CSLB Backlog

CSLB Backlog

It appears that covid-19 has had a major impact on the CSLB backlog of applications to be processed, or has it?

Prior to covid, apps were being processed in about three weeks, which was quite an achievement given that when I started processing applications at the cslb the backlog was six months.

An application for an original contractor’s license that requires an exam now takes between eight and ten weeks just to be reviewed. Most other apps, forms, and docs submitted are taking four to six weeks to process.  Issuance of a license once all documents have been submitted now takes a month or longer.  Why is that?

From what I understand most, or all, of the app techs are working from home most days of the week and some go in for half a day some days of the week.  The CSLB has had months to figure out the working from home issues that include how to give an employee access to state systems from a private computer, access to the imaging system that contains the scanned applications to be worked, access to email and their state phone number, etc.

Has there been an uptick in the number of applications received by month?  So much so that CSLB staff is now overwhelmed with work? Appears the answer is no.

Here are the stats as of the beginning of July.

   2019 July  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec  2020 Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun
Original Exam  1,274  1,305  1,158  939  910  650  1,185  988  1,080  609  572  908
Original Waiver  661  662  662  677  530  595  644  709  514  451  438  460
Add Class  393  351  358  372  328  312  334  311  181  257  261  287
Qualifier Replacer  207  238  245  209  234  195  214  176  129  183  186  167
Home Improvement  988  972  929  1,005  812  650  927  892  892  352  455  804
Total Per Month  3,523  3,528  3,352  3,202  2,814  2,402  3,304  3,076  2,796  1,852  1,912  2,626

You’ll notice that they’ve received fewer applications overall compared to the same time last year, almost 900 fewer. 450 fewer than February of 2020, but 774 more than in April at the highpoint of covid. So why were they able to maintain a backlog of roughly three weeks seven months ago, but now have a backlog of eight weeks? Assuming of course they still have the same staffing levels that were present in February.

Let’s look at the number of applications processed by month.

 2019 July  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec2020 Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun
Original Exam  2,047  2,048  2,053  2,669  1,790  1,776  1,700  1,785  1,909  2,029  1,539  1,530
Original Waiver  1,106  1,264  1,230  1,119  842  847  1,006  943  899  1,153  964  966
Add Class  501  532  424  625  458  509  361  354  514  574  468  452
Qualifier Replacer  293  323  309  378  328  292  257  230  279  326  283  304
Home Improvement  1,036  1,002  1,000  1,089  928  679  559  808  488  1,313  510  646
Total Per Month4,9835,1695,0165,8804,3464,1033,8834,1204,0895,3953,7643,898

Here’s the really odd part… looking specifically at Original Exam apps received and processed, they’ve processed more than two times the apps received over the months of March to June. And the same goes for waiver and add class apps. So how is it possible to process more apps than are received and have an ever expanding backlog? I’m not a statistician, am I missing something?

State processing backlogs are nothing new. It happens at the DMV, Secretary of State, and every licensing board and bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). I should know, I worked for DCA for 21 years. The problem is, these backlogs directly affect the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Californians and their ability to provide for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, these licensing agencies don’t prioritize, or don’t seem to prioritize, the people who they are licensing.

So the question remains, why is there a CSLB backlog when they’re processing more applications than they are receiving?

CSLB Backlog

Stats Source: September 9, 2020 CSLB Board Meeting Packet

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I am a Navy vet and former laborer for a B-Gen Bldg contractor, I built mobile homes for many years, I worked at the Contractors State License Board for 5 yrs, and have been operating a contractors license service company since 2005.

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