BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore Department of Public Works Engineer worked a second full-time job as they worked for the city remotely, the Office of the Inspector General said Monday.
The engineer, assigned to DPW’s Bureau of Water & Waste Water, was authorized to 100% telework in March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic. They worked weekdays from 8:30 to 4:30, according to DPW.
The OIG said in May 2020, a private company offered the engineer a job. The company was under the assumption that the engineer no longer worked for DPW when they began working remotely for the company on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The engineer applied for an internal transfer in the private company in 2021, which triggered an employment review. It was then that the company discovered that the engineer never stopped working for DPW.
The OIG found in its investigation that the engineer had never signed the city’s telework agreement. The city’s telework policy does not specifically address the matter of secondary employment while teleworking, the office said.
During the investigation, the office said, the DPW said the lack of a signed telework agreement was an oversight they are working to correct.
Engineers are not technically required to file financial disclosure statements with the DPW unlike inspectors, Bureau Heads, and other employees. The engineer filed in 2017 and 2018, but not after 2018.
The OIG did not find evidence the engineer was using city resources for their second job. They remain employed with the DPW, the office said.
The OIG recommended the following actions to avoid a repeat:
• Outline the hours of employment on the telework form and document that during those hours, employees may not work another job.
• Ensure all City employees who are teleworking have a signed telework agreement on file.
• Reevaluate telework authorization if performance issues are identified while an employee is on telework status.
• Review the AM 200-1: Concurrent City Employment Prohibition policy and enhance it to specifically address telework situations.
• Consider requiring financial disclosure statements for all non-clerical City employees and/or based on salary or skill classifications.
Acting DPW Director Jason Mitchell said in response to the report the department has taken some steps based on the recommendations by the OIG, including ensuring all telework agreements were signed and renewed.