Sampling Determines Timeliness of City Services for Resident Aliens

Problem

The Commissioner of Human Resources for New York City was sued in a class action on behalf of aliens living in the city, who alleged unlawful denial of social services for which they were eligible. New York City asked Dr. William Fairley, senior statistician for consulting firm Analysis & Inference, to aid its lawyers in negotiating a settlement.

Procedure

Plaintiffs had proposed taking periodic samples of the actions of City social services staffers who were accepting applicants and determining benefits for persons already under care. Dr. Fairley was asked to design the sample in cooperation with the Human Resources Administration.

Result

Dr. Fairley participated in getting both parties to agree on the criteria and features of the sampling.