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Draft Report on Executive Personnel Practices

Draft Report on Executive Personnel Practices

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Published by: Washington City Paper on Mar 10, 2011
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 1
Council of the District of ColumbiaCommittee on Government Operations and the EnvironmentDraft Committee Report
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20004To: Members of the Council of the District of ColumbiaFrom: Mary M. Cheh, ChairpersonCommittee on Government Operations and the EnvironmentDate: March 10, 2011Subject: Preliminary Findings of the Committee’s review of the Executive’sPersonnel Practices
Introduction
In recent weeks, the personnel practices in the District Government have come undersignificant scrutiny, particularly with respect to the appointment of employees in theExcepted and Executive Services. The major concerns can be grouped into threecategories: (1) compensation, (2) qualifications, and (3) nepotism. The Committee onGovernment Operations and the Environment has oversight responsibility for threeagencies that play a role with respect to those concerns: (1) the Executive Office of theMayor (“EOM”); (2) the Office of City Administrator (“OCA”); and (3) the Departmentof Human Resources (“DCHR”). Accordingly, the Committee has conducted apreliminary review of the personnel practices of the Executive, as well as the statutoryand regulatory authority for these practices. This memorandum summarizes theinformation arising from this preliminary review.
Compensation Practices
The Home Rule Act vests the Mayor with the power to “administer the personnel functions of the District,” subject to a “merit system” established by the Council.
1
In1978, the Council enacted the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive MeritPersonnel Act (“CMPA”), which is modeled on the federal civil-service system.
2
One of the main purposes of the CMPA is to “assure that the District of Columbia governmentshall have a modern flexible system of public personnel administration.”
3
 
1
Section 422(3) of the Home Rule Act (D.C. Official Code § 1-204.22(3)).
2
D.C. Official Code § 1-601.01
et seq.
 
3
 
Id.
at § 1-601.02(a).
 
 2Although the Mayor is the ultimate personnel authority for the majority of employees inthe District government,
 4
Like the federal civil service system, the District has created various employeeclassifications, with specific rules applicable to that classification. Within eachclassification, the agency must create position descriptions, which are grouped into“grades” (in essence, salary ranges) that are “based on the consideration of applicablefactors, such as knowledge and skills required by the positions; supervisory controlsexercised over the work; guidelines used; complexity of the work; scope and effect of thework; personal contacts; purpose of contacts; physical demands of the positions; andwork environment.”DCHR is responsible for superintending the personnel dutiesfor the District.
5
For Excepted and Executive Service employees, the determination whether an individualappointee’s salary falls within a grade depends on a number of factors. According to theDistrict Personnel Manual, an agency “may set the initial rate of pay at any amount up tothe midpoint range of the grade or pay level for the position” based on a number of factors, including: (1) the appointee’s current salary; (2) the appointee’s skills beyond theminimum qualifications; (3) the “effect on agency and budget limitations”; (4) the“Market valueof the position; and (5) consideration of any “Internal compensationrelationships.”Currently, DCHR is conducting a multiyear “Classification andCompensation Reform Project,” scheduled to be completed in FY 2012, which aims tomodernize the existing system.
6
In “extraordinary cases,” the agency can “request approval from thepersonnel authority” to pay a salary above the midpoint.
7
Unlike most Career Service employees, Excepted Service employees may be hirednoncompetitively based on qualifications “developed and issued by the appropriatepersonnel authority.” 
Excepted Service
8
The Mayor may appoint a limited number of individuals to theExcepted Service.
9
These employeesare employed at will and enjoy very limited jobprotection, tenure, or appeal rights.
Compensation schedules for Excepted Serviceemployeesare proposed by the Mayor and submitted to the Council for review andapproval.
 
4
 
Id.
at § 1-604.06(a), (b).
5
 
Id.
at § 1-611.01(b).
6
District Personnel Manual (“DPM”) § 1126.7(a).
7
 
Id.
at § 1126.7(b)
8
D.C. Official Code § 1-609.01.
9
 
Id.
at § 1-609.03 (a)(2).
10
 
Id.
at § 1-609.05. However, they are entitled to severance pay upon separation. § 1-609.03(f).
11
Id.
at §§ 1-611.04 - .06.
The Mayor has the discretion to pay Excepted Service employees within thesalary ranges set forth in the compensation schedule in Figure 1, but may not exceed themaximum salary of $193,125.
 
 3
Grade Minimum Midpoint Maximum
ES1 $29,870 $37,338 $44,805ES2 $36,050$45,063 $54,075ES3 $41,200 $51,500 $61,800ES4 $46,350 $57,938 $69,525ES5 $51,500 $64,375 $77,250ES6 $58,710 $73,388 $88,065ES7 $72,100 $90,125 $108,150ES8 $82,400 $103,000 $123,600ES9 $92,700 $115,875 $139,050ES10 $103,000 $128,750 $154,500ES11 $128,750 $160,938 $193,125
 
Figure 1-Compensation Schedule for Excepted Service
The Committee is aware of two individuals in the Excepted Service whose salariesexceed the Council-approved cap.
Subordinate agency heads are classified as Executive Service employees. 
Executive Service
Likemembers of the ExceptedService, employees in the Executive Service “serve at thepleasure of the Mayor.”
Also like the Excepted Service, the compensation schedule forExecutive Service employees is subject to Council review. In 2007, the Council approvedemergency and temporary legislation
intended to create two additional pay levels and toallow incumbents to receive salaries greater than the maximum.
The legislation haslapsed, however, and the operative compensation schedule for non-incumbents reverted to that approved in 2006 set forth in Figure 2,
with a maximum salary of $179,096.
 
12
The two employees are Warren Graves (Chief of Staff, Office of City Administrator) and Gerri MasonHall (Chief of Staff, Executive Office of the Mayor).
13
D.C. Official Code § 1-610.51(b).
14
 
Id.
 
15
 
See
D.C. Act 17-83, “Executive Service Compensation System Change and Pay Schedule EmergencyAmendment Act of 2007”; D.C. Law 17-56, “Executive Service Compensation System Change and PaySchedule Temporary Amendment Act of 2007”; D.C. Act 17-55, “Executive Service Compensation SystemChange and Pay Schedule Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007”; D.C. Act 17-424,“Director of the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization Allen Lew Compensation SystemChange and Pay Schedule Emergency Amendment Act”; and D.C. Law 17-238, “Director of the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization Allen Lew Compensation System Change and Pay ScheduleTemporary Amendment Act of 2008.”
16
This included the Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools, Chief Financial Officer, theChief Medical Examiner, the Chief of Police, the Chief of the Fire and Emergency Medical ServicesDepartment, and the Director of the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization.
17
The Council last approved an Executive Service compensation schedule in July 2006 pursuant toResolution 16-704, the “Executive Service Compensation System Changes Approval Resolution of 2006.
18
The maximum compensation in the Executive Service is actually lower than the Excepted Service.

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