To ensure that it meets its goal of eliminating the historical backlog of reviewing firearms owners by the end of 2016, Justice should manage its staff resources to continually address the backlog, and should notify the Legislature if it believes that it will not be able to fully process this backlog by its goal date. To help guide this effort, Justice should establish benchmarks that will indicate whether it is on track to meet its goal.
The Department was able to completely address the historical backlog ahead of schedule, clearing the queue on March 16, 2016. In addition, the Department was successful in adding additional permanent resources to the APPS Unit, in order to maintain their processing requirements in a timely manner. One additional Criminal Identification Specialist II (in the recruitment phase of hiring), and two additional Criminal Identification Specialist I positions (filled) have been added to the APPS Unit.
In order to address both the daily queue and historical backlog the Department has taken the following actions: 1) Directed all APPS Unit staff to work a minimum of 48 hours of overtime per month; 2) Redirected three full-time Criminal Identification Specialist (CIS) IIs from another unit in the Bureau of Firearms to assist the APPS Unit; 3) Redirected three Bureau of Firearms CIS IIs to assist the APPS Unit on overtime (40 hour mandatory commitment); 4) Recruited twelve analysts from other departmental bureaus to work 40 hours of overtime a month in the APPS Unit; 5) Conducted interviews and selected candidates to fill two vacant CIS II positions in the APPS Unit (both in place as of July and October 2015); 6) Received departmental approval to hire an additional CIS II in the APPS Unit (currently undergoing the mandatory Division of Law Enforcement background); 7) Currently working with the Department's Hawkins Data Center on one-time programming scripts to automate the processing of specified record types.
Additionally, the Department is working with Budget staff to identify funding that will allow for the hiring of additional staff in the APPS Unit on a permanent basis.
The Department is committed to eliminating the APPS historical backlog by December 31, 2016.
The Department continues to work diligently on reducing the historical backlog number. As of October 1, 2014, the historical backlog was at 277,065. In order to eliminate the backlog, staff was notified in September of 2014 that they would need to work 11,500 cases each month to meet the December 2016 deadline. The Department authorized additional overtime and resources necessary to achieve this goal.
Since December 2013, the Department has reduced the APPS historical backlog from 334,000 to 312,381 as of April 2014. This is a monthly average reduction of 5,405 from the APPS historical backlog. The Department has had difficulty filling numerous vacancies in APPS but is diligently working on recruiting new staff. Existing staff are committed to working the APPS historical backlog and are focused on the elimination of the APPS historical backlog by December 2015, a full year ahead of scheduled December 2016 deadline.
Since August 2013, the Department has reduced the APPS historical backlog from 380,000 to 334,000 as of December 2013. This is a monthly average reduction of 15,300 from the APPS historical backlog. The Department is committed to a minimum monthly average reduction of 13,500 from the APPS historical backlog. This will see the elimination of the APPS historical backlog by December 2015, a full year ahead of scheduled December 2016 deadline.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.