Is there such a thing as CSLB Licensing Policies and Procedures?
And does the licensing branch of the CSLB follow them?
From the outside looking in, the answer is no. From when I was an application technician on the inside looking out, the answer was still no.
I firmly believe that the CSLB does not have a written policy or procedure for their license application technicians to follow when they review applications. It is self-evident they don’t because the correction letters sent to applicants by their technicians include wildly different requests for corrections. Sure, every app is different, but there are many things within the app that are standard. But even those standard items are treated differently.
Let’s take a look at this correction letter, click here. To begin with, it shows Jerry Brown as the Governor. Was this letter reviewed by a supervisor or manager before it was mailed to the applicant? No, so therefore there was no oversight or review even at the lowest level. This indicates that each application technician is acting as an independent contractor, so to speak, and reviewing applications and requesting corrections using their own set of standards.
This was the case when I left the CSLB in 2005, and it was the case when a good friend and former coworker of mine retired from the CSLB last year. He followed his own guidelines when processing applications and refused to follow many of the directions of management because he felt they were incorrect, inaccurate, or unnecessary. He was probably the best technician they had or will have.
I recently received an email from the CSLB licensing manager regarding how applications are processed and here is part of her response “The majority of the licensing division’s policies and procedures differ greatly from 15+ years ago.” I assumed she was referring to when I left the CSLB, but it seems the minority of the changes to the policies and procedures that weren’t changed included how the applications are processed by the application technicians.
What about their Mission Statement?
Furthermore, how can the CSLB meet its mission statement if they consistently reject and deny applications without a published uniform set of application review guidelines? The lack of a standardized procedure ultimately forces businesses into operating without a license. In fact, the CSLB is the largest creator and has the biggest influence on the underground economy because of its lack of uniformity and transparency regarding their license application processes.
From what I can see, they are in violation of the first four bullet points of that mission statement!
They need to update the CSLB licensing policies and procedures again and create a publicly available, written procedural manual for every app tech to follow to ensure that every application is reviewed properly, correctly, and uniformly.
CSLB Mission Statement:
The Contractors State License Board protects consumers by regulating the construction industry through policies that promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the public in matters relating to construction.
The Board accomplishes this by:
- Ensuring that construction is performed in a safe, competent, and professional manner;
- Licensing contractors and enforcing licensing laws;
- Requiring licensure for any person practicing or offering to practice construction contracting;
- Enforcing the laws, regulations, and standards governing construction contracting in a fair and uniform manner;
- Providing resolution to disputes that arise from construction activities; and
- Educating consumers so they can make informed choices.