Statewide agency survey finds minor problems, 'lost' employee

Wednesday, October 25th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The state Health Department had a problem with "ghost" employees.

The state Employment Security Commission apparently had a "lost" employee.

After acting Health Department Director Jerry Regier announced in June that he found at least nine individuals who were being paid by the agency but apparently had no duties, Gov. Frank Keating ordered all 108 state agencies to review their employment and payroll practices.

According to the Daily Oklahoman, the survey uncovered a woman who reported to her job with the Employment Security Commission even after she didn't have an official position.

The woman was originally responsible for ensuring the agency maintained certain achievement standards mandated by the U.S. Labor Department, but the monitoring program was revised a year or two ago, the agency said.

The woman then was assigned to do special projects for a deputy director, but when the deputy director resigned this summer she got lost in the shuffle, supervisors said.

The agency said the woman was reassigned on Aug. 14, and will be held accountable for time, attendance and work performance.

The 700-employee Employment Security Commission helps individuals find jobs and handles unemployment benefits for jobless workers.

The statewide survey also identified administrative and organizational flaws at several state agencies, including many agencies' failure to evaluate employees on time.

The Agriculture Department blamed summer firefighting for finishing just 272 of 484 employee evaluations.

"The problem is that the men in forestry have been out fighting forest fires and have not been able to complete (evaluations),"

the agency said.

Other agencies blamed confusion caused by a new employee ratings system adopted by the personnel management office.

The personnel management even had problems, completing 40 of 82 evaluations in the specified time period.