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​Kentucky Employee Suggestion System Awards

The 2014 KESS award recipients were recognized March 11, 2015 at the Governor's Mansion.  Thirty-eight employees' ideas were approved for implementation, and combined, saved the Commonwealth more than $350,000 during 2014.   

View each agency's winners below.

Toni Humphrey suggested that nurse applicant court record documents be scanned to a permanent electronic file, saving file folders, labels, staff time and storage space at agency and Frankfort archives.

Heather Cann suggested sending certified mail online through the Post Office rather than using the green forms, which cost more. Heather received $100 for her suggestion with intangible savings. 

Michael Colwell's suggestion would allow principals to make corrections as they identify errors in Family Support cases, as part of the Family Support Redesign.  Michael received $100 for his suggestion with intangible savings.

Rona Dawson suggested the elimination of the hard copy purchases of the Red Book, the nurses/EPI reference source, because it is available online.  Rona received $100 for her suggestion with intangible savings. 

Gena Goodrich suggested the Personal Cabinet add a link to the KHRIS system for help with password and ID issues.  Gena received $100 for her suggestion with intangible savings.

Corrie Hall's suggestion was implemented as part of the DCBS redesign, having a region field automatically populated.  Corrie received $100 for her suggestion with intangible savings. 

Theresa Harvey suggested an 'all compliant' option be added to OIG surveys which decreased steps in the survey process and increases efficiency.  Theresa received $100 for her suggestion with intangible savings. 

James Kimble's suggestion was a customized excel template to help DDS workers automate the billing process. James received $100 for his suggestion with intangible savings.

Roseann Mays, a Department of Medicaid Services employee, suggested a clause be added to 'return to provider' letters to increase reviewer productivity and efficiency.    She received $100 for her suggestion with intangible savings. 

Charles Nickies' suggestion was to update the US Department of State's phone number on the Office of Vital Statistics website which was no longer valid. This helped increase customer service for constituents' requesting birth, death or marriage certificates.   Charles received $100 for his suggestion with intangible savings.

Christi Porter suggested that Family Support Offices stop renting PO boxes, which results in a charge, and use regular mail delivery, free of charge, when appropriate.  Christi received $100 for her suggestion with intangible savings.

C-Ann Robinson's suggestion resulted in an addition of the employee personnel number (Pernr), to the supervisor checklist for exiting employees, resulting in an increase in efficiency of employee files.  C-Ann received $100 for her suggestion with intangible savings. 

The Division of Mine Permits stopped mailing permit review correspondencethrough the U.S. Post Office and began sending them electronically, which resulted in a one-year savings of $10,154. Roy McQueary was awarded $1,015.      

Ben Barkley proposed a time-savings method for debit/credit card payments be made through the Department of Revenue's online payment system, EEPS.  Ben received $100 for his suggestion with intangible savings. 

Leslie Cheatham suggested the Department of Revenue discontinue their license agreement with their current software vendor and move users to software the department already owns and extend available licenses without additional cost. Leslie's suggestion incurred a $1,717 first year savings, earning her a $271 award.

Melissa Chandler suggested to the Department of Public Advocacy (DPA) that they obtain an MOVI video conferencing system that was currently being utilized by jails, probation and parole offices, and Department of Correction staff. MOVI allows a desktop computer to become a video conferencing system using Crisco software and an inexpensive desktop digital camera. This system provides staff with greater schedule flexibility when meeting with incarcerated clients and eliminates the travel of DPA employees to probation and parole offices to utilize P&P's video-conferencing equipment.  Melissa received $100 for her suggestion with intangible savings.    

David Stone's suggestion stems from the prevalent use of personal cell phones by trainees housed at DOCJT during their course time. The land lines connected to each dorm room were no longer necessary. Two lines per floor of the dormitory were maintained and 125 eliminated, creating an annual savings of $21,000.  He received an award of $2,100.        

April Edwards discovered a hard copy OSHA Citations Supplement was not being used due to its availability through the internet. The hard copy was sitting unused in the law library. While also recovering needed space in the library, cancelling the subscription for the supplement saved $1455.88. April received an award of $145.59.

April Madbak determined an online codes and standards resource used by our OSHA divisions was underutilized. She found that only a fraction of the codes and standards provided were being used. April suggested purchasing the codes and standards from a per use database. The divisions implemented April's suggestion which resulted in a savings of $15,300.00. April received an award of $1,530.        

Sherry Davis recommended using existing state facilities where no fee would be charged for benefit fairs during health insurance open enrollment.  This practice was a change from past benefit fairs where the facilities used charged a substantial fee.  Sherry's suggestion incurred an $8,800 first year savings, earning her an $880 award.

Christopher Lawhorn proposed a time-saving method for developers to facilitate testing of their code while working on KHRIS, the Commonwealth's Human Resource Information System.  Christopher received $100 for his suggestion with intangible savings. 

Larry Gillis suggested changes to the KHRIS Employee Self Service that would allow employees to view their annual increment date.  Providing this information will reduce the number of phone calls received by the Personnel Cabinet as well as agency HR offices.  Larry received $100 for his suggestion with intangible savings.

Donna Shelton recommended that the Temporary Total Disability Benefits Checks be registered in a shared folder in which both Worker's Compensation and Return-To-Work programs have access. This action streamlined the process of maintaining and retrieving information and gave access to all employees needing the information.  Donna received $100 for her suggestion with intangible savings.

Public Protection Cabinet employee James Bozeman suggested that his agency, the Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction, discontinue mailing project correspondence to local building officials, saving $3,550 in paper, envelopes, mailing labels and postage each year. Instead, the department is communicating with local officials through electronic mail.        

Lance Heiss, with the Kentucky Department of Parks, at Nolin Lake State Park, suggested that an internal database be created for use by maintenance supervisors. In the database maintenance supervisors could post unused equipment, tools, materials or usable parts with a short description, pictures along with the contact name, phone number and location of the items. Lance's suggestion improved efficiency, saves time, money and materials. He earned $100 with intangible savings.

Michael Kelly, with Kentucky Department of Parks at Rough River Dam State Resort Park, suggested the installation of employee suggestion boxes in the dining room and front desk areas. Michael states that "many people have a lot of great ideas, but no box to collect their thoughts."  This suggestion improved employee morale, improved efficiency and gave employees a chance to express their ideas to improve park operations and save money. He earned $100 with intangible savings.

Lowell Maynard, with Kentucky Department of Parks at Yatesville Lake State Park, suggested that instead of burning the trees when they are cut down at the park, they be cut and sold for fire wood in the gift or pro shop. Lowell's suggestion improved efficiency, saved time, money and materials and also increased state revenue. He earned $100 with intangible savings. 

Sherry Kremer, with the Kentucky State Fair Board Fiscal and Contract Management Division, suggested implementing the use of email/scanning to send account receivable documents, memos and financial information to board members and clients instead of the costly previous process of making copies, using postage machines and mailing them. Sherry's suggestion saved time, money and materials. She earned $100 with intangible savings.

Roderick Middleton, with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources suggested disconnecting the power in the fish hatchery in the fall when it is not being used and reconnecting it in the spring to save on electricity. Roderick suggestion saved time, money, materials and electricity without harm to operations. He received an award for $302.38, and his suggestion is expected to save $3,023.76.

Glenn Anderson, in Division of Traffic Operations, developed a sensor system based on Bluetooth to measure travel time on signalized arterials, interstates and parkways.  Commercial sensors of this type cost $5000 each. The sensors that Glenn designed cost only $131 each, saving the cabinet and state over $50,000. He is awarded $2,500.

Mary Gatewood suggested that since we no longer receive P1 statements, that an employee's current monthly salary be added to the KHRIS system so an employee has access to their current salary amount. She is awarded $100 with intangible savings.

David Blake and Jimmy Tatum suggested a light rack be placed on top of the equipment trucks so that it would cover the current holes in the top of the truck that were drilled for antennas. The light bars prevent the truck from leaking water through the holes and prevent continued maintenance on repairing the current holes in the truck.  The light bar cost only $400 which was much cheaper than painting the truck or buying a new headliner for the inside of the truck.  They are awarded $100.

Michael Baase suggested that, rather than higher contractors, KYTC perform air monitoring of bridge painting jobs in-house using KYTC employees and equipment that was purchased for this process 10 years earlier. Once KYTC started performing monitoring procedures in-house it saved over $13,100 in start-up costs. He was awarded $1,310.

Brian Beaven suggested the Division of Motor Carriers deploy two Kentucky Automated Truck Screening (KATS) Systems at Kentucky Weigh Stations used to read license plates and DOT numbers on trucks. These automated systems are able to identify which commercial vehicles owe Kentucky tax dollars or those who have not purchased the proper temporary permits to travel through the state, thus recouping over $162,000 in fees. He is awarded $2,500.

Canadian carriers were not reporting their mileage through KY accurately and were reporting kilometers instead of mileage on their KYU tax returns. Margaret Newby suggested KYU miles reported by Canadian carriers be compared with KYU tax returns to see if the reporting is accurate and if not, the carrier be fined the appropriate amount. This process has recouped approximately $50,000. She earns $2,500.

As part of an agreement between the Department of Corrections and the Transportation Cabinet, 12 district safety coordinators must provide 2-3 hours of highway & safety awareness training to all eligible inmates prior to them being allowed to work on KYTC inmate crews. Jon K. Lam suggested recording a video that can be shown to all. Statewide savings are $5,595.76. He is awarded $559.58.