The Edmond Sun

Local News

April 18, 2013

Deficiencies put Oklahoma veterans at risk

(Continued)

OKLA. CITY — IDENTIFIED ISSUES

The report identified issues including inconsistent training, pervasive substandard wages and disregard by some administrator’s of staff input. These practices have contributed to a problematic work environment where human resources are improperly allocated and undervalued, Jones said.

Auditors found inconsistent policy implementation and insufficient independence in performing internal investigations of alleged misconduct, Jones said.

The result of the agency’s fractured decentralized management structure had the opposite effect of its desired intent to promote accountability, Jones said. The issues could have been effectively managed or avoided altogether with appropriate oversight by the War Veterans Commission, he said.

Other concerns included divisional structure and centralization, a lack of independence and training for internal investigation teams, a lack of adequate monitoring tools to ensure effective veteran center performance and apparent ineffective methods for self-reporting incidents.

Auditors found of the 48 investigations reviewed that were required to be reported five were not reported to the central office, five were not reported to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and eight were not reported to the Board of Nursing or the state’s Nurse Aide Registry.

AUDIT RECOMMENDATIONS

The audit report offers multiple recommendations detailing how the commission may overcome its institutional challenges to implement consistency and accountability.

Auditors recommended the agency:

• Modify commission membership. State statutes currently limit potential commissioners to the veteran population;

• Implement ongoing training;

• Create more committees to address specific issues;  

• Improve financial oversight;

• Approve the ODVA’s standard operating procedures to ensure they guard against financial, human and reputational losses;

• Enhance program monitoring and evaluation; and

• Adopt a formal policy for evaluation of the

executive director.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

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The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

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