Employee Policies and Procedures

Employee Policies and Procedures

Responsibility for the maintenance of the Policy website and the Policy Repository is assigned to the Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department (“ARA”).  ARA also has responsibility for coordinating the creation, revision and rescission of all Policies. Responsibility for Policy content falls upon the sponsoring department and its subject matter experts. All departments are afforded the opportunity to appoint a Policy Management Liaison to offer comments and suggestions to the sponsoring department during the Policy creation, revision and rescission process.

As of this writing, there are 122 distinct City-wide Policies that employees are expected to comply with governing their behavior both during and outside of work hours and both on and off work site. Some policies have broad application to all City employees while others are very limited in nature and would apply only to specific employees in specific situations. Employees are expected to be familiar with all policies and to understand their applicability in any given situation.

There are currently five different policy instruments in use by the City governing City-wide employee behavior. The first and foremost is the City of Houston Charter, available here. The second in order of hierarchy is the  City of Houston Code of Ordinances, available here. In addition, employees are expected to obey all applicable federal and state laws, rules and regulations during the conduct of their daily duties.Lastly, employees are expected to comply with any department and division-specific policies to which they are subject (employees should ask their supervisors for links to or copies of department and division-specific policies).

The remaining City-wide policy instruments (“Policies”) are the subject of the documents found on the Policy Management website. They are (1) the Mayor’s Executive Orders, (2) the Mayor’s Policies and (3) the Administrative Policy and Procedures. Functionally, there is no difference between any of the three policy instruments and they have traditionally been used interchangeably according to the preferences of the sponsoring department.

ARA has set for itself the goal of updating all of the Policies so that no Policy is older than three years old. Additional goals include eventually rescinding all of the Mayor’s Policies and to greatly reduce the number of Executive Orders by converting them or integrating them into Administrative Policies and Procedures.

Suggestions for improvements to a Policy may be sent to policy@houstontx.gov. Your suggestion will be forwarded to the appropriate subject matter expert in the sponsoring department for response.