audit found that the Departmentís practices for receiving public complaints
contain barriers that can discourage the filing of complaints, and it
inadequately investigates some of the complaints it does receive. The report
recommends that the Department take several steps to improve its
complaint-handling practices. Auditors also found that the Department's
efforts to discipline real estate law violators are inconsistent because the
Department lacks guidelines for determining appropriate disciplinary actions.
In addition, the report recommends that the Legislature consider giving the
Department the authority to approve Real Estate Recovery Fund claims instead
of the courts because the current process results in administrative costs that
are higher than the amounts paid out to claimants. Finally, the Department
should take several steps to improve its public information practices,
including providing licensee complaint and disciplinary histories to consumers
over the phone.