A day late could mean a dollar short for Richland employees

dhinshaw@thestate.comApril 10, 2013 

— Richland County employees must respond to public inquiries within a day as part of an effort to be more business friendly.

While it falls short of a cheerful phone greeting the governor notoriously instructed state employees to answer with – “It’s a great day in South Carolina!” – the county hopes the new guideline will encourage non-responsive employees to get with the program.

The HR department is updating employee handbooks with a deadline for answering queries from the public. In most cases, an employee has until close of business the following day.

What’s more, they are expected to be “accurate, complete and ... understandable.”

Those who don’t comply may be disciplined – even fired.

Assistant county administrator Sparty Hammett said most employees already meet the standard.

“If we have an employee who is habitually not being responsive,” he added, “they probably don’t need to be working for Richland County.”

County employee Leonard Bradley agreed. “We’re here to serve the public,” he said.

A pleased Ike McLeese, head of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, said the new policy merely brings Richland County in line with private businesses.

Problems can be reported by calling the county ombudsman at (803) 929-6000.

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