More Than Two Years After Audit, OIG’s Second Follow-up Finds City’s Employee Evaluation Process Still Lacking

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released a Second Follow-up to OIG’s Audit of the Department of Human Resources (DHR) Performance Evaluation Process. The objective of OIG’s original October 2020 audit was to determine whether DHR ensured that City of Chicago departments evaluate their employees as required by City rules, and, if so, whether the evaluation process aligned with national best practices. In this second follow-up, OIG finds that DHR still has no system in place to ensure that the City’s nearly 31,200 employees are evaluated annually across all 38 City Departments.

OIG made six recommendations in its 2020 report. Key among them were that DHR explicitly require annual evaluations for all employees while allowing customization at the departmental level, and that DHR consider automation to support implementation of a new process, with automatic reminders, monitoring, real-time tracking and reporting, and collection of evaluation records.

When OIG conducted its first follow-up inquiry in 2021, DHR had not implemented four of the six corrective actions set out in the audit, and only partially implemented the remaining two.

Now, nearly two and a half years after OIG made its original findings, there is still no policy in place requiring City departments to evaluate the performance of their employees. In response to OIG’s second follow-up inquiry, DHR reported that it had determined that the existing data systems intended for monitoring departments’ completion of evaluations are inadequate and said it would prioritize beginning the process of procuring a new automated system.

“City employees are an incredibly valuable resource. We owe it to them and to the taxpayers to ensure that we are effectively optimizing staff performance, identifying needs and opportunities for professional development, addressing shortcomings, rewarding excellence, and managing risk. We can and should accomplish all of those goals through regular employee performance evaluations conducted in accordance with best practices,” said Deborah Witzburg, Inspector General for the City of Chicago. “Regular, thoroughly documented performance evaluations are a critical accountability tool,” added Witzburg.

OIG continues to urge DHR to fully implement the 2020 recommendations by issuing a Citywide policy requiring departments to conduct annual evaluations for all employees; reviewing and approving departmental evaluation policies and procedures; monitoring departments’ completion of the evaluations; providing periodic reports to the Mayor’s Office; and implementing an automated system that allows DHR to record, track, and monitor departmental employee performance evaluations.

Read the Reports and Follow-Ups

Read the full audit report with recommendations and departmental response, plus the first and second follow-ups on the OIG website:

Second Follow-up to OIG’s Audit of DHS Performance Evaluation Process;

DHS Employee Performance Evaluation Audit Follow-Up;

DHS Employee Performance Evaluation Audit.


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