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Indiana State Personnel Department
Procedures and Guidelines
- The State Suggestion Committee
The State Suggestion Program will be governed by a Committee comprised of the following: the State Personnel Director, the Director of the Budget Agency, and the State Examiner of the State Board of Accounts. Any officer of state who is made a member of the suggestion committee may delegate that responsibility to a subordinate. The committee may be expanded if all committee members agree, but there shall never be less than these three members or their designees.
- Duties of the Committee
- The Committee shall meet quarterly or at any time as requested by the State Suggestion Coordinator to efficiently process pending suggestions.
- Members shall establish policies and guidelines to administer the program not specifically addressed in this document.
- Members shall determine whether suggestions shall be approved, awards shall be made, type of awards and authorization of payment of awards.
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- State Agency Appointment of Agency Suggestion Coordinator
The agency head or appointing authority of any agency will appoint a State Suggestion Program Coordinator with the authority to recommend monetary awards from the Agency's budget.
- Duties of Agency Suggestion Coordinator
Agency Suggestion Coordinators shall be responsible for:
- Forwarding suggestions received from the State Suggestion Coordinator to the appropriate individuals for evaluation, and securing such evaluation from the evaluator and returning it to State Personnel;
- certifying a suggestor's eligibility for participation in the program;
- certifying compliance with section IV (A) of this outline;
- certifying any cost savings figures provided in an evaluation to the State Suggestion Committee;
- compiling reports to agency head of suggestion awards made by the State Suggestion Committee.
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- Appointment of State Suggestion Coordinator
The Communication Specialist in the State Personnel Department shall be the State Suggestion Coordinator.
- Duties of the State Suggestion Coordinator
The State Suggestion Coordinator shall be responsible for:
- receiving suggestions, maintaining the program database, evaluating suggestion eligibility, and forwarding of suggestions to Agency Suggestion Coordinators.
- presentation of suggestions and evaluations to the State Suggestion Committee
- publication of program results.
- all notifications to suggestors and agencies regarding denial or payment of award.
- preparing quarterly reports to the State Suggestion Committee on suggestion activity.
- recording the decisions of the State Suggestion Committee.
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- Determination of employees eligible to participate
- All full-time employees of the State of Indiana are eligible to participate except the following:
- The chief executive officer of any agency or institution, the officer's principal deputies or assistants;
- Members of Boards or Commissions;
- Persons whose job duties include cost analyses;
- Members of the State Suggestion Committee and the State Suggestion Coordinator.
Note: The Committee requires evaluating agencies to certify Suggestor's eligibility based on known duties.
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- Determination of eligible suggestions
A suggestion must not only call attention to a specific problem, but it must also include a specific solution to be eligible. The suggestion must describe the type of cost savings, or other benefit the employee foresees if the suggestion is adopted, or if the suggestion is revenue generating (and the revenue generated was used to offset costs paid with budgeted funds) must provide documentation of revenues generated within the first year's implementation. Vague or general suggestions shall be returned to the employee for elaboration or completion.
A suggestion shall be determined ineligible for any of the following reasons:
- a suggestion which represents a part of the normal duties of the employee making the suggestion (i.e. suggestions which are developed as part of the duties of an employee's position).
Note: If the employee has the ability to implement the suggestion, or the employee's job duties specifically include cost savings, budgeting or planning over the topic of the suggestion, it is within the normal job duties. If the employee does not have the ability to implement the suggestion, and the subject matter of the suggestion is outside of the employee's normal duties, it is assumed not to be within the normal job duties of an employee's position.
- A suggestion which requires legislative action or Executive Order to implement, or is otherwise outside of the affected agency's statutory authority to implement.
- Suggestions which were under consideration by agencies prior to having been submitted to the State Suggestion Program.
- Suggestions previously considered by the State Suggestion Committee, unless it is the decision of the State Suggestion Coordinator that the suggestion is newly viable due to the passage of time.
- Suggestions concerning routine maintenance of buildings, equipment or grounds which may be reported through regularly established channels (unless there is a quantifiable cost savings associated with the suggestion).
- Suggestions that correct a condition that exists only because established procedure is not being followed.
- Suggestions relating to wages, benefits, hours of work, merit complaints, union grievances, or other issues covered under Executive Order 90-6 or union settlements.
- A suggestion submitted after the idea is implemented unless the Suggestor's idea is forwarded from the Human Resources Division of the affected agency with agency head nomination verifying the Suggestion as the catalyst for the idea and detailing cost savings experienced. This nomination, along with the cost analysis must be received by the State Suggestion Coordinator within ninety days of implementation, unless it is revenue generating in nature (and revenues generated were used to offset costs normally paid with budgeted funds), and therefore must be submitted within thirteen months from implementation.
- a suggestion which is not an original idea.
Note: an original idea will be defined as an idea which had no other genesis than from the suggestor. The idea did not result from one agency's practice being adopted by another, idea generating meetings, vendor solicitation, conferences or training which was paid for, or otherwise sponsored by the state.
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- Suggestion Process
- State Employee obtains suggestion form through one of the following:
- Submitting form online through website
- requesting form from State Personnel
- Contacting agency coordinator
- Suggestor fills out form and submits to State Personnel (electronically or hard copy).
- State Suggestion Coordinator reviews form for completeness, logs information into database and if valid forwards suggestion to appropriate agency for review in electronic format if possible. If incomplete, form will be returned to suggestor for required information.
- Agency coordinator receives suggestion and has 30 days to complete evaluation and return to State Personnel.
- When the evaluation is returned to State Personnel it is reviewed by the State Suggestion Coordinator for completeness and, if complete, is then placed on the agenda for the next State Suggestion Committee quarterly meeting. If in the opinion of the State Suggestion Coordinator additional information is necessary regarding the suggestion, the Agency Suggestion Coordinator of the evaluating agency will be asked to attend the State Suggestion Committee Meeting.
- If it is decided that a suggestion will receive a monetary award, a notification letter authorizing payment will be sent to the Agency Head of the affected Agency. (The suggestor will be sent a notification letter of the award within five business days of Agency notification of the award).
- If a suggestion is denied by the committee, the suggestor will be sent a denial letter within five business days of the meeting.
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- Award of Suggestions
If it is the finding of the State Suggestion Committee that a suggestion has been implemented as a result of its having been processed by the program, (or if the suggestion has been submitted through the Agency Head nomination process) the Committee may authorize an award.
- The amount and kind of awards will be based upon the following:
- Tangible Awards
- Cash awards will only be given for tangible suggestions. Tangible suggestions are ideas whose benefits are financial in nature and can be quantified using cost analysis. The amount of the awards will be calculated using the guidelines and formulas already established under 31 IAC 2-18-2.
- Payment of these monetary awards will come from appropriated funds of the agencies to realize the cost savings.
- The award calculation must be made based upon cost savings figures which have subtracted any and all implementation costs.
- Intangible awards
- Non-cash awards will be given for intangible suggestions. Intangible suggestions are ideas that may have an overall benefit but whose benefits cannot be measured in dollars. These suggestions may include but are not limited to changes in procedure, or safety and health concerns. Awards for these type of suggestions will not be monetary (unless there is a quantifiable cost savings associated with the idea). Instead, taking in to account ingenuity and scope of importance, the Suggestion Committee may award tokens of appreciation such as the marble clock, brass card case, etc.
- The Suggestion Committee may consider revenue generating suggestions and make monetary awards based upon the actual revenues generated in the first year of implementation if the funds were used to offset costs normally paid with budgeted funds.
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- Finality of Decisions and Appeal Process
- The decision of the Suggestion Committee is final as to the eligibility for an award or the amount and type of an award. If the suggestor feels that there has been injustice in the suggestion process and denial of their award, they have the right to one appeal provided one of the following criteria apply:
- There is additional information of which the committee was not aware during the review process.
- The suggestion was found to be implemented within one year of suggestor's notice of denial from the Committee.
Note: If a suggestion is denied, but is later implemented as a result of the suggestion and within one year of the Committee's notification of denial to the suggestor, the suggestion will still be given credit and the original suggestor or suggestors will receive an appropriate award. After one year, certification must come from the agency head that the idea can be clearly traced to the suggestion submittal and that funds for any award recommended are available.