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SB 419: CABINET SECRETARY EVALUATION ACT

An Act 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.

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MILD SB 419
CABINET SECRETARY EVALUATION ACT

Legislative URL:
SB 419 on nmlegis.gov
Emergency Clause:
No
Germane:
N/A
Location:
SPAC
Action:
[5] SRC/SPAC-SRC [22] DP/a-SPAC API.
Issue(s):

Related Legislators

Bill Sponsor:

Related Documents

Downloads:
Introduced
SRC Committee Report
Fiscal Impact Report

Related Events

Upcoming:
Summary

This bill enacts the Cabinet Secretary Evaluation Act, the purposes of which are to:

  • establish uniform procedures for conducting annual evaluations of the secretary of each cabinet department;
  • rank each cabinet department on its performance and the performance of its secretary; and
  • 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.

 

As part of the process of vetting appointees to cabinet secretary positions, the Senate Rules Committee must inquire as to: the cabinet secretary-appointee’s expertise and experience in the areas regulated or

overseen by the department in which the appointee will serve; the appointee’s qualifications that meet any constitutional or statutory requirements; the appointee’s knowledge of New Mexico state government; appointee’s experience administering comparable programs and managing comparable staffs and budgets; and any other matters that pertain to the appointee’s ability to perform the powers and duties of the cabinet department to which the cabinet secretary-appointee is appointed.

 

By September 1, 2015, the state personnel office must 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. Test results shall be given to the Senate Rules Committee and are public records.

 

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, includes 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 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 and at the end of each year assignhes a letter grade A through F to each cabinet department.

 

The act details a process that:

  • evaluates the cabinet secretary based 50 percent on the competence, performance and growth of department employees; 15 percent on the cabinet department’s meeting its performance measures; 10 percent on standardized responses from employees and clients of the department; and 25 percent on the department’s grade;
  • rates the cabinet secretary’s performance as exemplary, highly effective, effective or minimally effective;
  • requires the governor to dismiss or place the cabinet secretary on a 90-day performance growth plan if the cabinet secretary is rated minimally effective;
  • requires the governor to dismiss a cabinet secretary who is rated minimally effective for two successive years; and
  • requires that the cabinet secretary of a department that is graded D or F for two successive years must be dismissed.

 

On March 2nd the Senate Rules Committee amended SB 419 by removing requirements that the governor dismiss or demote a cabinet secretary. The amendment adds instead provision that the Senate Rules Committee will hold hearings on a cabinet secretary who is rated as minimally effective or ineffective.

 

A possible benefit of this bill might be improvement in the performance and professionalism of cabinet secretaries and their departments.