. ? . B-118718 C0MPTR0LWR GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES WASHINGTON. D.C. 205PB v ’ + * B-118718 4 Dear Mr. Chairman: ?- This is our report on staffing levels and salary costs of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. Our examination was made in accordance with your request of May 27, 1971, and subsequent discussions with our representatives. We did not obtain written comments from the Depart- ment of Housing and Urban Development or the Philadelphia Housing Authority on the matters discussed in this report. This fact should be taken into consideration in any use made of the information presented. We plan to make no further distribution of this report unless copies are specifically requested, and then we shall make distribution only after your agreement has been obtained or public announcement has been made by you concerning the contents of the report. ‘We trust that the information furnished will serve the purpose of your request. Sincerely yours, Comptroller General of the United States The Honorable William A. Barrett Chairman Subcommittee on Housing Committee on Banking and Currency a : ~1 I’ : House of Representatives I I COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S REPORT STAFFING LEVELS AND SALARY COST OF I ' TO THECHAIRMAN,SUBCOMMITTEE THE PHILADELPHIA HOUSINGAUTHORITY ON HOUSING,GOkh'ITTEE ON Department of Housing and Urban BANKINGANDCURRENCY Development B-118718 HOUSEOF REPRESENTATIVES DIGEST ---a-- WHYTHEREVIEWWASMADE At the request of the Chairman, Subcommittee on Housing, Committee on Banking and Currency, House of Representatives, the General Accounting Office (GAO) reviewed selected aspects of the sttaffing,levels and,."sal-ary ,_. costs of the wasPhiladelphia I/ Housing Authority, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Attention d'ire-~~~~-.~~~~~~~T~~,~~-"~'~~ --increases in the number of Authority employees, --increases in Authority salary costs, --analyses of salaries and qualifications of selected Authority em- ployees, and --factors which eventually may increase the Authority's staff and salary costs. GAOdid not obtain written comments from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the Authority on the matters in this report. FINDINGSANDCONCLUSIONS Increase in overall Authotity stbff The Authority's budgeted staff--actual figures were unavailable--increased from 774 in fiscal year 1967 to 1,344 in fiscal year 1972, an increase of 570 employees, or about 74 percent; the number of dwelling units under its management increased for that period from 13,794 to 20,400, an in- crease of 6,606, or about 48 percent. Most of the increase in staff was due to the hiring of more maintenance personnel and security guards. The employee growth rate would be slightly less than the dwelling unit growth rate if the security guard increases were eliminated, Authority officials advised GAO that the increases in staff, following a reorganization of the Authority in January 1970, were due to: --The need to provide more social services. --Increased vandalism. --Increased maintenance of the older projects. Tear Sheet 1 DEC. 3,1971 I --The types and number of units under management. There were a large number of units, such as individual row houses, at scattered sites, ’ I which required more maintenance personnel than the same number of units at large projects. (See pp. 6 to 13.) I I Increase in overall Authoritg salary costs The Authority's budgeted salary costs increased from about $4 million in fiscal year 1967 to about $10.4 million in fiscal year 1972, an increase of $6.4 million, or 160 percent. The increased salary costs were attributed to increases in staff, wage increases for maintenance employees, cost-of-living increases for admin- istrative and clerical employees, reclassification and new salary plan for administrative and clerical employees, and annual salary step in- creases for administrative and clerical employees. (See pp. 13 to 16.) The Authority's salary plan complies with HUD requirements which state that salary and wage rates be consistent with the compensation practices I of other local public bodies. (See p. 15.) I I I AnaZpis of salaries and qualifications I of selected Authority employees I As of July 1971 the Authority had 94 employees on its payroll who were receiving $10,000 or more in annual salary. GAO noted that 13 of these employees did not meet the Authority's present education or experience requirements. They had been hired, however, prior to the Authority's adoption, in October 1970, of revised job experience and education requirements. After evaluating the employees, Authority officials concluded that, on the basis of successful job performances, they had overcome their education or experience deficiencies. (See pp. 17 and 18.) Of the 94 employees, 17 received starting salaries from the Authority which exceeded their previous non-Authority salaries by more than $1,000. Of the 17 employees, 11 received increases of less than $2,000. The Authority's board chairman informed GAO that, in his opinion, a raise of less than $2,000 was a reasonable increase in obtaining an executive- type employee. GAOwas informed by Authority officials that the case of each of the six employees who had received starting salary increases of more than $2,000 had to be evaluated on its own merits and that they believed that the employees' starting salaries and subsequent increases were justified. (See pp. 17 to 24.) I I 1 Factors which eventually may increase t ’ Authority’s staff and saZarg costs I In addition to increasing staff and salary costs, the Authority has in- I creased, or is planning to increase, its staff by about 380 employees. I The major portion of these employees will be Authority tenants who will be trained to work under the Authority's social services and moderniza- I tion programs. These programs currently are funded from sources other than housing operations and therefore are not included as part of the salary expense in the Authority's operating budget. Authority officials stated, however, that, if such funding should be discontinued, they planned to retain many of these employees on the Authority's budgeted payroll. (See pp. 24 and 25.) Tear Sheet 3 Contents Page DIGEST 1 CHAPTER 1' INTRODUCTION 4 Philadelphia Housing Authority 4 INCREASEIN OVERALLPHA STAFF 6 Implementation of agreements with tenant representatives 10 Reorganization of housing management department 10 Increases in maintenance staff 11 INCREASEIN OVERALLPHA SAZARYCOSTS 13 Wage increases for maintenance em- ployees 13 Cost-of-living increases for adminis- trative and clerical employees 14 Position reclassification and new sal- ary plan for administrative and cler- ical employees 15 Annual salary step increases for admin- istrative and clerical employees 15 ANALYSISOF SALARIESAND QUALIFICATIONSOF SELECTEDPHA EMPLOYEES 17 FACTORSWHICHEVENTUALLY MAYINCREASEPHA's STAFFAND SALARYCOSTS 24 Expansion of social services program 24 Modernization program 24 APPENDIX I Schedule of selected budgeted salaries for fiscal years 1967 through 1972 27 ABBREVIATIONS GAO General Accounting Office HUD Department of Housing and Urban Development PHA Philadelphia Housing Authority PHDC Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation ,> vCOMPTROLLERGENERAL'S REPORT STAFFING LEVELS AND SALARY COST OF TO THE CHAIRMAN, SUBCOM74ITTEE THE PHILADELPHIA HOUSINGAUTHORITY ONHOUSING,COMMITTEEON Department of Housing and Urban BANKINGANDCURRENCY Development B-118718 HOUSEOF REPRESENTATIVES DIGEST ---_-- WHYTHEREVIEWWASMADE At the request of the Chairman, Subcommittee on Housing, Committee on Banking and Currency, House of Representatives, the General Accounting Office (GAO) reviewed selected aspects of the staffing levels and salary costs of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Attention was directed especially to --increases in the number of Authority employees, --increases in Authority salary costs3 --analyses of salaries and qualifications of selected Authority em- ployees, and --factors which eventually may increase the Authority's staff and salary costs * GAOdid not obtain written comments from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the Authority on the matters in this report. FINDINGSANDCONCLUSIONS Increase in overall Authority staff The Authority's budgeted staff--actual figures were unavailable--increased from 774 in fiscal year 1967 to 1,344 in fiscal year 1972, an increase of 570 employees, or about 74 percent; the number of dwelling units under its management increased for that period from 13,794 to 20,400, an in- crease of 6,606, or about 48 percent. Most of the increase in staff was due to the hiring of more maintenance perso nel and security guards. The employee growth rate would be slightly less than the dwelling unit growth rate if the security guard increases were eliminated. Authority officials advised GAO that the increases in staff, following a reorganization of the Authority in January ‘8970, were due to: --The need to provide more social services. ased maintenance f the older pr --The types and number of units under management. There were a large number &of units, such as individual row houses, at scattered sites, which required more maintenance personnel than the same number of units at large projects. (See pp. 6 to 13.) Increase in overall Authority saihrg costs The Authority's budgeted salary costs increased from about $4 million in fiscal year 1967 to about $10.4 million in fiscal year 1972, an increase of $6.4 million, or 160 percent. The increased salary costs were attributed to increases in staff, wage increases for maintenance employees, cost-of-living increases for admin- istrative and clerical employees, reclassification and new salary plan for administrative and clerical employees, and annual salary step in- creases for administrative and clerical employees. (See pp. 13 to 16.) The Authority's salary plan complies with HUD requirements which state that salary and wage rates be consistent with the compensation practices of other local public bodies. (See p. 15.) Analysis of salaries and quaZification.s of seZected Authority employees As of July 1971 the Authority had 94 employees on its payroll who were receiving $10,000 or more in annual salary. GAO noted that 13 of these employees did not meet the Authority's present education or experience requirements. They had been hired, however, prior to the Authority's adoption, in October 1970, of revised job experience and education requirements. After evaluating the employees, Authority officials concluded that,on the basis of successful job performances, they had overcome their education or experience deficiencies. (See pp. 17 and 18.) Of the 94 employees, I7 received starting salaries from the Authority which exceeded their previous non-Authority salaries by more than $1,000. Of the 17 employees, 11 received increases of less than $2,000. The Authority's board chairman informed GAO that, in his opinion, a raise of less than $2,000 was a reasonable increase in obtaining an executive- type employee. GAOwas informed by Authority officials that the case of each of the six employees who had received starting salary increases of more than $2,000 had to be evaluated on its own merits and that they believed that the employees' starting salaries and subsequent increases were justified. (See pp. 17 to 24.) 2 Factors which even-tuaZZy may &crease Authority’s stuff and salary costs In addition to increasing staff and salary costs, the Authority has in- creased, or is planning to increase, its staff by about 380 employees. The major portion of these employees will be Authority tenants who will be trained to work under the Authority's social services and modernima- tion programs. These programs,currently are funded from sources other than housing operations and therefore are not included as part of the salary expense in the Authority's operating budget. Authority officials stated, however, that, if such funding should be discontinued, they planned to retain many of these employees on the Authority's budgeted payroll. (See pp- 24 and 25.) CHAPTER1 INTRODUCTION The Housing Act of 1937, as amended (42 U,S,C, 1401), authorizes the Department of Housing and Urban Development to conduct a program of housing assistance under which lo- cal governments establish independent legal entities--known as local housing authorities--to develop, own, and operate low-rent public housing projects, Our review was performed primarily at the office of the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, We examined documents concerning staff, sal- ary costs, and number of dwelling units for fiscal years 1967 through 1972. Discussions were held with officials of HUD's regional office in Philadelphia and with officials of PM. PHILADELPHIA HOUSING AUTHORITY PHA was organized in 1937 for the purpose of providing decent, safe, and sanitary housing for families of low- income in Philadelphia. HUD provides financial and techni- cal assistance to PHA for the development of low-rent public housing projects. Financial assistance is furnished by HUD in the form of loans for development and in the form of annual contributions (subsidies) made pursuant to contracts with PHA. PHA is governed by a board of directors which is com- posed of five members. Two are appointed by the mayor of Philadelphia, two are appointed by the city controller, and a fifth member is appointed by these four. The members elect one of the five as chairman of the board. The term of office of each member is 5 years, and each is to hold office until his successor is.appointed, The management operations of PH.A are under the supervision and direction of a deputy executive director for operations who reports to the board chairman. The position of executive director, which is included in PIG's operating budget, is vacant. PHA officials advised us that, as a result of a grand jury investigation of Philadelphia's program for acquiring 4 housing on scattered sites for low-income families, the for- mer board chairman of PHA was dismissed and was replaced by the current chairman, The new chairman appointed in July 1969 was given a mandate by the mayor of Philadelphia to clean up the housing situation in Philadelphia and to re- organize PHA into a more efficient operating unit. During November 1969 the new chairman appointed a new deputy exec- utive director for operations and a committee to analyze and reorganize PHA. PHA started its reorganization during January 1970. New executive personnel were hired, the management of the housing units was reorganized into regions, and additional personnel were hired to perform the maintenance and security functions. These changes in organization were brought about by a need to (1) develop a consistent personnel policy whereby jobs and salaries could be more effectively admin- istered, (2) implement agreements reached with tenant rep- resentatives, (3) restructure its housing management to gain more control over its operations, (4) keep abreast of increased maintenance needs, and (5) provide more social services to its tenants. During August 1970 PHA's Development Division was com- bined with the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC) to coordinate functions of the two agencies that related to the acquisition, rehabilitation, and construc- tion of low-rent housing. PHDC is a quasi-public nonprofit agency, chartered in 1965 for the acquisition, rehabilitation, and construction of housing for sale to low- and moderate-income families. It is sponsored by the city of Philadelphia and receives its capital funds for acquisition, rehabilitation, and con- struction from the city through a $2 million revolving fund, Operating funds are provided by the Office of Economic Qp- portunity. The president of PHDC is also the board chair- man of PHA and the deputy managing director for housing of the city of Philadelphia. The executive-vice president of PHDC is also PHA's deputy executive director for develop- ment, and 50 percent of his salary is paid by PHA. 5 CHAPTER 2 INCREASEIN OVERALLPHA STAFF As of April 1, 1971, PHAwas responsible for the man- agement of 20,400 dwelling units which could accommodate about 107,000 tenants. PHAhad a total staff of 1,274 em- ployees on July 23, 1971, to maintain and administer its various programs. Wewere unable to determine PHA's actual prior staffing levels because PJU staffing records were updated daily and showed the actual numbers of employees that were currently employed but did not show past staffing levels. As a re- sult, our analysis of staffing levels is based on the staff- ing levels proposed by PHAin its operating budgets for fis- cal years 1967 through 1972. PHA's fiscal year begins on April 1, and its operating budget is submitted to HUDfor approval during November of the year prior to the start of the fiscal year. PHA officials advised us that the informa- tion shown in the budgets approximated actual staffing lev- els. A comparison of the operating budget for fiscal year 1967 with the operating budget for fiscal year 1972 showed a PHA staff increase of 570 employees, or about 74 percent. Of the total increase of 570 employees, 520, or about 91.2 percent, were budgeted to carry out housing management, maintenance, and security functions. These increases, ac- cording to functions, are shown below. Overall increase Total employees of employees-- in fiscal year fiscal years 1967-72 Function 1967 --I_-- 1968 1969 1970 1971 -1972 Total Percent Central office 44 49 50 51 62 74 30 68.2 Housing management 156 163 185 193 232 244 88 56.4 Development 27 35 37 57 46 47 20 74.0 Maintenance 471 495 548 605 656 685 214 45,5 Security 68 79 88 113 139 286 218 320.6 Social services m8 - 12 11 --_I_- 11 I"2 8 Total 774 -w- 833 919 1,030 1,147 1,344a 570 73.6 ------_I- aAs of August 20, 1971, HUD had not approved PHA's operating budget for fiscal year 1972. 6 A further analysis of staffing levels indicates that PHA supervisory-technical employees increased at about the same overall rate as nonsupervisory personnel, as shown be- low. Overall increase Total employees of employees-- Employee in fiscal year fiscal years 1967-72 category 1967 ----___ 1968 1969 1970 1971 -1972 Total Percent Executive 16 16 15 17 23 20 4 25.0 Supervisory- technical 97 110 125 124 136 173 76 78.3 Nonsupervisory v661 -707 --- 779 889 988 1,151 490 74.2 Total 774 833 Jag 1,030 ~-___ 1,147 1,344a 570 73.6 aAs of August 20, 1971, HUD had not approved PHA's operating budget for fis- cal year 1972. PM's operating budgets showed the following increases in dwelling units under management. Annual Percent of Dwelling increases increase units under in dwelling Cumulative from Fiscal year management units increases base year 1967 (base year) 13,794 1968 14,017 223 223 1.6 1969 15,578 1,561 1,784 12,9 1970 16,611 1,033 2,817 20.4 1971 20,469 3,858 6,675 4804 1972 20,400a -69 6,606 47.9 a During fiscal year 1972 the number of units under management de- creased because the number of units dropped from the leasing program exceeded the number of new units coming under management. PI&I's operating budgets show an increase of 6,606 dwelling units under managaent from fiscal year 1967 through fiscal year 1972 (about 48 percent) and an increase of 570 employees (about 74 percent). It should be noted that 218 of the 570 employees were budgeted to perform se- curity services that previously had been carried out by a private security company or by other PH.A employees. If this group is excluded, the net increase was about 46 percent 7 (increase of 352 employees) compared with the 48-percent increase in dwelling units under management. The ratio of employees to dwelling units is not neces- sarily a good indicator of how efficiently PT3Ais operating, because the number of employees should not necessarily in- crease in direct proportion to the increase in the number of dwelling units being managed, even though there may be a strong relationship. For example, about 4,900 of the 6,606 increase in dwelling units under managementwere at scattered sites-- such as individual row houses--which, ac- cording to PHA officials, were much more difficult to main- tain and manage than the same number of units congregated in a housing project and which therefore required a larger maintenance and management staff,, We discussed the PHAoperation with HUDregional office officials and requested managementdata, such as ratios of work load to number of employees, that HUDwould use in de- termining a proper staffing level. HUDofficials stated that the methods previously utilized to determine proper staffing levels were obsolete because the criteria on which they were based no longer applied--particularly in the case of PHA because it was the only public housing authority with a large scattered-sites housing program. These offi- cials also advised us that HUD's recently completed manage- ment study of PHA did not mention staffing levels in the re- port because no serious deficiencies had been noted. They added, however, that this should not be interpreted to mean that PHAwas operating efficiently. We were advised by PHA officials that, prior to October 1970, there was no formal personnel system at PHA since (1) personnel were not competitively hired, (2) there were no formal personnel processes9 and (3) there were no estab- lished channels for recruiting or promoting personnel. In January 1970 an additional personnel officer was hired to develop a personnel system patterned after the city of Philadelphials. This revised personnel system was developed and the PHA board of directors approved it in October 1970, As part of the revised system, PHAadopted a personnel policy whereby, in filling job vacancies, tenants and PIiA employees were given preference. PHAofficials stated that 8 this policy ted ts sonform with the requirements of the Housing 968, as ame ich stated that pub- lis housin ies were re p%oyment opportunities for tenets whenever fe intends to es- emem3 sscial s are es- tion successfully as We analyzed certain factors whish contributed to the increase in PH,A~~staff, as cited below, 9 .I IMPLEMENTATION ,OFAGREEMENTS WITH TENANTREPRESENTATIVES Tenant councils in two public housing projects in PhiL adelphia, Richard Allen Homes and Tasker Homes, filed a pe- tition on October 3, 1968, with the Secretary of HUD,which requested that approval be withheld on PHA's proposed mod- ernization program because public housing tenants had not been accorded their rights under the Housing Act of 1968, as amended. The act provides for participation by public housing tenants in the design and implementation of the mod- ernization program and in the continued development of pub- lic housing policies and practices. As a result of this petition, HUDdirected PHA to ne- gotiate with the tenant representatives to work out an op- erating agreement acceptable to HUD, the tenants, and PHA, A memorandumof understanding was approved by all parties in March 1969, and a tenant services office was established to act as an intermediary between PHA and the tenants. As part of the memorandumof understanding between PHA and the tenants, PHA agreed to hire a sufficient number of security guards, as soon as funds permitted, to provide around-the-clock security forces. In the fiscal year 1972 budget, PHAproposed to hire 144 additional security guards, one director of security, and two supervisory guards at a total cost of about $1 million. Someof this cost, accord- ing to PHA officials, would be offset as a result of cancel- ing private guard service contracts that were costing about $23,000 a month during 1971, or about $276,000 a year. In addition to the proposed increase of 147 security positions shown in the 1972 budget, PHA increased its secu- rity forces by 71 employees during fiscal years 1967 through 1971. PHA officials advised us that these increases were made to meet security needs created by the growing crime rate experienced in the projects, REORGANIZATION OF HOUSINGMANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT We were advised by officials of PHA that its housing management department remained substantially unchanged dur- ing fiscal years 1967 through 1970. Each housing project 10 operated as an independent unit and reported directly to PHA's central office for direction. During calendar year 1970 t'he housing managementdepartment was reorganized into four regions and three regional managers were appointed. A fourth regional manager was appointed in July 1971. The deputy executive director for operations advised us that, under the reorganization, the regional housing manager was given the authority to.make day-to-day decisions within his region and that the housing management department would be able to provide a more flexible response to emer- gency situations. (Prior to the reorganization all matters had to be referred to the central office for decision.) PHA officials stated that, in addition to the staffing in- creases made to implement the reorganization, the housing management staff had been increased gradually over the past 5 years to provide staff to operate the new units acquired by PHA, Since 1967 PJU has increased its budget for hous- ing managers by 19 positions and its budget for housing managementclerical staff by 63 positions. INCREASESIN MAINTENANCE STAFF Since 1967 PHA 'has increased its budget for supervisory maintenance staff by 17 employees, administrative mainte- nance staff by nine employees, and labor force by 188 em- ployees-- a total increase of 214 employees, PHA attributes this increase primarily to the rising rate of vandalism, especially at the scattered-sites units. PI-M officials have stated that the second factor which has increased the need for maintenance employees is the increasing age of the projects. PHA engages in only limited preventative mainte- nance because its employees are kept busy meeting emergency maintenance situations. PHA officials told us that the increases in staffing levels subsequent to January 1970 also were due to (1) the need to provide more social services, (2) increased vandal- ism, (3) increased maintenance for the older projects, and (4) the type and number of scattered-site units coming into management, 311 12 CHAPTER3 INCREASEIN OVERALLPHA SALARYCOSTS Cur review of PM's operating budgets for fiscal years 1967 through 1972 revealed the following increases in sal- ary costs. Percent of Annual increase Total increases Cumula- from salary in salary tive in- base Fiscal year costs costs creases year 1967 (base year) $ 3,997,792 $ $ 1968 4,785,003 7875211 787,211 19.7 1969 5,208,273 423,270 1,210,481 30.3 1970 6,425,773 1,217,500 2,427,981 60.7 1971 7,620,534 1,194,761 3,622,742 90.6 1972 10,416,983 2,796,449 6,419,191 160.6 Cur analysis of the increased salary costs showed sev- eral factors which had a direct effect on PHA's total salary costs. A primary factor was the overall increase in staff- ing levels; generally, the largest percentage increase in staffing was related to maintenance, security, and housing management positions as opposed to executive-type positions, Other factors resulting in increased PHA salary costs include wage increases for maintenance employees, cost-of- living increases for administrative and clerical employees, reclassification and new salary plan for administrative and clerical employees, and salary step increases for adminis- trative and clerical employees, These matters are discussed in the following sections. WAGEINCREASESFORMAINTENANCE EMPLOYEES During the period April 1, 1966, through April 1, 1971, wages for PHA maintenance personnel were increased on five occasions. The wage increases were based on wage rate de- terminations made by BUDand accepted by PHA and the Build- ing and Construction Trades Council of Philadelphia. 13 We were advised by PHA officials that the wage in- creases for maintenance employees during fiscal years 1968 through 1971 amounted to $1,542,613. We did not verify the validity of these increased costs. A test examination of the yearly wage rates for positions included in the mainte- nance sategory (maintenance mechanics, maintenance mechanic aides, engineers, painters, firemen9 and laborer-janitors), however, indicated that salaries for each employee in these positions increased between $1,500 and $2,000 from April 1, 1968, through April 1, 1971. COST-OF-LIVINGINCREASESFOR ADMINISTRATIVEAND CLERICALEMPIDYEES Effective January 1, 1968, and April 1, 1969, the PHA board of directors approved cost-of-living salary increases of 8 percent and 6 percent for PHA administrative and cler- ical employees, respectively. PHA officials estimated that the cost-of-living salary increases effective January 1, 1968, and April 1, 1969, amounted to $134,500 and $99,500, respectively. We did not verify the validity of these increased costs. 14 POSITION RECLASSIFICATION AND NEW SALARY PLAN FOR AlMINISTRATIVE AND CLERICAL EMPLOYEES An initial action of PHA's new administration was a position reclassification and salary study for the primary purpose of restructuring PHA's salary plan for administra- tive and clerical employees so that it would be more in line with the city of Philadelphia's salary plan for its own em- ployees. As a result of this study, PHA adopted the city's salary plan and the rates of pay in effect as of January 1, 1970. The new salary plan became effective on July 1, 1970, and PHA officials estimated that the resulting increases in salary costs would amount to about $400,000 annually. The new salary plan affected all but 1'2 percent of PHA's administrative and clerical employees. The salaries of the employees not affected were already comparable to, or more than, salaries paid to city employees. PHA officials stated that the lower paid workers--such as clerks, clerk-typists, and cashiers --received the most significant increases. The increases in annual salaries would have been much greater if PHA had kept pace with the salary increases granted to city employees. After PHA adopted the city's plan, city employees received two salary increases, totaling about $1,400 for each employee, which PHA did not grant to its employees. We believe that the new salary plan approved by the PHA board of directors is in compliance with HUD's require- ments which state that glsalary and wage rates shall be consistent with the compensation practices of other public bod- ies in the locality for positions similar in responsibility and required competence." ANNUAL SAMRY STEP INCREASES FOR AIMINISTRATIVE AND CLERICAL EMPLOYEES From year to year there is an increase in total salaries that results from in-grade step increases. Under the salary 15 plan approved by the PHA board of directors in September 1970 and made retroactive to July 1, 1970, PHA administra- tive and clerical positions were classified into 39 grades. Within each grade there are five longevity steps which al- low employees to receive annual salary increments ranging from $145 to $1,258 (3.1 to 4.3 percent). When an employee reaches the fifth salary step within his grade, he cannot obtain a salary increase unless his job is reclassified, he is promoted, or a general salary increase is given. Under the pay plan in effect prior to July 1, 1970, PWA administrative and clerical positions were classified into 24 grades having nine longevity steps, Employees in the first nine grades were eligible for salary increases every 12 months, whereas employees ingrades 10 through 24 had to be in grade 18 months, The salary increases ranged from $125 to $730 (2.5 to 3.1 percent). We were unable to determine the specific total amount of increased salary costs that resulted from these salary step increases because the records needed to make a reliable estimate were not available. 16 CHAPTER 4 ANAI;YSISOF SALARIESANDQUALIFICATIONS OF SETLECTED PHA EMPLOYEES We reviewed the personnel records of the 94 PHA employ- ees who, at the time of our review, were receiving $10,000 or more annually, to determine whether the employees met the experience and education requirements of the positions to which they had been assigned. Our review showed that 57 of these employees began working for PHA prior to April 1, 1966; that 13 came to PHA between April 1966 and July 1969, the date that the current PHA board chairman was appointed; and that the remaining 24 began working between August 1969 and January 1971. We compared the education and experience data that the employees gave on their PHA employment applications with the experience and education requirements cited on the pres- ent PHA job descriptions and found that 13 employees did not meet PHA's education or experience requirements, Six of these employees started with PHA prior to April 1, 1966; three of the employees came to PHAbetween April 1, 1966, and July 1969; and the remaining four started after July 1969. In all instances the employees started their employ- ment prior to the PHA board's approval, in October 1970, of the revised PHA job experience and education requirements. PHA officials informed us that they were aware that some of the employees did not meet the requirements developed under the revised personnel system, After evaluating the performance of each employee, however, they concluded that, by virtue of the employees' having performed their jobs suc- cessfully, they had overcome their education or experience deficiencies. They further stated that these employees were not eligible for promotion or transfer to another position unless they could meet the stated requirements of that posi- tion. We compared the starting PHA salaries of the 94 employ- ees whose fiscal year 1972 annual salaries were budgeted in excess of $10,000 with the salaries that they had received 17 from their prior XILXI-PHA positions. We found 17 instances in which PHAps starting salaries exceeded the salaries re- ceived by these individuals from their previous non-PHA jobs by more than $l,QOO--which we considered to be signifi- cant increases. Im these instances, 11 increases were be- 00 and $1,999 and six were between $2,000 and $3,800, The PHA board chairman advised us that in his opin- * eon, a raise of less than $ 000 was a reasonable increase in obtaining an execut.ive-t e employee. With regard to the six employees that received raises in excess of $2,000, we noted that: Employee A loyee was hired by PHA as a nt at a starting salary of ts PHA, this employee was a rivate architectural firm and received an a~~~~.a'll salary of $7,800. Me therefore realized a salary increase sf $2,385. On April I, 1970, he received a longevity step increase of $6KL, whicth brought his annual salary to $10,796. On Ju'Hy IL, 1970, as ?, result gaf l?HA"s new personnel reclassification system, he was reclassified as an ar- chitect 1x1 and received an increase of $2,472 which brought his a al salary %s SL3,275, July 12, 1971, he was given another longevity step increase of $543$ which brought salary to $13,818, his present i+klary, en we reviewed his education and experience require- ments, we noted that, at the time he was reclassified under PHA!5 new erson&l reclassificati Ian, he ' was about 1 year short of PH #s experience requirement. He nevertheless was given a raise ($2,479) and a higher classification. y executive director for operations told 'us ' that this employee had been hired at a salary level commensurate with the duties that he was expected to perform. He, further stated that, when this employee was reclassified, his duties were equivalent to the duties performed by architects on the city of Philadel- phia's payroll. PHA believed that his starting salary and all his increases were justified, even though he was 1 year short of the experience requirement, because he had demonstrated by performance that he was able to perform the duties expected of him, Employee B On January 5, 1970, this employee was hired at a start- ing salary of $13,600 for the position of assistant director of personnel, Prior to becoming employed b>i PHA, he was a personnel officer I with the city of Philadelphia. As a result of becoming employed by PHA, he realized a salary increase of $2,600, On July 1, 1970, he was reclassified as a personnel officer III at an annual salary of $14,104. This in- creased his salary by $504 a year. This employee met PHA's experience and/or educational requirements, On July 12, 1971, he received a longevity step increase of $511, which brought his annual salary to $14,615. The deputy executive director for operations told us that, at the time this employee was hired by PHA, he was in the process of being promoted by his former em- ployer and would have received an annual increase of about $1,000. In view of this anticipated promotion and the fact that PHA needed an employee who had expe- rience in reorganizing a personnel system to conform with the city's, PHA officials believed that a $2,600 raise was warranted, as were the additional increases he received. The deputy executive director for operations further stated that, if this employee had stayed with the city, his current annual salary would be $14,020. OmAugust '$7, 1970, this employee was hired as an ad- ministrative intern at an annual salary of $9,205. Prior %QCQ~~rn~to P this employee was employed as an instructor with the Philadelphia Board of Education a% an annua'P rate of $5,980 a year. This increased kds salary by $3,225 a year. On Apri% 12, 197P, he was promoted to administrative officer at an annuaYl salary of $10,883, This promo- tion in?reased his salary by $1,678, At the time of his proma%isn, nths of job-related experience R P escription required 2 years' exgeriemce. The de~~%y ecutive director for operations told us that %hiS loyee*s former job was a student-type job which he held ing graduate school and was, %~~~e~~~e~not a valid Q0b for comparison purposes. further stated that, although this TV- p%syee dfd me%have %he re ired 2 years' experience ornotion, he believed that the em- ree was an acceptable substitute fsr his lack of experiemce. loyee was hired on J ary 5, 1970, as the remta% and occupancy, at an a salary of Prior to becomi eqdoyed by ) he was an assiseant t %he director f relocation services with Bhibadelphia at an annu y becoming employed with ) he realized a salary increase sf $3,320 a year. er 5, 1970, he was promoted to director of ered-sites hous program at an al salary is imcrease his salary by $1,364. erience and/or educatieanal requirements. PHA's deputy executive director for operations told us that this employee was hired on the basis of the PHA board chairman's opinion that he was very able to per- form his job. He also stated that this employee was hired at a salary lower than that of his predecessor, We noted, however, that the highest salary ever paid by PHA for the position of chief of rental and occu- pancy was $13,496 in fiscal year 1971. This salary was $104 less than this employee's starting salary. Employee E This employee was hired as deputy executive director for operations on December 8, 1969, at an annual sal- ary of $19,982. Prior to coming to PI-IA, he was hous- ing operations coordinator for the city of Philadel- phia at an annual salary of $16,374. As a result of becoming employed by PHA, he realized a salary in- crease of $3,608. On July 1, 1970, as a result of PHA's new personnel reclassification plan, this employee received a salary increase of $582. On October 19, 1970, this employee received another salary increase of $1,414 and on July 12, 1971, re- ceived a fourth salary increase of $935 as a longevity salary increase. His present salary is $22,913. This employee met PHA's experience and/or educational re- quirements. The employee told us that, a few months after leaving the city's employ, his former position was reclassi- fied and that his salary was increased by about $1,000. He further stated that the city's salary for his former job was currently about $20,554. The PHA board chairman advised us that, when he hired the employee, he was very familiar with his abilities-- this employee previously had worked for the PHA board chairman in an agency of the city--and that the salary increase of $3,600 was warranted. He also said that, as board chairman, he was instrumental in having this 21 employee!'s salary increased by $1,414 in October 1970 because he felt that this employee was underpaid. Employee F is employee was hired on January 5, 1970, as the tenant services officer at an annual salary of Prior to becoming Poyed by WA, this indivi been employed by the city of Philadelphia as a commu- nity worker at an annual salary of $9,815. As a result of becoming employed by H-IA, this employee realized an annual salary increase of $3,785, n Ju'hy 1, 1970, as a result of PHA's new personnel re- classification plan, this employee was given a $492 in- crease which raised his salary to $14,092. On July 12, 1971, this employee was given a longevity step increase of $579, raising his salary to its pres- ent level of $14, cutive director for operations and the advised us that, when this employee was hired, he was in the process of being promoted to the position of co~~~ty services officer by his former If the employee had accepted the promotion, aecutive director for operations estimated 1oyee"s current salary would be $14,531. They advised us also that, through a long professional association with this employee--this employee previ- cmsly worked for the boar chairman--they were very iliar with the employee's abilities to carry out duties of the position for which he was hired, erefore they believed that this employee's starting ay increases were justified on the basis of current performance. This employee met erience and/or educational req-Wxments, A comparison of the salaries shown in the fiscal year 1972 budget with the salaries budgeted in the preceding 22 5 years for selected positions, ikluding the deputy executive directors for operations and development and department heads, appears in the appendix. CHAPTER 5 FACTORS WJXtCH EVFXI'UALLYMAYINCREASE PHA's STAFFAND SALARYCOSTS In addition to noting the increased staff and salary costs discussed in previous chapters, we noted that PHA had increased, and was planning to further increase, its staff by about 380 employees. PHA anticipates that most of these employees will be PHA tenants who will be trained to work under PHA's social services and modernization programs, which are funded from sources other than housing operations. The salaries for these employees are being paid from funds received from the HUDModernization Program, the Model Cities Program, and the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare. EXPANSION OF SOCIAL SERVICESPROGRAM On July 1, 1971, PHA signed a l-year contract with the Department of Welfare, Commonwealthof Pennsylvania, to receive $2,298,556 in health, education, and welfare funds to.expand the social services to its tenants. As a result of this contract, PHAwill increase its social services staff by about 262 employees, PHA anticipates that many of its tenants can be hired and trained to fill these new positions. Since the funds to pay these employees will not come from operations, this increase will not be shown in the operating budget. PHA officials advised us that they believed the State would renew this program each year. Should funds not become available, however, PHAwould have to reduce this program to a level which could be funded from operating funds. MODERNIZATION PROGRAM During October 1970 PHA launched a modernization pro- gram to rehabilitate 2,934 units over an 18-month period in the Richard Allen, the James Weldon Johnson, and Tasker Homespublic housing projects. This program is funded by HUD. 24 Under this program about 100 tenants are to be hired to participate in the rehabilitation work. As of May 7, 1971, PHA informed us that it had about 115 trainees of whomabout 110 were tenants participating in the moderniza- tion program, Cur review showed that, during the period October 9, 1970, through June 25, 1971, PHA had incurred salary costs of about $356,000 for individuals working on the moderniza- tion program. PHA officials have advised us that the sala- ries for the modernization trainees are being funded through a &de1 Cities grant which was awarded to PHA through the city of Philadelphia. These officials also stated that PHA intended to retain the modernization train- ees as employees on their payroll at the completion of the modernization program. 25
Staffing Levels and Salary Costs of the Philadelphia Housing Authority
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-12-03.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)