Challenging FPR and SVFR Scores during STAR Invalidation Appeals.
If you want to draw the ire of STAR Station Owners in a hurry, you certainly can bring up one of two specific criteria as “grounds for STAR Certification Invalidation” – SVFR and FPR.
So the Bureau has come up with these mythical and magical calculations that are supposed to determine what type of technician you are.
With any algorithmic calculation, there of course are flaws.
I’ve had clients who have stopped for several years see their FPR scores drop.
I’ve had clients who have impeccable short-term measures and .80 FPR scores fail with SVFR.
I’ve had basically every situation where all other measures are perfect yet there is either of those two variables that has a failing number.
Now – how can you establish a competent technician in areas that are real, gas cap, timing, evap, and then on the other hand say this technician and by association, the shop is incompetent based on a algorithmic formula that we developed.
Furthermore, how do you defend against a statistic the Bureau is unwilling to disclose the calculation thereof?
It seems the standard mantra of the Bureau is “trust us, you’re a bad shop/technician, therefore, you fail to meet our requirements.”
Well there’s good news on this front.
At some point in the very near future, many of theses cases will be heading to hearing in front of an Adminstrative Law Judge Held under §11500 of the Government Code.
Under this code, there are discovery provisions requiring the Bureau to turn over:
(d) All writings, including, but not limited to, reports or mental, physical, and blood examinations and things that you propose to offer in evidence;
(e) Any other writing or thing that is relevant and would be admissible in evidence;
(f) Investigative reports made by or on behalf of the agency or other party pertaining to the subject matter of the proceedings, to the extent that these reports:
Now, here’s where it gets tricky. Because an Administrative Law Judge makes factual findings based on evidence, the Bureau will have to disclose this number, how it is calculated, and why it shows this technician/facility is incompetent.
If they fail to disclose the method and or manner in which this was calculated, the Administrative Law Judge would not be able to making findings sustaining the Bureau’s position that they are bereft of the ability to continue in the STAR program.
This means one of two things: disclosure of the calculation, which will allow us to attack a “theoretical” number or alternatively, prevent SVFR and FPR from being the basis for STAR Invalidation.
Either way, good things are coming down the pipeline to either eliminate FPR and SVFR and or limit their ability to create the basis for STAR revocation or denial.
In the interim, we’ll keep fighting.