Audit Division

Audit Summary

 

Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation

Nevada Equal Rights Commission

Report No. LA02-05

 

Results in Brief

 

The Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC) has not implemented sufficient controls to manage its inves-tigations of discrimination charges. Current investigative techniques and processes lead to untimely investigations. We found that a person filing a charge of employment discrimination with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission may not know the outcome of the investigation for about 1 year. On average, it took NERC 371 days to investigate a discrimination charge for cases closed in fiscal year 2000. These delays are a direct consequence of the limited control activities the agency currently has in place. For instance, there is little evidence that investigations are supervised and monitored. Also, existing policies and procedures are either incomplete or do not provide adequate guidance for key activities. These fundamental management control weaknesses decrease the integrity of the investigative process.

 


Principal Findings

 

       Many investigations sat for months without evidence of an investigative action. On average, an investigator took one action, such as making a phone call, receiving evidence, witnessing testimony, or requesting evidence, every 4 months. Nineteen of the 48 cases we reviewed had gaps in excess of 6 months where there was no evidence of an investigative action. (page 9)

 

       Using multiple investigators often increased the time it took to investigate cases. Of the 48 files reviewed, multiple investigators were involved in 18 cases. These 18 cases took an average of 737 days to investigate compared to 338 days for cases with one investigator. Some of these cases had been reassigned to as many as four different investigators. (page 10)

 

       About 40% of the cases we examined that had an informal settlement meeting were scheduled in excess of 30 days of case assignment. In addition, in 12 cases we could not determine if the meeting was scheduled. NERC policy states the settlement meeting should be scheduled within 30 days of assigning the case. (page 11)

 

       The agency could do a better job of supervising and monitoring the investigative process. The limited management oversight gives the opportunity for varied productivity and inconsistent quality. Although management stated it periodically reviews investigator reports and case files, meets with investigators, and reviews management reports, we found little evidence of management oversight. (page 12)

 

Agency Response

to Audit Recommendations

 

 

Recommendation

Number Accepted Rejected

 

1 Develop procedures setting forth the guidelines and standards

for investigating charges of discrimination, such as time-

frames, evidence standards and assignment of investigations.       X                   

 

2 Establish case management procedures to control case

inventories and track the progress and timeliness of cases.       X                   

 

3 Develop procedures for supervisory oversight and monitoring

of cases to ensure the timely processing of investigations

and compliance with established guidance and timeframes.       X                   

 

4 Use charge prioritization as outlined in the policy and procedure

manual.       X                   

 

TOTALS       4