Report 2011-131 Recommendation 6 Responses

Report 2011-131: City of Vernon: Although Reform Is Ongoing, Past Poor Decision Making Threatens Its Financial Stability (Release Date: June 2012)

Recommendation #6 To: Vernon, City of

To ensure that it develops complete and appropriate personnel policies and procedures, the new human resources director should ensure that the city's policies and procedures include, at a minimum, requirements for performing and documenting the analyses and justifications for appointments, including promotions, to management positions.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From July 2014

The Citys personnel policies relating to appointments and promotions (I-1: Terms of Employment, I-2: Requesting and Recruiting for Personnel, and I-3: Testing, Certification, and Eligibility Lists), apply to employees at all levels, including department heads and key management. When recruitments for department heads and key management are conducted in-house, the Human Resources Department adheres to the testing and certification procedures outlined in Personnel Policy I-3, within which the department is required to maintain all recruitment related documents, including but not limited to, applications/resumes, exam scores (when applicable), interview rating forms, and reference checks, for the purpose of documenting the analyses and justifications utilized for appointments and promotions to department head and key management positions. In the event an outside search firm is used to conduct a particular recruitment, the search firm is required to provide the City with the methodology to be used for the recruitment process (i.e. outreach methods, placement of advertisements, resume review and ranking process), as well as a written summary of highest ranking candidates, guidance on the interview process, including panel composition, questions, and rating forms, and verification of reference checks. All related documentation of the aforementioned is received and maintained by the Human Resources Department. On July 15, 2014, the City Council shall consider amending Personnel Policy I-3 to memorialize the aforementioned requirements.

  • Completion Date: November 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented

1-Year Agency Response

On November 20, 2012, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 2012-231, creating a Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual to be completed and maintained by the HR Director. The policies and procedures relating to appointments include Terms of Employment (I-1); Requesting and Recruiting for Personnel (I-2); Testing, Certification, and Eligibility Lists (I-3); and Acting/Interim Appointments (I-4), all of which contain a step-by-step approval and document routing sequences, and all of which are posted on the City's website. Additionally, the proposed Performance Evaluation Policy (IV-1) and related Performance Evaluation Form are currently under review by all City Department Heads and all six recognized bargaining units in the City for subsequent inclusion in the Manual upon adoption by the City Council. All policies are designed to establish and define employment terms and practices for uniform, citywide interpretation and application, and provide a fair, objective, and measureable process by which all existing and prospective employees are granted equal opportunity in employment matters.

  • Completion Date: November 2012
  • Response Date: July 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented

The city has established policies and procedures for requesting and recruiting personnel and for testing, certification and eligibility for employees. However, these policies and procedures do not apply to department head and key management positions. The city indicates that it may use a search firm to conduct a broad search for the most qualified candidates. However, it has not established policies and procedures to ensure that it will document the analyses and justifications for its management positions.

6-Month Agency Response

The city council adopted a partially implemented Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual in November 2012. The city has identified detailed procedures for some portions of the personnel manual and expects to propose additional policies in March 2013.

  • Response Date: January 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

60-Day Agency Response

Although the city indicated that its recently appointed human resources director will review and recommend improvements to personnel policies and procedures, the city did not specifically respond to our recommendations, elaborate on any plans to improve its policies and procedures, or give a time frame for completion. (See 2013-406, p. 191)

  • Response Date: August 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

All Recommendations in 2011-131

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.