A federal judge here has issued strict new guidelines for the D.C. Human Resources Department to follow in its processing of Aid for Dependent Children applications.
U.S. District Judge Aubrey E. Robinson Jr. found the agency in contempt of court more than a year ago for its failure to process the applications within a 45-day period, and reiterated in his opinion issued Wednesday that the city's handling of the applications had been inefficient.
He said Wednesday that the DHR must file monthly reports to the court concerning its handling of the applications, any administrative changes that affect the processing of the applications, and its ability to maintain a staff adequate to process the applications quickly.
Robinson also required the DHR to provide applicants with a written list of steps they must take to qualify for the AFDC program. In the 45-day period, the Human Resources Department must act upon the application and prepare for the first check to be issued.
Robinson initially ordered the department to adhere to the 45-day time limit on Nov. 8, 1974, but found the agency in contempt of that order when plaintiffs in the case brought to his attention two years later that nearly 1,000 applications were pending for more than 45 days.
"The demonstrated inability to comfendants to take effective administrative measures with respect to matters within their exclusive control in the areas of assigning, training and supervising personnel and in advising the City Council and the Congress of the priorities required for compliance," Robinson said in holding the agency and city officials, including D.C. Mayor Walter Washington and former DHR head Joseph P. Yeldell, in contempt.