Department of Human Resources Employee Performance Evaluation Audit

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has completed an audit of the Department of Human Resources’ (DHR) management of the City employee performance evaluation process. Our objective was to determine whether DHR ensures that City departments evaluate their employees as required by Personnel Rule XIV, and, if so, whether the evaluation process aligns with national best practices.

OIG concluded that DHR does not ensure that departments evaluate all employees. DHR has not clearly defined the roles and responsibilities related to the periodic evaluations required by the Personnel Rules. DHR provides forms for departments to use, but it does not require and monitor compliance with Personnel Rule XIV. As a result, more than 10,000 City employees currently work in 7 City departments that report that they do not conduct any performance evaluations, with another 6,000 City employees working in 13 other departments that report they do not regularly conduct performance evaluations of all of their employees.

It is critical that DHR proactively review departmental performance evaluation policies and procedures, and develop a Citywide system to prompt, monitor, and enforce departmental regular periodic completion of such evaluations. DHR should also clearly define expectations and responsibilities regarding the periodic performance evaluations required by Personnel Rule XIV. Without an effective evaluation system, the City lacks an essential tool to create a productive work environment and hold its employees accountable for their performance. The City also unnecessarily heightens the risk that its employment actions will be perceived as improper, unfair, or discriminatory.

DHR agreed with OIG’s recommendations. The Department stated it will make clarifying revisions to the Personnel Rule and issue a Citywide policy requiring departments to designate the date of each employee’s annual evaluation as well as track on-time completion rates. DHR will monitor departments’ completion of the evaluations and provide periodic reports to the Mayor’s Office.