Sharing Their Names

Posted June 6, 2008 at 6:23pm

Members will soon know every other office that employs their “shared employees,” those financial and technical staffers who work in several House offices.

[IMGCAP(1)]The House Administration Committee recently directed Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard to produce the first quarterly report on that information, along with guidelines and rules for hiring and retaining shared employees.

Those steps are taken directly from a House Inspector General report that made several recommendations on how to improve control over shared employees. The use of such employees has increased in recent years, with many House offices using the employees on a part-time basis for financial and technical issues.

House IG James Cornell began investigating the issue after discovering that Laura Flores, an office manager for three offices, had billed the offices for supplies she had not purchased. She recently pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to six months in prison.

The CAO has not yet come up with the timeline or format of the reports, said CAO spokesman Jeff Ventura.

While it’s unclear when the CAO will release the reports, it’s sure to be just one of several planned changes. When Cornell testified at a hearing last month on his recommendations, Members said they would implement many of them.

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