Awards & Recognition
Awards & Recognition
Your ideas could be worth a fortune!
Thirty-eight employees were recognized for their suggestions to improve the productivity and services offered by the state.
Submitted through the Kentucky Employee Suggestion System or KESS, the employees' ideas are expected to save the Commonwealth nearly $350,000 in the first year alone.
"As former state auditor, secretary of the cabinet and state budget director, I'm very aware of the need for government efficiencies and ideas to save the state money," Lt. Gov. Luallen said. "Who better to suggest ways to improve the operations of our government than our state employees? The Governor and I want to thank our state employees for their continued commitment to public service and for continuing to find ways to improve efficiency and serve the best interests of our citizens."
Administered by the Personnel Cabinet, KESS was established in 1981 to encourage employees to practice good management and to share ideas for improving operations. Since 1996, the Commonwealth has realized more than $47 million in first-year savings.
"The figures give you an idea of the importance of this program and the impact these employees have made," Secretary Longmeyer said. "With the leanest government in history, employees are asked to perform multiple jobs with fewer resources. They know improvements that can help them be more efficient, and as a result, government becomes more efficient."
Suggestions that result in the improvement of state service or financial savings can be approved for implementation. Submissions are first evaluated at the cabinet level and, if implemented, are then sent to the Kentucky Employee Suggestion System Council for recommendation of a monetary award.
Cash awards can be provided and may range from a minimum of $100 to 10 percent of the first year's documented or estimated savings, up to a maximum of $2,500. One hundred dollars may be given for ideas that are adopted but have intangible savings.
David Stone, an employee with the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, suggested that the landline phones in the Department of Criminal Justice Training dorm rooms be removed, since cellphone usage is so widely accepted. Two landlines per floor at the dormitory were maintained and 125 landlines eliminated, creating an annual savings of $21,000. Stone received an award of $2,100.
Brian Beaven, an employee with the Division of Motor Carriers in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, suggested that two Kentucky Automated Truck Screening (KATS) Systems be used at Kentucky weigh stations to read license plates and U.S. Department of Transportation numbers on trucks. These automated systems are able to identify the commercial vehicles that owe Kentucky tax dollars or the ones that have not purchased the proper temporary permits to travel through the state, thus recouping more than $162,000 in fees. Beaven received an award of $2,500.
To view the 2014 winning suggestions, visit https://personnel.ky.gov/Pages/KESS2014.aspx. To see pictures from the event, click here.
For more information regarding the Personnel Cabinet's Employee Suggestion System, visit https://personnel.ky.gov/pages/rewards.aspx.
Photo: From left, Lt. Governor Crit Luallen, award winner April Madbak, Labor Cabinet Secretary Larry Roberts, and Personnel Cabinet Secretary Tim Longmeyer
Griffith's fast thinking diverts disaster
Some fast thinking by an employee of the Department of Highways District 10 may have averted a disaster when he came upon a wrecked gasoline tanker.
Hargus Griffith, an employee of the District 10 bridge crew, was driving a snowplow on the morning of Thursday, Feb. 26, when he saw a tanker truck that had partially slid off the snow-covered roadway on the Duck Fork bridge on KY 399 in Lee County. Recognizing the potential danger, he called for other Department of Highways crew members to respond. Eventually, fire and rescue and environmental crews arrived on the scene.
There were no injuries reported and the bridge suffered only minor damage to its side railing.
In a letter commending Griffith for his quick thinking, District 10 chief district engineer Corbett Caudill wrote:
"You recognized that this matter could have escalated into a serious incident and acted with intelligence and foresight in requesting a response to the accident. While the situation thankfully did not turn into an emergency, the potential was there and you were wise in realizing that and in analyzing the situation. Had the tanker truck ruptured, the water supply for thousands of Kentuckians all the way from Lee County to the Ohio River would have been in jeopardy. If the truck had caught fire or exploded, loss of life could have happened."
KSP Honor Guard Serves At Ford Memorial
The Kentucky State Police Honor Guard played a high visibility role during memorial services for Wendell Ford, Kentucky's 53rd governor, who died on Jan. 22 at age 90.
The unit served as pallbearers and stood casket guard during ceremonies held at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort on Jan. 25th.
Members of the KSP Honor Guard who participated in the detail include: Sgt. Jason Bunch, Post 10-Harlan; Tpr. Anthony Bowling, Post 8-Morehead; Tpr. Jared Clemons, Post 4-Elizabethtown; Tpr. Jack Hedges, Post 12-Frankfort; Tpr. Seth Lee, Post 4-Elizabethtown; Tpr. Jeremy Moore, Post 6-Dry Ridge; Tpr. Justin Phillips, Post 15-Columbia; Tpr. Robert Purdy, Post 7-Richmond; Tpr. Brad Riley, Executive Security Branch; Tpr. Brent Sparks, Post 8-Morehead and Tpr. Clint Walker, Post 15-Columbia.
Ford was the 21st person to lie in state in Kentucky's Capitol. The last time the KSP Honor Guard served in a gubernatorial memorial was in 2004 at the passing of Louie Nunn, the state's 52nd governor.