Water Resources should amend the training request form to require that division chiefs or higher level executives provide written justification for their approval of reimbursements beyond the maximum $2,000 per year amount allowed for job-related training.
Water Resources reported that it revised its training plan form to require the training office chief's approval when college-level courses are listed on the plan. In addition, Water Resources stated it amended its training request form to indicate that supervisors should provide justification for specific training categories when necessary.
Water Resources revised the training request form, which now requires a supervisor to provide a justification when the training exceeds or will exceed the $2,000 limit or when a job-required or job-related class is not aligned with the employee's duty statement.
We notified Water Resources that the revisions do not accomplish the purpose of the recommendation. In particular, we expressed our concerns that Water Resources is equating our recommendation to require a justification for the training category selection with our recommendation to require a justification for approving training with costs exceeding $2,000, which can only be approved by a division chief, according to its own policy.
Water Resources responded that the division chief will review the immediate supervisor's justification and revise the statement, if necessary. In addition, Water Resources stated that it will focus its reviews on college courses.
Water Resources reported that revisions to its training request form are still in progress.
Water Resources reported that it believes the justifications provided by a first-line supervisor must clearly explain the justification for job-related training. Therefore, Water Resources believes it is not necessary for a division chief to add a separate or additional justification, as such a justification most likely would repeat the assessment of the first-line supervisor. However, the recommendation focuses on the written justification for approval when reimbursements exceed the maximum $2,000 per year allowed for job-related training. Water Resources' policy authorizes only a division chief to approve the reimbursement when it exceeds that amount.