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Give QuickBooks Initiative Credit to DPNR Employees

Dear Source:
I watched the Legislature meeting with DPNR Commissioner Dean Plaskett. During this meeting, Senator Hill pointed out to the Commissioner that credit should be given where it's correctly due and that is a statement I totally agree 100% with. He stated that the Legislature was due credit on a particular initiative, instead of the Governor who had wrongfully received the credit.
DPNR was commended on the initiative to implement QuickBooks accounting software. The perception appeared as if; the upper management of DPNR came up with the idea of implementing QuickBooks. I'd like to correct that perception and give credit where credit is correctly due.
The innovative idea of introducing QuickBooks as a practical, cost efficient, internal, accounting software came from Susan Penn, a retired employee of DPNR. She came into contact with QuickBooks upon retirement.
Mrs. Penn returned to assist Fish and Wildlife Division, due to lack of an accountant. At her persistence and with Director Kojis authorization, the training of QuickBooks was implemented at Fish and Wildlife. The training was customized to the particular needs of Fish and Wildlife. Subsequent customized trainings took place with EPA, Environmental, and Coastal Zone accountants per each division individual needs.
Commissioner Plaskett does in fact have some excellent employees. His accountants expressed serious concerns as fiscal personnel to meet the audit requests for a structured accounting software to be implemented.
These employees stepped up to the task of a very rigorous, direct on-hands training. They were diligent in their pursuit of a much needed change. They accomplished updating their work into this new software at same time trying to keep up with daily tasks under intense pressure.
The business management of DPNR never met to overview the software, never attempted to be updated on the status of the employee training, and did not honor the request for an exit meeting to discuss the problems encountered and progresses made. All divisions were not given notification of the subsequent training in time to participate and missed the opportunity.
I am the person that trained DPNR's accountants in its use and who can attest to where credit is correctly due. I've been using/training with QuickBooks since its development. I am the person that attempted to establish standard training communications with DPNR's business management and failed to get a cooperative response.
Credit is correctly due to Susan Penn of Fish and Wildlife, Juanita Iles of EPA and her accounting staff members, Althea Grant of Environmental, and Kevin Matthews of Coastal Zone. These employees should be commended for insight, pursuit, and fortitude in attempting to establish better fiscal responsibility despite hurdles. They should also be commended for their communication abilities and team work.
It is these employees that gave me faith that our government does indeed have some fiscally responsible and dedicated workers. Like the majority of the general public, I did not think the government had any good workers. These workers proved me wrong.
Senators and Commissioner Plaskett, credit should be given, where it is correctly due.
Carol Berry
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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