Citizens For A Better Norwood

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Performance Audit suggests city prohibit nepotism

According to pages 3-22 and 3-23 of the performance audit, city officials are in the process of drafting a personnel policies and procedures manual. The Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation recommended the city create such a manual in order to decrease its annual Worker’s Compensation premiums, certainly a worthy goal. Another positive outcome of a policies and procedures manual would be the avoidance of “potential litigation or issues that could arise out of ambiguity and/or inconsistency in the administration of personnel policies….the City should address areas that have been, or could potentially be, a problem such as travel, nepotism, and cell phone usage.”

During the audit “several examples of immediate family member relationships among employees were noted. In municipalities such as Norwood, which have related employees working in various classified and unclassified positions, the potential for conflict of interest, or the appearance of such is increased.”

The policy of peer city Trotwood, Ohio is cited as an example of how Norwood might address this practice in the manual:

“Members of immediate family of City employees are prohibited from employment in unclassified positions. This provision does not apply to present employees and those positioned on a pending eligibility list. Immediate family is defined as: child, step-child, sons or daughters-in-law, grandchildren, spouse, or parent.”

We hope the final draft of the manual will be ready soon so the savings on worker's compensation premiums can start to be realized. Council will have to approve it. At that time, the public will know whether or not the city ordained a policy prohibiting nepotism.