Oops Jay, you are right I missed what you said. I confused your comments with another poster (sorry). In regards to outside evaluators I so fully believe in them. It's the most fair way to evaluate a department's candidates. It's fair and objective. Regardless of whether the department really likes one of their candidates, they do not get extra credit for being a "good guy". It's all about how they perform under pressure.
Yes, this does lend itself to the department promoting someone who has been a less than stellar employee. Many departments have the "rule of three" where the FC can pass over someone on the list if he or she is not the right fit.
By using inside evaluators, the department can hand pick the person thay want. As someone who is writing a promotional exam as we speak, it would be great to hand pick the people I want to hand a Captains badge to. We all have our favorites and that is simply not fair to the rest of the group.
The whole reason the Civil Service was developed (as pointed out by FFFRed above) is to make it fair.
If the department's favorite guy vapor locks during the test, maybe he wasn't the right person for the position.
I don't profess to have the right answers and I know we are all passionate about the topic. I am interested to hear how others feel about it and how their department approaches the promotional process.