Sloppy Executive Order Management?

You can read the Audit Committee’s conclusion on Sioux Falls City Hall’s handling of executive orders: (DOC: Exec-order)

While they don’t use the word ‘Sloppy’ it’s kind of obvious.

Here are some highlights;

BACKGROUND

The City does not currently have a centralized process in place for maintaining written policies and procedures.

RESULTS

We interviewed management, reviewed a sample of Executive Orders and written policies and procedures, and researched best practices for policy maintenance. We identified the following best practices for policy maintenance:

• Policies should be consolidated, maintained, and managed in a centralized location

• Policies should be kept current and changes should be communicated timely

• Policies should have an official custodian

• Employees should attest to policies and procedures that guide their job duties

Policies and Procedures

We found that policies and procedures are accurate and up-to-date, with a few exceptions. We also determined that routine maintenance and employee access could be improved. Following are the results of our testing.

• We found no references to incorrect or outdated fees.

• We noted 6 documents that made references to specific employee names instead of job titles.

• We identified 4 documents that included either outdated references, outdated processes, unnecessary requirements, or conflicting information.

• Of the 273 total documents gathered, 35 (13%) documents are more than 5 years old and 9 (16%) documents are more than 10 years old.

• 23 documents did not have a date listed regarding when it was either created, last reviewed, or last updated.

• Policies and procedures are stored in different areas. Some departments store their policies and procedures on their own shared site on InSite and some departments store them on the department’s shared network drive. In both situations, employees must be granted access to be able to view them.

• There is currently no overarching procedure for maintaining departmental policies and procedures. Each department is ultimately responsible for their own maintenance responsibilities and maintenance schedule. Maintenance of policies and procedures vary widely across all departments.

RECOMMENDATIONS

We made the following recommendation to address the results above.

1) We recommend the City establish and document a plan for managing the approval, issuance, and revision of internal policies and procedures. This should include defining a custodian at the departmental level, requiring scheduled reviews that are dated and initialed to demonstrate completion, and requiring policies to be maintained in an easily accessible, centralized location.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT

The following are opportunities for improvement that were identified during the course of the audit. These opportunities will provide oversight to the policy and procedure documentation processes.

City management should continue to work toward documenting, in writing, policies and procedures that guide specific job roles in the organization. Additionally, policies and procedures should be consolidated as much as practicable to eliminate duplication or unnecessary documents.

Management should consider adding an attestation section to the employee performance evaluation to obtain annual certification from employee’s that they have been trained and understand departmental policies in addition to the certification that they have reviewed the Executive Orders identified in the policy review checklist.

The City should consider providing a formal ethics training for all employees on a recurring basis. The last citywide ethics training was conducted in December 2007. Additionally, the City’s fraud hotline should be more publicized on the City’s intranet so that all employees are aware of how to report fraudulent, illegal, or unethical activities.



1 comment so far ↓

#1 The D@ily Spin on 01.24.18 at 10:46 pm

Nothing really applies in city government. They make it up as they go along.

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