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Advisory Council on Ethics (ACE)

Advisory Council on Ethics Opinion No. 5

February 25, 1998

Should someone who is to conduct a hiring board intervene to have a person reinstated to be interviewed after that person was screened out by the Personnel Department?

According to PD-71, section III, each applicant's packet is reviewed for meeting the minimum qualifications as described in the appropriate position description. Part A states: "The appropriate Human Resources Regional office, with assistance from other minimum qualification screeners as required, will screen for minimum qualifications for positions in salary groups A15/B7/C7 and above. The unit/facility/department will be responsible for minimum qualification screening for positions in salary groups A14/B6 and below and salary group C1." Those applicants that do not meet the minimum qualifications have an Applicant Screening Form completed and attached to the disqualified applicant's application together with documentation of job-related rationale for disqualification.

Section IV, part D of PD-71 states that "after the Application Log and applications are received for vacancies in salary groups A16/B8 and below and salary group C1, the Selecting Authority may elect to interview all qualified applicants or may elect to conduct document screening." Further, section E says: "if document screening is elected, this process will be used to select the most qualified applicants to be interviewed; generally this shall be no fewer than three and no more than ten. Document screening evaluations should indicate how job-related education, experience, certification, and training were used to determine applicants selected for interview." The selecting authority, in this case the warden, will review all applications and place then in a ranking position based on the qualifications of the applicants.

The qualification or disqualification of an applicant should be carried out in accordance with PD-12 (Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action policy) and job requirements designated for the position sought by the applicant. This decision structure is utilized to ensure only the most qualified and appropriate applicants are selected for a particular job. Only in those cases where an applicant's packet was incorrectly removed or eliminated from the selection process should that person's application be allowed to be re-evaluated for possible interviewing.

It is the opinion of ACE that no person should be interviewed or hired based solely on a personal recommendation, favoritism or biases within the agency. All qualified applicants should be given an equal opportunity at an Agency position without nepotism, favoritism, or discrimination entering into the interview process. All applications, interviews, selections, and promotions must be conducted in strict adherence to the Agency EEO and Selection System Procedures.