DHS News November 2013
The Policies and
Procedures Process Gets an Update
An important part of the Department of Human Services’ (DHS)
continued integration is developing an infrastructure for creating, storing and
accessing policies and procedures that will become the standard across the
organization. Earlier this year, a policy committee made up of staff from
throughout DHS was convened for this purpose.
It is not the objective of this group to write or review
policies. Instead they have been looking at how to catalog existing policies
and procedures, and also create a process and template to use for new policies
While there are already a significant amount of policies and
procedures in use throughout DHS, there has never really been a standard definition
to differentiate the two terms. So, the
first task of the committee was to define them.
Policy: A declaration of organizational or agency-wide standards of
conduct, behavior and professionalism.
Procedure: A step-by-step process by which a policy is implemented
and applied in the workplace.
Observing Waste Reduction, for example, is a DHS policy,
practiced across the whole agency. How each office implements that policy
(where recycling bins are located, best practices for printing long documents) is
Based on existing policies and procedures, and assessing the
needs of the various DHS Offices, the committee developed templates for each.
These new templates are available in the Policies section on the DHS intranet. While
existing policies and procedures currently will not be rewritten to fit the
templates, they will be when it comes time to review or update them. Moving
forward, all new policies will be signed by DHS Director Marc Cherna. Pat
Valentine, Executive Director for Integrated Program Services, will sign all
It was also decided early on that policies will be uploaded
to a document storage system, OnBase. The Office of Administrative and
Information Management (AIMS) is currently developing an OnBase platform that
will allow for searching of policies by one of several criteria, including policy
name, policy category, or keyword. Once completed, a link to the database from
the DHS website will allow users to search it. (The County is currently using a
similar method for the cataloging and searching of Campaign
While everyone will able to view existing policies and
procedures via the web link, certain designees from each Office will also be
able to search and upload policies via OnBase. To help determine who has the
capability to do this, the policy committee is currently finalizing a flow
chart to instruct what the process will be to implement new policies. Once completed, this flow chart will also be
posted in the policies section of the DHS intranet.
Additional updates on the progress of the policy committee
will be forthcoming. But for now, any questions regarding the work of the committee
can be sent to Sheila Bell, Administrator, Integration Project Management, at Sheila.email@example.com.
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