Current News:

A Message from Chief ALJ Lorraine Lee

OAH has made significant progress on the Electronic Case Records initiative.  OAH has traditionally managed cases using paper files.  This initiative changes those paper files so OAH can manage cases using all electronic files.  This effort is one of the major focuses in our 2016-21 strategic plan.  This initiative involved not only building the technology to allow us to manage electronically, changing internal processes, but also working with referring state agencies and offering them the opportunity to send and receive files electronically.  We have made great strides.  Later this year we will launch a portal for hearing participants to submit and access their case documents anywhere there is internet access.

This effort dovetails into the recommendations made by Stellar Associates who conducted an independent "Fee Structure, Billing Methodology, Productivity, and Organizational Structure Review." 

This initiative saves taxpayer dollars by reducing the amount of paper used in every case.  It also allows participants to access their case documents electronically.  Managing files electronically also allows for more efficient processes.  This leads to faster access to justice for the people in Washington.  


We will continue to make improvements to be efficient and effective in serving the people of Washington.


Stellar Associates Review

We appreciate the comprehensive, objective review conducted by Stellar Associates.  We also appreciate the time and participation of stakeholder representatives who shared their perspectives and feedback through interviews or survey responses.  Stellar’s report and recommendations help us gain a clearer vision of how OAH can become more effective and efficient, and where there are opportunities to collaborate with stakeholders to improve processes.  The OAH executive management team is closely reviewing Stellar’s 63 recommendations to assess alignment with strategic initiatives, priority, available resources and feasibility.

As Stellar found, OAH employees are passionate about our mission and take pride in serving the public.  This deep commitment and dedication to the OAH mission provides the foundation. Stellar’s recommendations will help us build for further success.

Click to read the Executive Summary.

Click to read the Full Report.

Agency Design Challenge

OAH was invited to participate in an Agency Design Challenge facilitated by Results Washington, Office of the Governor.  Results Washington provides a state government enterprise-level perspective and supports the state’s Lean efforts for improving government services.  One important Lean principle is to listen to the customer. 

A workgroup was formed with the objective to better understand and improve experiences for our customers.  “How can OAH support equal access to justice through increased participation in hearings especially for LEP (Limited English Proficiency) participants?”

The team designed interview questions and conducted surveys by calling a range of appellants.  They spoke to appellants who were Spanish speaking, who had defaulted (not attended their hearing), and who were from several different caseloads including the Unemployment Insurance and the Department of Social and Health Services.  This was a concentrated effort to listen to our customers, learn about their experiences with OAH and brainstorm solutions based on what we heard.

The team presented their prototypes at the Results Washington Review session.  Click here to watch the recorded session.  (OAH starts presenting at 21 minutes and 24 seconds into the recording.) 

OAH Public Contacts

Public Information Officer - Primary Media Contact
Shannon Goudy - (360) 407-2700

Executive Assistant - Secondary Media Contact
Barb Cleveland - (360) 407-2700