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Improved analysis and reporting needed to manage overtime usage at Juvenile Detention Center

The Clark County Audit Oversight Committee will meet at 2:30 pm Tue., June 19, to consider a recent performance audit

VANCOUVER — The Clark County Audit Oversight Committee will meet at 2:30 pm Tue., June 19, to consider a recent performance audit of overtime use at the Juvenile Detention Facility. The meeting will be in County Council Conference Room 683B on the sixth floor of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

The audit is available on the county website at www.clark.wa.gov/auditor/audit-reports.

The audit focused on Juvenile Court overtime use in 2013 through 2015 to staff the detention center. Auditors said it was a “challenging environment” as three dynamics pulled the organization in different directions: the county was seeking budget cuts; overtime use and cost were rising; and employee availability to work was decreasing. During this time, management did not collect or use performance data to manage staffing levels.                                                                                 

The audit found efforts to staff the facility did not follow best practices in management and training, resulting in a higher cost of operation. The audit also found management’s actions decreased availability of agency provided temporary staff, a source of lower cost and effective personnel which provided a means for qualified interns to become juvenile detention officers.

Overall, management’s processes to determine staffing needs, schedule resources, measure results of improvement efforts, and manage detention officer overtime were not effective. The lack of a single, consistent process to regularly collect data, evaluate success, and identify problems increased the cost of operations. Auditors noted that some conditions improved beginning in late 2015 under different management.

The report made nine recommendations and recognized Juvenile Court’s efforts to address deficiencies since the management change.

“Juvenile Court management is focused on reducing costs with improved staffing practices,” said Auditor Greg Kimsey. “As they expand their use of performance reporting and analysis we expect to see continued improvement.”

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