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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Department of Civil Service Rule Making Activities



Department of Civil Service Rule Making Activities
NYS Register - June 24, 2015 Rule Making Activities

The following “ERRATUM” was published in the New York State Register dated June 24, 2015

A Notice of Adoption, I.D. No. CVS-20-14-00003-A, pertaining to Jurisdictional Classification, published in the June 3, 2015 issue of the State Register inadvertently failed to include an assessment of written comments received on the proposed rule.

The Department of Civil Service apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused. The Assessment of Public Comment is published below in its entirety:

Assessment of Public Comment


At a public meeting held on April 8, 2014, the New York State Civil Service Commission amended Appendix 2 to 4 NYCCR by approving the placement of 230 positions of Empire Fellow in the non-competitive jurisdictional class. Following publication of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, a public comment in opposition to the proposed rule amendment, dated June 30, 2014, was received from the New York State Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO, (PEF).

Article V, section 6 of the State Constitution requires that appointments in the classified service of the State shall be “made according to merit and fitness, to be ascertained, as far as practicable, by examination which, as far as practicable, shall be competitive...” The Legislature has defined a number of exceptions where competitive examination in not practicable, such as contained in Civil Service Law section 42, which authorizes the filling of positions in the non-competitive jurisdictional class. Non-competitive class positions typically require candidates to meet minimum qualifications consisting of academic credentials or training and/or relevant work experience.

Empire Fellow positions are two-year term-limited appointments for highly skilled professionals who possess a bachelor’s degree or higher with three years of professional work experience and who demonstrate leadership capacity and a desire to make a significant contribution to enhancing New York State government operations. The Empire Fellows undertake special projects as assigned and report directly to State agency executive management or serve in the Office of Governor. Empire Fellows may be cycled through several different assignments during their fellowships and take part in a structured graduate-style training program focusing on areas of public administration/management including human resources, budgeting and community engagement/press relations.

PEF asserts that Fellows perform duties analogous to promotion-level competitive class positions such as Environmental Analyst 3 and Program Operations Specialist 5. PEF also claims, that based upon unverified anecdotal evidence, two Fellows had performed the same duties as competitive Senior Attorneys.

After review of the public comment, the State Civil Service Commission has determined to adopt the amendment as originally proposed. Commission decisions in such matters are based upon iinformation provided by the appointing authority (here, the State Office of General Services), as well as comments from professional staff of the Department of Civil Service Divisions of Classification and Compensation and Staffing Services. Department staff advised the Commission that Fellows will work on highly sensitive and cross-functional matters for agency heads and the Executive Chamber.

The variety and nature of these projects are not amenable to competitive examinations, which may be limited to specific career-oriented test rubrics.

The promotion-level competitive class titles cited in PEF’s comment reference certain analytical and policy development duties in narrow fields, but these titles remain fundamentally distinct from the role of the Fellows program, which is intended to introduce and cultivate future generalist managers and leaders from outside of State service. As such, Fellows must enter State government at a relatively high level, rather than progressing through a competitive career ladder of successive promotion examinations. Further, the Fellows serve two-year term appointments and do not expect and cannot obtain tenure that ordinarily accompanies a permanent appointment from an eligible list established after a competitive examination.

Therefore, the unique and varied duties, high-level reporting relationships of the positions, along with the personal characteristics required of successful candidates and the limited nature of the appointments, render competitive examination impracticable for Empire Fellow positions. Candidates’ merit and fitness can be properly assessed through a non-competitive evaluation, which includes established minimum qualifications and a rigorous selection process featuring individualized resume reviews. 

Accordingly, the Commission continues to find that the Empire Fellow positions belong in the non-competitive jurisdictional class and the subject amendment to Appendix 2 of 4 NYCRR has been approved for final adoption.

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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