As those of you who followed HRD’s attempt to “band” scores from the October 2008 police promotional exam know, we were able to defeat that attempt on procedural grounds by arguing that such a substantive change must be the subject of rulemaking. Well, HRD has regrouped, and yesterday Chief Human Resources Officer Paul “Ebenezer” Dietl sent out notice that he intended to change the Personnel Administrator Rules to allow banding and set a hearing on the changes for December 14 at 2:00 p.m. at 100 Ashburton Place. You can read the notice of hearing and the proposed rules here, .

Obviously, the fact that HRD is actually following its own rules by scheduling a hearing does not lessen the potential impact of banding – which, without a doubt, will undermine merit-based hiring by allowing appointing authorities vastly more discretion that is currently allowed. We’ll be studying the proposed rules and getting ready for the 14th. We’ll see you there!

14 thoughts on “HRD SETS BANDING HEARING FOR 12/14”

  1. What exactly is HRD supposed to do? They have delegated the appointment and promotional notification to the cities and towns, will they delegate more of their duties until they just close up shop? I am sure there are quite a few jobs that will never be eliminated. What do the fees charged for the exams pay for? Is an exam a revenue stream for other departments? What is the profit on each pesky exam? I thought HRD was created to eliminate favoristism, graft, cronyism and nepotism, but apparently they are empowering these elements.

  2. Will this effect the 2008 promotional exam’s ? Or are they attempting a change for the future exams. Thanks for the hard work on our behalf.

  3. I am quite sure this would apply only to future exams.

    As for Bob Jones’ comment, above, it is true that HRD has previously announced it is delegating some of its duties to appointing authorities. This delegation is probably also not in compliance with its rules, however, I would urge caution before challenging what they are doing. The key change, aside from shifting ministerial functions like notification to the appointing authorities, is that HRD will no longer make any ruling on bypasses. Instead, bypassed candidates will directly challenge their bypasses at the Civil Service Commission. Since HRD was essentially rubber-stamping the vast majority of bypasses anyways, an argument can be made that this removes the imprimatur of legitimacy from these bypasses and might make them easier to challenge in court.

  4. Alan is it true that civil service seemes to agree that despite banding if an agency hires someone with a lower grade but within the same band it is a “bypass”. Ive forgotton the case name.

  5. Guys take a look at civi service “rodriguez, araujo v bpd “…if the applicants score…are higher than the other six selected candidates from score band 9…the applicants have valid grounds for appeal…(hrd) treats all candidates within a score band as tied without regard to their relative individual exam scores…the commission majority declines to do so… What do you think?

  6. In Rodriguez v. Boston Police Dept., ( the Civil Service Commission refused to recognize banding as authorized, following our successful litigation in the Pratt case.

    The reasoning of the Commission majority (it was a 3-2 decision) calls into question whether HRD can actually adopt banding by changing just their rules. The Commission suggests that the statute may not permit it.

    We will see.

    1. Every speaker, from Tom Nee of the BPPA, Tim King of Massachusetts Coalition of Police, to Bob McCarthy, President of the Prof. Fire Fighters of Mass., to former Norwood Police Chief George DiBlasi, and current Westwood Fire Chief Scoble, to State Senator Ken Donnelly, and Mark Parolin of the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, spoke against the banding.

      HRD had someone from E.B. Jacobs, their testing consultant, present. He explained the rationale behind banding, which is that the current test basically has a margin of error or 5 or more points, so it’s not fair to put out scores in single whole numbers. To this we responded: (1) Make a better test; (2) even if it’s not scientifically accurate to the single point, that is far preferable to giving uncontrolled discretion to appointing authorities.

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