HELENA (AP) — An internal audit of supervisory changes at the Montana Department of Transportation over the past two years found a dozen instances in which the person who was hired or promoted didn't meet the minimum hiring qualifications for the jobs, the agency's director said.
Tim Reardon told lawmakers Thursday he began the audit after a legislative audit reviewed five employment files and found three hires didn't meet the minimum qualifications. Reardon said two are performing their jobs well while a third appears to be having performance issues but hasn't yet had a job review.
The hiring discrepancies uncovered in the audit have eroded MDT employees' confidence in their department, Reardon said.
"We have, through this process, created a significant credibility issue within the department as to the fairness and equity required by law and by administrative rule for employees to be treated equally and fairly in the hiring by the government," Reardon said. "We're going to do everything we can do to restore that confidence."
Lee Newspapers of Montana reports a review by the department's chief human resources office and its internal auditor found 101 files where supervisory changes were made between July 2009 and last month. They found 12 instances in which the person was hired did not meet minimum requirements.
Seven of the 12 didn't have the supervisory or other experience needed, but six have now met that requirement. All met the educational requirements. Reardon said two others have been placed in training assignment jobs and will be evaluated when those assignments end.
The agency is authorized to have the equivalent of 2,242 full-time employees.
Reardon was appointed director of MDT in August after Gov. Brian Schweitzer sought the resignation of former director Jim Lynch when he learned Lynch's daughter was hired by the agency in late 2008. The former human resources director also resigned.
Lynch has said that before his daughter applied for the job, he checked with officials in the agency's legal and human resources offices to make sure there were no problems. He said he recused himself from all decisions regarding the hiring.