Claimants and their advocates or representatives may file a complaint against an ALJ if they believe the ALJ was biased or engaged in improper conduct. ODAR’s Division of Quality Service (DQS) reviews and resolves these complaints with the assistance of ODAR’s regional office (RO) staff, as appropriate. In February 2010, SSA announced it was establishing a new system of records to track ALJ complaints. According to the public notice, SSA designed the new ALJ/PAMC system to provide the Agency with information to (1) manage and respond to complaints; (2) process, review, or investigate complaints; (3) identify the parties to the complaint, including the names of the claimants and the ALJs who allegedly committed misconduct; and (4) document, monitor, and track ALJ complaints to identify patterns of improper behavior requiring further action.
The objective of our report was to determine whether the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review’s (ODAR) Administrative Law Judge/Public Alleged Misconduct Complaints (ALJ/PAMC) system was properly identifying and tracking all ALJ complaints to resolution. We also sought to determine whether the system was operating as intended.