SENATE BILL 419
52nd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2015
Michael S. Sanchez
RELATING TO STATE GOVERNMENT; ENACTING THE CABINET SECRETARY EVALUATION ACT; REQUIRING CABINET SECRETARIES TO BE KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE SUBJECT AREAS REGULATED AND OVERSEEN BY THEIR DEPARTMENTS AND TO MEET ANY CONSTITUTIONAL OR STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS; REQUIRING ANNUAL SECRETARY EFFECTIVENESS EVALUATIONS; PROVIDING POWERS AND DUTIES; REQUIRING TESTING; REQUIRING GRADING OF CABINET DEPARTMENTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Cabinet Secretary Evaluation Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] CABINET SECRETARY--PURPOSE-- DEPARTMENT RANKING--UNIFORM PROCEDURES--METHODOLOGY.--
A. The purpose of the Cabinet Secretary Evaluation Act is to establish uniform procedures for conducting annual evaluations of the secretary of each cabinet department based on the:
(1) expertise and experience of the department exempt and classified staff;
(2) ability of the department to meet its performance measures as provided in the Accountability in Government Act and accomplish its goals for the year;
(3) number of complaints received about the department or its staff and the alacrity with which complaints are addressed;
(4) attendance record of all department officers and employees; and
(5) responsiveness of department staff to clients and residents.
B. Another purpose of the Cabinet Secretary Evaluation Act is to rank each cabinet department on its performance and the performance of its secretary. The methodology to determine rankings shall be published on each department's web site, and the department shall seek input from the public. Rankings shall be published on the governor's web site.
C. The Cabinet Secretary Evaluation Act seeks to change the dynamic of state employment by placing emphasis on cabinet secretary leadership and employee effectiveness and providing the opportunity to acknowledge excellence, thereby replacing the current system that emphasizes political favoritism over expertise, experience and competence.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Cabinet Secretary Evaluation Act:
A. "cabinet secretary" means the head of a cabinet department and a member of the governor's cabinet as provided for in the Executive Reorganization Act;
B. "certified observer" means a person who has:
(1) expertise and experience in one or more of the subject areas of responsibility of the department being observed;
(2) expertise and experience in administering governmental departments; and
(3) completed observation and evaluation training and is certified by the personnel board;
C. "effectiveness evaluation system" means the evaluation system developed by the state personnel office to measure the effectiveness of the cabinet secretary; and
D. "fidelity observation" means the periodic observation and evaluation of the cabinet secretary at work.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] CABINET SECRETARIES--OTHER POSITIONS--APPOINTMENT--EVALUATION OF EXPERTISE--TESTING.--
A. As part of the process of vetting appointees to cabinet secretary positions, the senate rules committee shall inquire as to:
(1) the expertise and experience of the cabinet secretary-appointee in the subject areas regulated or overseen by the department in which the cabinet secretary-appointee will serve;
(2) the qualifications of the cabinet secretary-appointee that meet any constitutional or statutory qualifications;
(3) the cabinet secretary-appointee's knowledge of New Mexico state government;
(4) the cabinet secretary-appointee's experience administering comparable programs and managing comparable staffs and budgets; and
(5) any other matters that pertain to the cabinet secretary-appointee's ability to perform the powers and duties of the cabinet department to which the cabinet secretary-appointee is appointed.
B. By September 1, 2015, the state personnel office shall select experts in state or local government to assist the office in developing subject area tests to be used to evaluate a cabinet secretary-appointee's abilities as provided in Subsection A of this section. Test results shall be given to the senate rules committee and are public records.
SECTION 5. [NEW MATERIAL] EVALUATION SYSTEM--APPROVAL BY PERSONNEL BOARD.--
A. As soon as possible but no later than September 1, 2015, the personnel board shall select a professionally derived effectiveness evaluation system that measures the performance of each cabinet secretary.
B. The effectiveness evaluation system shall include job-specific measures. The effectiveness evaluation shall be based on sound principles of the discipline or subject area in which the cabinet secretary works and contemporary research in effective practices in the discipline or subject area. The cabinet secretary shall be observed by a certified observer as well as undergo a fidelity observation at least once every year. The effectiveness evaluation measures shall identify five levels of performance:
(1) exemplary, meets competency;
(2) highly effective, meets competency;
(3) effective, meets competency;
(4) minimally effective, does not meet competency; and
(5) ineffective, does not meet competency.
C. Fifty percent of the cabinet secretary's evaluation shall be based on the competence, performance and growth of department employees; fifteen percent shall be based on the cabinet department's meeting its performance measures specified in the general appropriation act and its mission and goals for the year as defined by the governor at the beginning of each year; ten percent shall be based on standardized responses received from employees and clients of the department; and twenty-five percent shall be based on the department's grade.
D. A cabinet secretary rated minimally effective or ineffective may be given a notice of dismissal by the governor. If the cabinet secretary is not dismissed, the governor shall place the cabinet secretary on a performance growth plan for ninety days from receipt of the notice of minimally effective or ineffective; provided that during the ninety days, the cabinet secretary shall be observed and evaluated at least four times and shall be informed of the results of those observations in writing.
E. Within five days after the expiration of the ninety-day performance growth plan, the evaluator shall determine whether the performance deficiencies have been corrected and forward a written recommendation to the governor.
F. Within ten days after receipt of the written recommendation, the governor shall notify the cabinet secretary in writing of the governor's decision to dismiss or demote the cabinet secretary.
G. A cabinet secretary who is rated as minimally effective or ineffective for two successive years shall be dismissed by the governor.
SECTION 6. [NEW MATERIAL] CABINET DEPARTMENT GRADES.--
A. The governor and the cabinet and management analysts appointed by the state personnel office shall develop a cabinet department grading program that measures growth in each cabinet department based on the elements in the cabinet secretary's evaluation. At the end of each year, the team shall assign a letter grade A through F to each cabinet department. The grades shall be published on the governor's web site. A cabinet secretary of a department that is graded D or F for two successive years shall be dismissed.
B. Each cabinet department shall report annually to the legislature through the legislative finance committee and other appropriate legislative committees on the results of the cabinet secretary evaluations.
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