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Promotions Process for O.C. Managers Is Lacking, Audit Says

September 13, 2003|Stuart Pfeifer | Times Staff Writer

Orange County's human resources department needs to improve the way it reviews and processes promotions for managers in the county workforce, according to a report released Friday by the county internal audit department.

The report, issued after a four-month study, focused on how the county handles requests to change managers' jobs and salaries in the various county departments. It found no written guidelines for the human resources department in weighing promotion requests, inadequate training of human resources employees and poor record-keeping.

Some department heads said they have had to submit multiple applications for promotions because the county department lost their original applications. Other managers said they had to wait months for decisions on their requests to alter management employees' job duties and salaries.

In a written response to the audit's findings, the county's chief executive officer said several suggested changes would be made. Among them: retaining a private consultant to help improve the management promotion process, improving the way it tracks requests for management reassignments and better training of employees who review the requests.

The audit is the latest in a series of criticisms about the management of the human resources department.

The grand jury this year issued two reports about the department. One suggested that the county failed to properly investigate allegations of sexual harassment by a human resources manager. The other found that the county had been too generous in negotiating contracts with labor unions. But an independent auditing firm said those contracts were not a liability to the county.

In another report, the county internal audit department suggested human resources officials had improperly tapped money intended for unemployment insurance to pay for training seminars and other expenses.

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