It’s often dubious when investigations that increase transparency and accountability are challenged. The skeptic in me, which I beleive is the same skepticism that lives in so many of California’s residents, wonders why.

But today, a once challenged audit was completed and released. While the results cast something of a pall over the service of previous public servants, it is far easier to recognize the steps that the current City Attorney and Controller have taken to improve the system.

Even as the audit was underway, the City Attorney was taking steps to align the department’s functionality with the Controller’s 70 recommendations. Included in these recommendations were increasing the number of attorneys assigned to the Workers Compensation Division, reducing the backlog of cases, and improving the collection rates for fees.

And the need is clearer, as reported by the Los Angeles Daily News:

Among (the Controller’s) findings was the city was not being reimbursed by third parties in 94 percent of it cases, only 4 percent of claims were being referred for investigation compared to an industry standard of 17 percent and some cases remained open for as long as six years.


[T]here are nearly 10,000 worker compensation cases filed annually in a program that costs taxpayers $120 million a year. Los Angeles has roughly 40,000 employees on its payroll.

Read the full article here