Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0059
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Full Text of SR0059  97th General Assembly




SR0059LRB097 10475 AEK 50740 r


2    WHEREAS, Recent media reports indicate that since 2008,
3nearly $10 million in State taxpayer funds has been awarded in
4workers' compensation payments to more than 230 employees at
5the Menard Correctional Center who contended they were injured
6through repetitive trauma caused by operating manual cell
7locking mechanisms; and
8    WHEREAS, Recent media reports also indicate that
9approximately 25% of the arbitrators employed by the Illinois
10Workers' Compensation Commission ("Commission") have received
11workers' compensation awards, including nearly $50,000 to the
12arbitrator who approved many of the workers' compensation
13settlements to the guards at the Menard Correctional Center;
15    WHEREAS, According to the Illinois Workers' Compensation
16Commission, many of these payments were "uncontested
17settlements" and information regarding the payments or process
18of awarding the payments is not included in a database
19maintained by the Commission, therefore, the public did not
20have access to these awards; and
21    WHEREAS, The Department of Central Management Services,
22Risk Management Division has statutory responsibility to



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1administer the Workers' Compensation Program for State of
2Illinois agencies; and
3    WHEREAS, The Office of the Illinois Attorney General is
4responsible for the defense of claims arising from work-related
5injuries or diseases affecting State agency employees; and
6    WHEREAS, The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission is
7required to approve settlement agreements for uncontested
8claims; therefore, be it
10ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that the Auditor General is
11directed pursuant to Section 3-2 of the Illinois State Auditing
12Act to conduct an audit of awards approved by the Illinois
13Workers' Compensation Commission for claims filed by employees
14of Menard Correctional Center and arbitrators employed by the
15Commission from 2008 to the present; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That the audit include, but not be limited to,
17the following areas:
18        (1) A review of the processing of awards paid to
19    employees of Menard Correctional Center and other
20    correctional facilities, including procedures for
21    determining compensability and proper negotiation and



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1    approval of settlements, and procedures followed to
2    maintain records of such settlements;
3        (2) A review of the processing of awards for
4    arbitrators of the Illinois Workers' Compensation
5    Commission, including procedures for determining
6    compensability and proper negotiation and approval of
7    settlements, and procedures followed to maintain records
8    of such settlements;
9        (3) A review of "uncontested claims" procedures
10    utilized by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission,
11    including the roles of the Illinois Department of Central
12    Management Services and the Illinois Attorney General,
13    with respect to approval of awards paid to Menard
14    Correctional Workers and Illinois Workers' Compensation
15    Commission arbitrators;
16        (4) Whether procedures followed by the Commission,
17    CMS, and the Attorney General's Office in processing
18    workers' compensation claims of Menard Correctional
19    Workers and Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission
20    arbitrators comply with applicable State laws and
21    administrative regulations;
22        (5) Whether appropriate safeguards are in place to
23    mitigate against payment of taxpayer dollars for improper
24    or fraudulent workers' compensation claims; and
25        (6) Whether procedures necessary to ensure public
26    transparency and accountability were implemented with



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1    respect to the processing of the workers' compensation
2    claims of Menard Correctional Workers and arbitrators
3    employed by the Commission; and be it further
4    RESOLVED, That the Illinois Workers' Compensation
5Commission and any other State agency, entity, or person that
6may have information relevant to this audit cooperate fully and
7promptly with the process; and be it further
8    RESOLVED, That the Auditor General commence this audit as
9soon as possible and report his findings and recommendations
10upon completion in accordance with the provisions of Section
113-14 of the Illinois State Auditing Act.