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Honachefsky v. New Jersey Civil Service Commission

Decided: May 14, 1980.

WILLIAM HONACHEFSKY, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



On appeal from final determination of the Civil Service Commission.

Bischoff, Botter and Morton I. Greenberg.

Per Curiam

Appellant William Honachefsky appeals from a final decision of the Civil Service Commission (Civil Service) upholding the results of a promotional examination for the position of Basin Manager, Division of Water Resources, Department of Environmental Protection, and denying his application for a rescoring of his examination.

Appellant, a provisional basin manager, applied for the position of basin manager and took the written and oral Civil Service examinations for that position. On September 27, 1978 Civil Service notified him that he had passed the examination

and ranked fifth on the list of certified eligibles. In calculating appellant's score Civil Service awarded him an additional 1.245 points for seniority and 1.0 points to reflect his rating under the Employer Performance Evaluation Improvement System (EPEIS). N.J.S.A. 11:13-1.

By letter dated November 14, 1978 appellant informed the Division of Examinations that he had an EPEIS rating of 1.564 and not 1.0 as used by the Division. In reviewing appellant's claim the Division discovered that several of the candidates who took the promotional examination for the position of basin manager had been given their EPEIS rating by supervisors who also took the examination and were candidates for the position. Pursuant to longstanding Division policy, the Assistant Director of Examinations informed appellant that since many candidates had been rated by supervisors who were also candidates, all candidates would be rescored with the EPEIS award deleted.

On January 5, 1979 appellant initiated an administrative appeal of the decision to eliminate the EPEIS ratings as a grading element in the promotional examination. By letter dated January 10, 1979 the Director of the Division of Examination, Robert Hartman, advised appellant that EPEIS ratings were properly eliminated from the scoring of the promotional examination and that his challenge to the EPEIS rating used was therefore moot.

By letter dated January 30, 1979 appellant appealed Director Hartman's decision to the Civil Service Commission. On March 29, 1979 Civil Service invited appellant to supplement the written record, but appellant apparently failed to do so. Civil Service found on its own review of the written record that the elimination of the EPEIS ratings was consistent with longstanding Department policy which prevents the use of EPEIS ratings when evaluating supervisors and their subordinates are candidates in the same examination and thereby eliminates the possibility for abuse of the rating system. The elimination of EPEIS ratings from scoring in the promotional examination for the position of basin manager was accordingly upheld.

Appellant on this appeal first contends that under N.J.A.C. 4:1-9.5 Civil Service must use EPEIS ratings in scoring promotional examinations. We disagree. N.J.S.A. 11:13-1 provides in part:

The chief examiner and secretary shall establish, in co-operation with departmental authorities for each class of positions or groups of classes in the classified service, standards of performance and output and a plan of service ratings ...


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