The decision, announced at the board's meeting this week, falls shy of what the Coalition of State Advocate Groups and Organizations wanted, namely a full hearing into the policy reported in an April investigation by The Bee.
The coalition says that appointing retired annuitants as CEAs breaches state policy, overpays the retirees for the work they actually perform and fosters cronyism. Since the personnel board exists to watchdog state government's civil-service merit system, the group asked the five-member panel to hold a hearing.
While the personnel board has a part in authorizing new career executive positions, it doesn't control retiree hiring policy. That's the California Department of Human Resource's job (and CalHR as of last month had two retirees appointed to CEA positions).
Board chairwoman Patricia Clarey read this statement into the record Tuesday:
The Board appreciates that the Coalition has asked the Board to consider the issue of filling CEA positions with RAs. The Board certainly understands that it plays an important role in guaranteeing the integrity of the civil service system and assuring that positions are filled based on merit.
While the concerns raised by the Coalition are shared by the Board, a serious question remains as to what will be achieved with a public hearing on this issue. Furthermore, what actions can the Board actually take following such a hearing.
Because the concerns identified by the Coalition are shared by the Board, the Board will direct that SPB's Compliance Review Division to include audits of RA appointments in CEA positions as part of its review.
We believe this is clearly an area where the Board can constructively engage in this issue. We encourage the Coalition to continue to engage the Board and SPB staff on this issue.