Moments after a House counsel report knocked the current system for its lack of confidentiality protections, Speaker Robert DeLeo said he wants quick action on an overhaul of the House's sexual harassment rules and policies.

House counsel James Kennedy on Thursday released a series of recommendations changing the processes for reporting, investigating and preventing sexual harassment, the product of a review launched in October.

"What I would like to see done, as we're obviously going to have to make a change to our rules, and if possible I'd like to see that done before we take up the budget," DeLeo told reporters after the proposal was detailed to House lawmakers in a closed-door caucus Thursday afternoon.

The House typically holds budget deliberations in late April, a timeframe that would leave the body less than two months to tackle proposed rule changes.

"I'm not sure if I'm being overly optimistic, if people are going to have a lot of questions or wish to make further changes, either additions or deletions or whatnot, I don't know, but I want it done quickly," DeLeo said.

Kennedy and two outside lawyers who worked on the review -- former Attorney General Martha Coakley, now of the firm Foley Hoag, and Paul Holtzman of Krokidas & Bluestein -- said one of its main findings was an "overarching perception" of a lack of confidentiality for victims who report harassment by a House lawmaker, officer or staff member.

Earlier in the day, Kennedy told reporters that about 25 percent to 30 percent of the report's recommendations are ready to be implemented, but the remainder would require the House to amend its rules.

The report suggested hiring a new "equal employment opportunity officer" who would confidentially investigate all harassment claims and recommend action, instituting mandatory annual anti-harassment training, and establishing a new complaint process.

"We believe that the lack of confidentiality has actually been a barrier to people bringing forward complaints and the House being able to act on them, so part of what we've tried to do with this process -- and we're going to keep an eye on whether this works or not -- is getting the right balance between confidentiality and fairness for people against whom complaints are laid," Coakley said. "I think this will accomplish that, and by and large I think this is a better process both for victims, complaining witnesses, bystanders, as well as for members, to make sure that we get at the behavior we should, we can correct earlier the kind of behavior that shouldn't happen but it may not be civilly or criminally actionable, and create a better culture in the House."

Asked if there needs to be a cultural change as well as a rule change in the House, DeLeo said, "We're going to do a couple things." He pointed to a confidential sexual harassment climate survey that the report calls for, which would gauge the prevalence of harassment, knowledge of policies, and real or perceived obstacles to coming forward.

"I think that will give us a real good idea in terms of what these rules, are they actually changing some of the perceptions that people have, number one that their complaints may not be confidential, and number two the fear they have that if they bring a complaint there's going to be retaliation against them," He said. "It is my hope, and again, what I just heard from the past hour, that these issues have been addressed."

DeLeo said he hopes people will feel more comfortable coming forward with information about harassment.

Kennedy said lawmakers "gave us a lot of feedback on the plan" in the roughly hourlong caucus, but said he could not discuss the points they raised because caucuses are private.

"We recommended that they go through a full committee process, as well as a floor debate, so I would anticipate their amendments," he said. "We do not have the market cornered on good ideas."

Rep. Ken Gordon, an employment lawyer who has represented sexual harassment victims in legal proceedings, called Kennedy's proposal a "great start."

"My concern is that the confidentiality is protected for the victim, and I think what we're trying to do is protect that person's confidentiality as much as possible," Gordon, a Bedford Democrat, told the News Service after the caucus. "I don't think the process is entirely complete, so I think we have the parameters to do that, and then once it's implemented, you've got to see exactly what they do with it."

Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday he hadn't yet seen the House report but was anxious to look at it.

"We've been very aggressive about overcommunicating the policies that we have in the executive branch and I'm anxious to see the report and to see if there are ways we should be incorporating what's in that report into what we're already doing on our own," he said.

Colin A. Young contributed reporting for this story.