HR Transparency is contagious

April 11, 2011 5:15 PM

In response to the Department for Communities and Local Government consultation on the “Code of recommended practice for local authorities on data transparency,” our key recommendation was HR transparency. Hammersmith and Fulham Council have taken strides in this area and have a list of job titles available on their website. Encouragingly, it appears to have have caught on, as neighbouring Kensington and Chelsea have done the same; detailed structure charts clearly showing all members of staff in a particular division and where they fit in the council hierarchy. This is a great first step. Finally residents have a better idea where their money is going and have the opportunity to assess their council’s priorities.

[caption id="attachment_27603" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Nowhere to hide..."][/caption]

Where we would urge councils to go further is by explaining briefly what each of the employees in the structure actually does. Often job titles are confusing and meaningless. If these job titles came with the job descriptions, it would eliminate any misunderstanding over the position and give residents the opportunity to decide if they think the position is worthwhile.

The Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that councils are still recruiting members of staff with dubious titles commanding high salaries. Publishing spending £500 is fantastic but this misses out on probably the biggest area of spending – staff. Councils should implement HR transparency in full so that taxpayers have a better understanding of how councils spend their money.In response to the Department for Communities and Local Government consultation on the “Code of recommended practice for local authorities on data transparency,” our key recommendation was HR transparency. Hammersmith and Fulham Council have taken strides in this area and have a list of job titles available on their website. Encouragingly, it appears to have have caught on, as neighbouring Kensington and Chelsea have done the same; detailed structure charts clearly showing all members of staff in a particular division and where they fit in the council hierarchy. This is a great first step. Finally residents have a better idea where their money is going and have the opportunity to assess their council’s priorities.

[caption id="attachment_27603" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Nowhere to hide..."][/caption]

Where we would urge councils to go further is by explaining briefly what each of the employees in the structure actually does. Often job titles are confusing and meaningless. If these job titles came with the job descriptions, it would eliminate any misunderstanding over the position and give residents the opportunity to decide if they think the position is worthwhile.

The Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that councils are still recruiting members of staff with dubious titles commanding high salaries. Publishing spending £500 is fantastic but this misses out on probably the biggest area of spending – staff. Councils should implement HR transparency in full so that taxpayers have a better understanding of how councils spend their money.

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