To ensure that it does not duplicate efforts and that its information is complete, the district should identify one division to maintain a districtwide tracking mechanism for settlements that includes the total amounts paid and descriptions of the misconduct.
Following the issuance of the recommendation, the district designated the Office of General Counsel (OGC) to maintain a districtwide tracking mechanism for settlements. The district stated that the OGC is on track to complete the settlement tracking system and train all pertinent staff by September 2013. The OGC has augmented its legal practice management software to include additional fields to track the total amount paid including any salary amounts and a description of the misconduct for all settled cases respectively. The district stated that in March 2013 the OGC trained its support staff in its responsibility to maintain settlement data for tracking purposes. The district stated that the trainings are conducted semiannually and on an as needed basis to ensure proper recordkeeping. Information provided from other district offices that pertain to the settlements also are directed to the OGC and incorporated into the tracking mechanism to ensure a central location for all settlement data. The district further stated that information is maintained under the auspices of the Chief Education and Litigation Counsel of the OGC and may be available to the head of the Human Resources departments and other district departments as needed.
Although additional training is expected to occur, all OGC staff that currently work on teacher dismissals have received training.
The district plans to establish a confidential integrated settlement database, which is to be maintained by its Office of General Counsel, as soon as possible to address the concerns outlined in the audit. The district plans to assemble a team, consisting of representatives from various departments, which will be responsible for evaluating the audit findings, determining whether district licensed computer programs can be used to establish the necessary confidential tracking database, or if new programming is required. According to the district, the team will work towards establishing a process and procedure that is streamlined and efficient and provides the district with the means of tracking the total cost of the settlements in employee dismissal actions and a description of the misconduct for which dismissal is sought. (See 2013-406, pp. 62-63)
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.