Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Development

You are here

Organization:

Pennsylvania Department of Revenue

City:

Harrisburg

State:

Pennsylvania

Organization Overview:

Established in 1927, the mission of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is to fairly, efficiently, and accurately administer the tax laws and other revenue programs of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. On an annual basis, the department receives and collects all the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania General Fund tax revenue, which includes processing more than 10 million business and individual tax reports and payments annually. Additionally, the department is also responsible for administering the Pennsylvania Lottery, which remains the only state lottery that designates all its proceeds to programs that benefit older residents.

Project Name:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Development
Project Type: 
Program Development

Project Overview:

The PA Department of Revenue (DOR) is seeking recommendations for the development of a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) program to increase diversity in our workforce and to create cultural awareness to better serve our diverse customer base.

DOR recently responded to a DEI survey issued by the Commonwealth of PA’s Office of Administration. The intent of the survey was to baseline DOR’s efforts to address diversity, promote inclusion, and identify and address systemic inequalities. While the concept of diversity is broad, as it encompasses all the ways we are unique and recognizes all our individual differences, the initial focus of this program will be racial diversity. Recommendations are also being sought for other areas of study/focus for our DEI program, in the future.

After conversations at the executive-level, there are four areas where the DOR is looking to build our DEI culture and examine our business practices:

Customer treatment & impact: This includes examining our customer service policies and practices to identify and address systemic racial or economic inequality, ensuring fair and equal treatment of our customers, regardless of their circumstances, and identifying areas of weakness where we are underserving segments of our population by location, requirements or process.

Compliance and tax policy impact: This includes examining our tax laws, internal policies, and compliance strategies to identify and address systemic racial or economic inequality, and recognizing that the DOR does not write the tax laws, identifying way to avoid perpetuating inequality through the tax system.

Diversity in hiring & promotion: This includes reviewing our EEO data to assess overall workforce diversity, as well as identifying areas of under-representation by job classificationm bureau, gender, or position type (management versus union-covered, entry-level versus career-oriented). Additionally, we are looking for suggestions for encouraging and developing a diverse candidate pool, internally, for promotional opportunities, as well as identifying recruitment opportunities and partnerships with schools to increase diversity in our external candidate pool. Finally, we are looking for the identification of specific factors that are an impediment to hiring diverse candidates, both internally and externally.

Internal human centered mindset & culture: This includes best practices for creating a safe environment for tough conversations around difference, unconscious bias, and racial injustice, building awareness and educating staff around difference and racial inequity, and sharing and celebrating the diversity of our staff.

For each of the areas identified above, the final DEI program recommendations should address:

  • Analysis of DOR’s current state of awareness and/or operations
  • Potential goals/initiatives to address gaps and increase accountability
  • Methods for measuring and monitoring progress to identified goals/initiatives

Deliverable(s):

  1. A project timeline within the first month, outlining project plan.
  2. A research paper analyzing the DOR current state, outlining best practices and benchmarks with other states and organizations, and presenting a set of recommendations for the development of a DEI program.
  3. A presentation of findings to the project sponsors and members of the executive staff.


Project Timeline:
This is an ongoing initiative within the DOR. The specific contributions and areas of focus for this project may change or expand, depending upon where the department is in the development process.

A project timeline will be developed within the first month, by the student, in consultation with the project sponsor.


Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326
felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu