Several District of Columbia agencies habitually violate the law and city personnel regulations in the way they assign employes to temporary duties in other agencies, D.C. Auditor Matthew S. Watson reported yesterday.
Watson recommended that the agencies stop making such temporary assignments until the city can adopt and enforce new rules to restrict the practice. Jose Gutierrez, acting director of the D.C. Personnel Office, discounted Watson's findings and rejected the advice.
Assignments between agencies are called "detailing." Watson said current rules generally limit detailing to 120 days, but in some instances permit such assignments for twice that long.
Five city agencies that were checked had all violated these rules, Watson said. In one instance, involving an employe of the Finance and Revenue Department, an employe was discovered to have been detailed to another agency for more than two years.
Such an assignment is a direct violation of the budget act passed each year by Congress, Watson said.
Watson also said the manner in which Thomas A. Wilkins, former acting director of the D.C. Labor Department, was detailed to other duties earlier this year was improper. Wilkins was removed from his former post as part of a shakeup ordered by Mayor Marion Barry.
Watson said he found instances of improper detailing of administrative and clerical workers in the executive office of the mayor and the city administrator's office resulting in the cost of running these offices being understated. No details were given.