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12-09-2015 - 15-108 - Performance Audit - City Clerk Change of Guard - Office of the City Clerk

The recently appointed Clerk has an opportunity to improve the Clerk’s Office’s performance by revising the department’s policies and procedures to ensure all regulatory requirements will be met. Additionally, the updated policies and procedures will be available for succession planning, training and to ease through transitions when there is turnover in critical positions. The Clerk also should develop a directive to assist City departments in determining which types of records should be retained at the department level and which types of records should be maintained at the Records Center. The Clerk should then communicate the directive Citywide to ensure compliance with NMAC General Records Retention and Disposition Schedules, facilitate IPRA compliance, and reduce the volume of records submitted to the Clerk.

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Executive Summary

From November 30, 2013 through May 18, 2015 the City of Albuquerque (City) was without an appointed City Clerk (Clerk). The Assistant City Clerk was appointed the Acting Clerk and was required to perform the duties of both her position and those of the Clerk. The Clerk has many regulatory responsibilities and must ensure that all applicable regulatory requirements are met.

The Clerk’s Office was aware of, but did not have current policies and procedures to address, the large number of regulatory requirements imposed by the State of New Mexico and the City; a majority of which are related to municipal elections. The Clerk’s Office did not have current policies and procedures to ensure the identified 195 regulatory requirements it must meet could be completed. Although some policies and procedures were in place, many were outdated and did not reflect recent changes to State Statutes.

Regulatory requirements should be documented in policies and procedures to ensure they will be accomplished and to facilitate transitions in the Clerk and other Clerk’s Office positions. Without policies and procedures, there is a high risk that one or more of the requirements might not be completed, which could have significant impacts for the Clerk’s Office and the City.

Recommendations & Benefits

By creating and updating policies and procedures and other internal controls pertaining to the Clerk’s Office, the Clerk will be able to:

  • Ensure regulatory requirements are met,
  • Develop succession plans,
  • Provide formal training to all employees,
  • Ensure requirements are consistently met by cross-training all employees into additional positions, and
  • Develop a listing of official records the Clerk’s Office is responsible for maintaining.

The Clerk’s Office agrees there is a need to update/create policies and procedures, establish succession plans, and identify what records should be maintained by the Clerk’s Office or City departments.