CSLB Application Processing Part 2

Here we are again, CSLB application processing part 2, where I received a screen shot of an application timeline.

This poor guy is being bounced around like a golf ball in a blender. You can see in the image below that the application was submitted on 4/30/13. After being sent to the case management unit for a flag that was cleared on 7/17, almost three months later, the app was then sent to a licensing supervisor on 8/1. I’m assuming this was either a classification clarification or experience related. On 8/5 the supervisor returned the application to the technician with instructions to reject the app to the applicant for a correction. Then on 9/18, the application was sent back to the licensing supervisor for review again. I’m assuming to review the classification clarification or experience outline. The application was also sent to a “License Deputy” for review. Again, I’m assuming it’s for experience. On 10/1 the app is returned to the application technician with instructions to post the app and schedule him for the exams.

You would think that should be the end of it. It’s been to a supervisor twice and to a “licensing deputy.” But no… the app is referred to the Application Investigation Unit or AIU on the same day they schedule the exams. This is the part that really fries my shorts. Why do they insist on scheduling applicants for the exams AND send them to the AIU to verify their experience? If they are not qualified for the exams, and they require the applicant to prove his experience with the AIU, why send them to exams in the first place?

Moving on, the application is “out for investigation” on 10/7, but an “investigator” in the AIU will take at least a month before he/she contacts the applicant. On 10/22 the applicant passes both the law and business and trade exams.

Here we are, it’s January 15th, and the application is still “out for investigation.” Full disclosure… the applicant hasn’t told me yet what communication he’s had with the investigator, if any. So it could be that he’s submitted documents to be reviewed and is waiting for a determination to be made. Or, he may still be waiting to hear from the investigator.

Bottom line… anybody could look at the process this application has gone through and wonder if the Contractors State License Board is truly inept or just dysfunctional. Why did a “licensing deputy” review and apparently approve the application and then sent it to enforcement? Does the “licensing deputy” have the necessary training and experience to adequately review an application? The timeline below suggests, No.

If you find yourself in this situation, contact your State Assembly Member’s office and file a complaint with them. You can also file a complaint directly with the CSLB. Click on this link to download the pdf. CSLBClientServicesComplaintAndSuggestionForm I know that is kind of like asking the fox to look over the hen house, but at least the Registrar’s office is aware of what’s going on under his nose.

CSLB Application Processing Part 2

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CSLB Application Processing

Has the CSLB Application Processing system completely run afoul?

I apologize if I spend too much time discussing this topic, but it really fries my shorts when State agencies abuse their power.

I received an email from an applicant who applied to add a classification to his existing license. You will see in the image below that the CSLB Licensing Unit requested additional documentation. The applicant submitted the documentation, it was accepted, the application was posted and he passed the trade exam. Six days after passing the exam, his application was sent to the infamous Application Investigation Unit, or AIU. Why??

The AIU is going to ask for the same documentation. Doesn’t this suggest that the Licensing Unit is incompetent? They chose to take on the role of experience verification experts. Are they incompetent? Do they not feel that they can perform these duties sufficiently and accurately? They did send the application to the investigation unit after they approved his experience documents, so that suggests the answer is No.

Being a Navy vet, I’m used to following set rules and guidelines. The CSLB needs to create a set of (reasonable) rules and guidelines and follow them. Making up the rules as they go along is wrong for any business, but for a State agency to do it is just flat unacceptable!

CSLB Application Processing

 

 

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CSLB Contradicts Itself

How are we suppose to follow the rules when the CSLB contradicts itself?

I received the Contractors State License Board Winter newsletter today, and within 2 minutes I found a statement where the CSLB contradicts its own laws. If the people who are responsible for implementing the laws can’t provide accurate information to the public, how are we suppose to trust them?

cslb contradicts itself

I mean, they are the ones that expect perfection from every applicant. All those t’s must be crossed, and all those i’s must be dotted, or you can forget getting a license. Apparently they don’t hold themselves to the same standards!

Click here to view the cslb newsletter.

What I’m referring to specifically is the page titled “Angry about Unlicensed Competition? There’s a Form for That.” Within this article they state that “Those without a license can advertise as along as the ad states that they are not a state-licensed contractor, and the combined total of a project’s labor and materials costs is $500 and under.

Now here’s a section from the CSLB website: “It is illegal for an unlicensed person to perform contracting work on any project valued at $500 or more in labor and materials.” This can be found here: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/consumers/reportunlicensedactivity/WhatIsIllegalContractorActivity.asp

Can you see the discrepancy? Is it less than 500? Or is it 500 or more?

This reminds me about a CSLB app tech who told me a client needed an Individual Bond because he held 10% ownership. I had to “teach” the cslb tech that the law requires an Individual Bond when the qualifier owned LESS than 10%.

What have we learned today? Don’t believe everything the CSLB tells you because the CSLB contradicts itself!

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Long Term Forecast of the CSLB

What is the long term forecast of the CSLB?

I’ve been hearing from many people that their license application is in a backlog that was self-created by the CSLB.

With the implementation of their back room decision to require critical classification applicants to provide every scrap of paper they can find to prove their experience, the CSLB now has a backlog of up to two months before they can review what they’ve required the applicant to provide.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-government. I’m for government that works. Unfortunately, government is only as good as the people in charge. In the case of the CSLB, the people in charge seem increasingly less qualified to do the job.

long term forecast of the cslb

They now have eight classifications on the “critical” list. That means, every applicant who applies for one of these eight classifications will have to provide additional experience verification. When the CSLB receives all of this paperwork, somebody has to review it. What is the CSLB process? Assign one person to review the mounds of paper flowing into their office! Now how does that make sense?

Having spent 5 wonderful years working at the CSLB, I can tell you that they promote the less qualified, and chase out the more qualified. Why is this? You could be a fair to midland employee, but if you’re a Yes man or woman, they’ll put you in charge. If you’re in the “in” crowd, they’ll put you in charge. If you’re good buddies with someone in charge, they’ll put you in charge.

Another issue that is brought up by this new application process is money. The CSLB is self-funded. How long can a self-funded agency last if they deny a vast majority of applicants from getting licensed? Sure, they’ll make $300 on every app submitted. But, they’ll lose all the money they’d receive on renewal fees, adding classification fees, etc. If the CSLB was a private business, it wouldn’t be long before they were out of business.

What is the long term forecast for the CSLB? Who knows, but from where we all stand now, it doesn’t look very good.

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The CSLB Strikes Again!

The CSLB Strikes Again with its over-stepping of power.

Is it incompetence? Does the right hand not know what the left is doing? Is there information that you/me/us/the applicant aren’t being told? How is it that someone has to put down $300 onto a State agency roulette table and hope that their number DOESN’T come up? What do I mean by that? You pay your $300 application filing fee and you have to hope that you don’t get sucked into the vortex known as the Application Investigation Unit (AIU). Apps seem to be entering this vortex only to be spit out, and then sucked back in again.

Look at the history of two applications below. One of them went thru the AIU blender, got spit out with their blessing and instructions to the tech to refer the applicant to testing, only to suck the app back in to their vortex once again?

cslb strikes again

01/28/2013 APPLICATION RECEIVED
01/31/2013 PRINTED ACKNLDGMNT LTTR TO APPLCNT
02/27/2013 APPLICATION POSTED
02/27/2013 APP TO CASE MGMT FOR FLAG REVIEW
03/07/2013 INSTRUCTIONS RETURNED FRM CASE MGMT
03/07/2013 AIU REQUESTED APP TO BE POSTED
03/08/2013 APP TO AIU FOR INVESTIGATION

 

01/23/2013 APPLICATION RECEIVED
01/28/2013 PRINTED ACKNLDGMNT LTTR TO APPLCNT
01/29/2013 APP TO CASE MGMT FOR FLAG REVIEW
02/14/2013 INSTRUCTIONS RETURNED FRM CASE MGMT
02/14/2013 AIU REQUESTED APP TO BE POSTED
02/19/2013 APPLICATION POSTED
02/19/2013 REFERRED TO EXAM SCHEDULING – BOTH
02/19/2013 APP TO AIU FOR INVESTIGATION
02/19/2013 APP RECEIVED IN APP INVEST UNIT
02/20/2013 NOTICE TO APPEAR FOR EXM 03/11/2013
03/11/2013 EXAM SCHEDULED FOR BOTH LAW & TRADE

How is this possible?
Does the CSLB NOT know that they are messing with people’s livelihoods?
Does the CSLB think that hard working people have nothing better to do but sit around and wait for the AIU vortex to get their act together?
All of these things fall under the category of….. WTF!!!!

I, always looking to punish myself by trying to figure out why the CSLB does what it does, think they ought to make the application submittal fee ZERO! Then they can toss all the apps into the AIU vortex and the apps that get approved (after months of waiting) can THEN pay the $300. That way, no one has to put money on the roulette table with a high probability that they’ll lose it.

Here’s another example, an applicant got sucked into the vortex…BUT… he had complete documentation of his experience. All of this experience was hand delivered. The W-2’s, the pay stubs, the tax returns. Was this good enough for the CSLB? Of Course Not!! Are you silly?!?! No, they still sent forms to the employers for them to re-double verify that YES, the tax returns, the W-2’s, the Pay stubs in fact, did not Lie! Imagine it? Legal documents, approved by the IRS, were validated by the employers!

Give me a break!

How about the Enforcement Reps (sitting at their desks, not performing the “comprehensive field investigation” that the law requires) get off their you-know-what’s and go after the non-licensed people who aren’t doing the right thing by trying to obtain their license??

One last note… should the Test be the “litmus test”? I could create an application that would get past any tech in the licensing unit, but I don’t have the skills and experience in the trades to be able to pass the test. So, I say, if you can pass the test, you should be given a license. That’s how it works at the DMV, isn’t it? lol

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