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Governor Lincoln D. Chafee Unveils Comprehensive Personnel Study

Providence, RI - Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today was joined by Personnel Study Advisory Committee members and key government officials to issue the final report from a comprehensive personnel study completed by The Segal Group, a leading human resource consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

"The report confirms much of what we already know – our personnel system has considerable room for improvement," Governor Chafee said.

"We know from the past that this is a difficult task," Governor Chafee continued. "Previous efforts have not always been successful. But our outstanding state workforce expects and deserves a modern, equitable, and efficient personnel system."

"I look forward to working with the General Assembly and labor leaders to improve the state's systems to ultimately provide more efficient and effective services to our citizens," Governor Chafee concluded.

The Study was commissioned with four key goals in mind:

• To support State agencies' ability to attract and maintain a high-quality and diverse workforce

• To give the State more flexibility than it currently has to manage human capital

• To improve efficiency and effectiveness

• To ensure that programs and policies are easily understandable by all stakeholders

The report found that the State's current human resources structures, policies, and processes place a burden on the agencies' ability to recruit, retain, motivate, and reward the kind of workforce needed to achieve their missions. In particular, Segal found the following:

• The structure, organization, and staffing of the State's Human Resources division is not sufficient to support the State's human capital needs.

• The current recruitment and selection processes are highly paper-based, with outdated and cumbersome procedures that often delay the process and impede hiring managers' ability to find and hire qualified candidates on a timely basis.

• The job classification structure and job descriptions do not reflect the skills and qualifications required to deliver 21st century government services.

• The compensation structures and pay delivery policies are non-competitive, highly rigid and insufficient to attract and retain skilled employees.

"The Administration agrees with many of the findings and recommendations in the report and we are ready to make some of the improvements now," said Richard Licht, Director of Administration. "We are already moving forward with a revamped personnel request process to save time in the hiring process, and we are drafting a Request for Proposals to begin addressing our classification system."

The Governor's budget includes $1.0 million over two years to fund a comprehensive classification study. Additionally, the budget includes an "Executive Director of Human Resources" position that is recommended in the report. "The Executive Director will play an integral part in developing and implementing the personnel reform package," said Licht.

The Segal Group study and report are the result of months of stakeholder interviews, independent research, and work with an Advisory Committee. "I intend to continue to look to the Advisory Committee for expertise and insight as we move towards implementing the reform package," said Licht.

Advisory Committee members include:

• Richard Licht, Director, Administration

• Kenneth Kirsch, Deputy Director, Administration

• Charles Fogarty, Director, Department of Labor and Training

• Sandra Powell, Director, Department of Human Services

• Patrick Crowley, Government Relations Director, NEA of RI

• Lynn Loveday, Vice President, Council 94

• Philip Keefe, President, SEIU Local 580

• John Simmons, Executive Director, Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council

• Brandon Melton, Senior Vice President, Lifespan Corporation

Technical Advisors

• Anthony Bucci, Personnel Administrator

• Melanie Marcaccio, Deputy Personnel Administrator

"We are grateful to the Administration for including our members in this process of reform," said Patrick Crowley, Government Relations Director of NEARI, a member of the Advisory Committee. "We agree in principle with many of the report's findings. While the work ahead will take time, we are confident that we can find common ground. I think we can all agree that the current course is unacceptable and unsustainable."

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