Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Call for Transparency and Accountability in hiring patronage workers and board members

All public jobs should be posted and qualified applicants can then respond with their interests, resumes and letters of recommendation. A process that enables fair, open and honest evaluation of candidates should facilitate selection of the best folks for the job. This will be a prudent use of taxpayer dollars. 

Full disclosure on employment applications and financial disclosure filings will enable the public to readily access information via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for any elected official, municipal employee or board member.

There should be a section that divulges recommendations made to influence the hiring process. This information should also include any volunteer work for a politician, as well as paid employment including campaigns, grassroots politics and lobbying. 

The public has a right to know if there was a fair evaluation process that is unbiased based upon qualifications for a particular position or if there is favoritism based upon political connections.

John Kass of the Chicago Tribune today revealed that Lois Scott, CFO City of Chicago, recommended Amer Ahmad for his position as City Comptroller. While there are no direct allegations of wrongdoing on Scott's part, it is interesting to note that her eponymous consulting firm Scott Balice had business interests in Ohio.

Illinois has a population of 13 Million. Certainly, Lois and the Mayor could find qualified professionals with integrity to perform public service without wiring hiring to politically connected folks.

Take the lead from corporations that post job opportunities and solicit responses from qualified applicants.

It will also be a good first step in removing patronage hiring and rewarding marginally qualified workers from getting a free ride at taxpayer expense.

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