The Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission charged insurers and self-insured employers $450,000 in unauthorized assessments in 2013 in order to recoup a payment made to the state general fund, according to a statement released Tuesday by the state Auditors of Public Accounts office.
The Connecticut General Assembly approved legislation in December 2012 approving $450,000 to be transferred from the Connecticut Workers' Compensation Administration Fund, which pays for the administrative costs of the state's workers comp system, to the state general fund, according to the auditors' report. The state's workers comp commission recouped that cost by increasing calculations for the annual assessment rate paid by workers comp insurers, the report said.
The assessment charge was done “without express legislative authority,” although the workers comp commission sought guidance from the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management about the assessment increase, the auditors' office said.
“The Workers' Compensation Commission should not include funds transferred out of the Workers' Compensation Administration Fund as operating expenses when calculating the annual assessment rate without clear legislative authority to recoup such amounts and should strengthen internal controls over the calculation,” the auditors office recommended in its report.
The commission told state auditors that the assessment charge was necessary to ensure that the Connecticut workers comp fund would have enough cash in fiscal 2014, according to The Connecticut Mirror online news site.