Audit reveals lack of reporting, direction in City of Winnipeg departments

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Audit reveals lack of reporting, direction in City departments
Audit reveals lack of reporting, direction in City departments – Jun 12, 2024

A report from the City of Winnipeg’s auditor has found gaps in reporting in numerous areas, including staff training, key performance measures, and employee productivity.

The Workforce Management Audit, issued by City Auditor Jason Egert, found “a lack of formal documented key performance measures, goals or targets to monitor, evaluate and report on employee performance and productivity,” as well as “a lack of reporting on key performance measures, outdated administrative standards and job descriptions in draft form, obsolete or non-existent for senior management.”

The audit found numerous areas where reporting was either not documented, or that there was no one tasked with reviewing the reporting and using it to measure an employee or department’s success. The audit found these gaps led to little accountability as to how leaders are succeeding or failing to meet their departments’ goals.

“One of the things that we have the ability to do is to build a strong workforce, a strong team, and this report reflects that that’s not been happening,” said Janice Lukes, City Councillor for Waverley West.

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According to the audit, staff salaries and benefits made up 52 per cent of the City’s 2022 operating expenses. The audit also notes that despite implementing a Continuous Monitoring program for overtime in 2021, there is no one who reviews its effectiveness. It also found the process for approving overtime to be inconsistent.

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The audit also found 67 per cent of City employees did not have a formal, documented performance review between 2018-2022.

As part of the Performance Management Sub-Committee, Lukes says she quickly became “there were no real performance management reviews recorded,” but that the situation is “far worse” than she initially though.

“It’s horrifying,” Lukes said. “Big changes are going to going to be occurring, I can assure you of that. I can assure the residents of that.”

The audit includes 13 recommendations to the CAO and Human Resources Services (HRS). They include developing policy on performance review processes, ensuring Key Performance Indicators align with the City’s Corporate Strategic Plan, and creating a process for documenting employee training.

City of Winnipeg CAO Michael Jack says the audit’s findings did not come as a surprise.

“We knew it was going to be inconsistent, and a bit of a patchwork of practices,” he said. “We’re not consistent in a way that all of that information, all of that feedback, is being reported up to the CAO and that I can properly keep council informed.”

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Jack says he intends to “move quickly” to rectify the situation. In a letter included with the Auditor’s report, Jack says he commits to improving tracking of performance evaluations and the overall culture at the City of Winnipeg.

“Performance management and workforce management is a key component of us being able to deliver the high-quality services that we continue to try to provide,” he told Global News.

Mayor Gillingham said Wednesday afternoon he had not yet read the full report, but said found some of what he knew so far “concerning.”

“It’s really difficult to measure progress and to know whether someone is doing their job, because we don’t have any formal mechanism by which to measure them,” he said.

Gillingham would not comment on his confidence in CAO Jack, but said a performance review is being conducted.

“We need performance measurements for our employees so we can ensure that our employees are delivering excellent customer service for the people of Winnipeg,” he said.

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