Audit to look at sexual harassment policies of state agencies

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Auditor General Eugene DePasquale on Wednesday announced his agency plans to audit the sexual harassment policies at state agencies across the commonwealth. 

“All of us must remain vigilant in our effort to prevent and stop sexual harassment in the workplace,” said DePasquale. “The goal is to prevent sexual harassment from happening in the first place.”

For agencies under the jurisdiction of the governor, sexual harassment policy comes from the Office of Administration. The auditor general will look at compliance with those policies.

“We will also look at how many sexual harassment complaints may have been filed during the audit period,” said DePasquale. 

For other agencies, auditors will look to see if they have a policy in place and how well it’s being implemented. That includes state universities.

After claims of sexual harassment at the state Capitol, the auditor general also says he’d like to see the Legislature give him the authority to look into them as well.

“I am, for good or for bad, forbidden from auditing the Legislature,” said DePasquale.

The new policy comes after the attorney general’s office looked into the Philadelphia Parking Authority last year and found a former executive director sexually harassed an employee. DePasquale hopes to prevent those situations from happening again in the future.

“If everyone knows the boundaries, it is easier. Again, it won’t be perfect, but it is easier to make sure lines are not crossed and employees are not subjected to harassment,” said DePasquale.

DePasquale says they are also reviewing the policies and training of his own department in the hopes of becoming the standard for the state. 

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