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WHEREAS, the Industrial Accident Board is the forum of original jurisdiction for claims arising from injuries suffered in the course of employment;
WHEREAS, the Governor has the statutory duty to appoint, with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, all industrial accident judges;
WHEREAS, the quality of justice under the workers' compensation law is directly related to the quality of our industrial accident judges;
WHEREAS, the heavy caseload of the Industrial Accident Board and the increasingly complex nature of workers' compensation claims requires industrial accident judges well versed in workers' compensation law and administrative law;
WHEREAS, the high quality of industrial accident judges can best be assured by a selection procedure which focuses on the merits of each candidate for judicial office; and
WHEREAS, the establishment of a balanced and fair-minded Industrial Accident Board can best be assured by providing labor, business, and the bar access to the selection process;
Now, THEREFORE, I, Michael S. Dukakis, Governor of the Commonwealth, by virtue of the authority vested in me as supreme executive magistrate, do hereby order that:
- An Industrial Accident Nominating panel is hereby established to advise the Governor with respect to the appointment of all Administrative Judges pursuant to M.G.L. 23E, S.4, and Administrative Law Judges pursuant to M.G.L. 23E, S.5. The Panel shall also review all such judges for reappointment.
- The panel shall consist of nine members appointed to serve at the pleasure of the Governor. It shall include the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Economic Affairs, the Commissioner of the Department of Industrial Accidents, two representatives of the interests of labor, two representatives of the interests of business, and two representatives of the bar of the Commonwealth. Vacancies on the Panel shall be filled by the Governor in such manner and at such time as he deems appropriate.
- Members shall receive no compensation but shall be reimbursed for customary and usual expenses directly incurred in the performance of their duties.
- The Secretary of Labor shall serve as chair of the Panel. The Panel shall adopt procedures for the conduct of its affairs which shall be communicated to the public. The Panel shall act by the concurrence of at least five members. All records and deliberations with respect to candidates for the office of administrative judge or administrative law judge shall be held in confidence by the panel, but shall be available to the Governor and the Governor's Executive Council.
- Any vacancy in the office of administrative judge or administrative law judge shall be filled as follows: when a vacancy occurs or is expected to occur, the Governor shall so notify the Panel. The Panel shall recommend to the Governor as soon as reasonably possible no fewer than two persons qualified and willing to accept the office. On receipt of the Panel's original recommendations, the Governor may require that the Panel submit within thirty days one set of supplementary recommendations of no fewer than two other qualified persons willing to accept the office. The Governor shall make his nomination for the office from the original or supplementary recommendations. Whenever the Executive Council declines to consent to the Governor's nomination, the Governor may require that the Panel submit within thirty days a set of supplementary recommendations of no fewer than two qualified persons willing to accept the office. The Governor shall make his nomination from the original or any supplementary recommendations.
- In making its recommendations to the Governor the Panel shall seek men and women who by ability, integrity, and temperament will impartially and independently interpret and apply the workers' compensation law. Persons shall be recommended without regard to race, religion, gender, physical disability, sexual preference, or national origin. No member of the Panel shall be recommended for the office of administrative judge or administrative law judge as long as he or she is a member.
- In accordance with M.G.L. 23E, S.5, the Panel shall review all administrative judges and administrative law judges who are candidates for reappointment and shall present its recommendation to the Governor in the form of a written report.
- This Executive order shall continue in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked by a subsequent Executive Order.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 17th day of January in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eighty six and of the independence of the United States of America, two hundred ten.
Michael S. Dukakis, Governor
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Michael Joseph Connolly
Secretary of the Commonwealth