DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS: CRITICALLY EVALUATE STAFFING PATTERNS

9-A
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS:
CRITICALLY EVALUATE STAFFING PATTERNS
Problem Identification:
Departmental staffing patterns must be continually scrutinized to ensure the proper allocation of human resources to the areas most critical to the promotion of service objectives.

Recommended Action:
Achieve reductions in senior and administrative staffing contingents and focus future hiring efforts on critical service delivery and contract and financial monitoring functions.

Classification:
Cost Savings, Organizational, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
All Departmental Operations


Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be EstimatedEstimated Implementation Cost:
None

Barriers to Implementation:
Low turnover rates might impede the Department’s ability to consolidate positions without layoffs.

Projected Implementation:
Ongoing

Next Steps:
Continually evaluate the Department’s staffing patterns; upon the departure of existing employees scrutinize the critical need for the vacated positions and consider converting funding to other job classifications that address more pressing staffing needs.

Analysis:
As part of the Greater Baltimore Committee/Presidents’ Roundtable Review process, the DPW project team’s subcommittees reviewed the Department’s existing budget and the distribution of job classifications across its organizational programs.

With a budget approaching $500 million and over 5,680 budgeted positions, DPW is by far the largest organizational entity within Baltimore’s municipal government. DPW is organized into four bureaus: Solid Waste, General Services, Water and Wastewater, and Transportation. These four programs, and the Director’s Office, are divided into 33 programmatic areas that delineate organizational responsibilities.

When reviewing the programmatic areas under each of the four bureaus the widespread duplication of administrative functions is very noticeable. For instance, within the Bureau of Transportation’s 14 program areas, there exist 9 separate administrative units in the following areas: towing, bureau administration, traffic engineering, signs and markings, parking enforcement, school crossing guards, street lighting, highway maintenance, and highway engineering.

While it is impossible to make a conclusive statement regarding the necessity of each unit in the absence of individual unit workload audits, it seems plausible that some position consolidation could occur through merging select supervisory responsibilities and creating shared/pooled administrative support functions.

Recommendations 2-B, 2-C, 2-D, and 2-E of this report identify areas within DPW where the relocation of functional responsibilities should be considered. The rationale for this set of recommendations is to align interdependent and complementary functions to achieve economies of scale and improved coordination. While specific duplicative administrative and managerial efforts were not identified in those recommendations, close scrutiny of staffing patterns after the implementation of the proposed reorganizations could potentially produce savings.