AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

The case of the missing state agency

You're apparently out of luck if you've been looking for help from the Office of State Administrative Hearings for disputes with state agencies. Those fighting over driver licenses, child support. Medicaid services, professional licensing, environmental issues, insurance and so forth wind up there - 60,000 cases last year. Its goal is to resolve those disputes in a "timely manner."

But the agency's website is down. And you apparently can't get through by phone, either. According to recordings on employees' phone, OSAH is moving to new offices and employees will have limited access to telephones through Sept. 23. That's left us puzzled: Why did the website go off-line just because the agency is changing offices? Where can the public find decisions that were posted online? Our watchdogs couldn't reach anyone Friday to ask. Apparently, some of the answers might be in information the agency posted online...on the website that no one can see.

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About the Author

Lois Norder is Senior Editor for Investigations in the newsroom at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.