June 26, 2017
June 26, 2017
State Auditor Dings DHR For Taking Too Long To Respond To Cases Of Alleged "Employee Misconduct." Failure To Follow Up In Timely Manner Is Costing State Money.
Less than a year after the Auditor’s Office exposed that the Vermont Department of Human Resources (DHR) was failing in its charge to perform timely employee evaluations, a new set of audits released today find that DHR is also guilty of allowing cases of alleged "employee misconduct" to drag on for months or even years. This delay all too often costs the state a lot of money, and this is at a time when all agencies and departments are being asked to tighten their fiscal belts.
"In general, Hoffer found that record-keeping is ‘kind of hit or miss.’ Some records are digitized, and others exist only on paper.
"At the end of the investigative process, the outcome is recorded, but no attempt is made to justify or explain it. Why one person is exonerated while another is suspended or even terminated, we simply don’t know.
"In addition, in about 10 percent of investigations, there is no recorded resolution. Or, as Hoffer puts it, ‘We identified instances where stuff just got lost in the shuffle.’”
"Hoffer says [DHR’s] lack of consistency and transparency leaves state employees in the dark. ‘They don’t trust the system,’ he says. As a result, many employees are reluctant to report instances of misconduct for fear of retaliation, he says."
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