The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has completed a second follow-up to its October 2020 audit of the Department of Human Resources’ (DHR) management of the performance evaluation process for City employees. Based on DHR’s responses, OIG concludes that DHR has partially implemented two of the six corrective actions related to the audit findings and has not implemented the remaining four.
The purpose of OIG’s 2020 audit was to determine whether DHR ensured that City departments evaluated their employees’ performance periodically as required by Personnel Rule XIV, and, if so, whether the evaluation process aligned with national best practices. The audit found that DHR did not ensure that departments evaluated all employees. DHR had not clearly defined the roles and responsibilities related to periodic evaluations required by Personnel Rule XIV, nor did it ensure City departments’ compliance with the rule.
As a result, 13 departments—among them comprised of more than 6,000 City employees—reported they did not conduct annual performance evaluations of all of their employees, and another 7 City departments—comprised of more than 10,000 employees—reported they did not conduct any performance evaluations whatsoever.
Based on the results of the audit, OIG recommended that DHR develop a Citywide performance evaluation system with standardized procedures to ensure annual evaluation of all employees, while still allowing for customization across the various departments. OIG further recommended that DHR conduct a staffing assessment to determine the number of staff needed to administer the evaluation system and consider implementing an automated evaluation process. Finally, OIG recommended that DHR revise Personnel Rule XIV to define performance evaluation expectations and responsibilities in a clear manner, and report on departmental compliance to the Mayor’s Office. In its response to the audit, DHR described corrective actions it would take.
In May 2021, OIG inquired about corrective actions taken by DHR in response to the audit and determined that the Department had not implemented four of the six corrective actions, and partially implemented the remaining two. In its response to the original audit, DHR stated that it had identified ways to use existing City data systems to monitor departments’ completion of annual evaluations, but at the time of OIG’s first follow-up, the Department had not yet created or implemented a Citywide evaluation policy. DHR attributed this to technical issues and operational changes related to COVID-19, and stated its intention to issue a policy by the end of 2021.
In September 2022, OIG inquired again about corrective actions taken by DHR in response to the audit. Based on the Department’s follow-up response, OIG concludes that the status remains the same; DHR has partially implemented two of the six corrective actions and has not implemented the remaining four. DHR reported that the existing data systems it had intended to use for monitoring departments’ completion of evaluations were determined to be inadequate. Therefore, it has begun the process of procuring a new IT system to record, track, and monitor performance evaluations. DHR has also added three new positions that focus on Strategic Management and Policy. The Department has not yet created or implemented a Citywide policy to define clear expectations for employee performance evaluations.
Read the 2nd Follow-up to OIG’s Audit of DHR Performance Evaluation Process here.
Read the Follow-up to OIG’s Audit of DHR Performance Evaluation Process here.
Read the OIG Department of Human Resources Employee Performance Evaluation Audit here.