supervised 27 Presiding Judges from Eureka to San Diego, a span of control that guarantees no effective supervision or uniformity. By statute, the two deputies each supervised various other units within DWC, with no apparent rationale for the assignment to one or the other. For example, the Claims Unit, which administers Uninsured Employer Fund benefits, and the Collections Unit, which attempts to collect back the amounts paid from uninsured employers, reported to different Deputy Administrative Directors. For the last several years, only one deputy, Peggy L. Jones, has assumed the supervision of all the other units.
Under the reorganization, there will now be one Deputy Administrative Director who will operate as the Chief Operating Officer for DWC. All DWC Unit Managers, including the Assistant Chief, now report to this one Deputy Administrative Director. Peggy L. Jones has been appointed to this key position, and has, in fact, been functioning in this capacity for several months.
The three Regional Managers for the Claims Adjudication Unit will report to the Assistant Chief. This will reduce the span of control to a level which permits effective supervision of the district offices and uniform application of DWC's policies and procedures. These positions have been filled by William Whiteley, Robert Kutz, and Mark Kahn.
Kahn, who has served as the Assistant Chief for the past three and a half years, requested reassignment to one of the newly created positions. Kahn will continue to also serve as Assistant Chief until a new Assistant Chief is appointed.