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A Four Part Series
Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 4:50 PM - Well, I hate this but I'm going to have to hold off one more day before posting Part 3 and then Part 4. This is not my choice but in the act of trying to be FAIR, I must. Included in Part 3 is a story about "Quality Control." Yesterday I left a message for Bobby Heith to call me because I had a question.
Because I had to leave and he had not returned my call, at 3:05 pm I sent him an email asking one very simple question which was, "Can you tell me who has the job of "Quality Control" now? I just need the staff members name."
When I returned last night, Bobby had left a message on my phone recorder that said in essence, "Got your email and have spoken with John Shaw - Acting Director of HR. Neither of us are sure what position you're talking about. We don't think we have a position of "Quality Control" on our Organizational Chart. We need more specifics that better describe what you're wanting."
I immediately responded last night - I wrote, "As per your phone call questioning this job title - Who is doing the job that Chuck Wilson then Jim Siegler did - it was called Quality Control."
It's 4:50 p.m. now and I still have no response from the TLC and I have to leave now. Therefore, I cannot post my story as planned. Quality Control WAS the heart and soul regarding the integrity of our games and the RUMOR is that no one is doing this job and hasn't since the 2004 reorganization. The RUMOR is that G-Tech and Scientific Games is handling this function FOR the TLC with NO oversight by a state employee. I must confirm this rumor before I post my story and explanations.
Attention TLC: All I need is a TLC employee name that literally validates sales reported by G-Tech, checks and verifies computer codes, tapes, etc - anything electronic about the games that insures integrity and security of all the games ....including validating G-Tech and Scientific Games sales reports. Surely it can't take this long to find out what state employee is responsible for this VIP job function. Tell me, who took over the "Quality Control" job after Jim Siegler was let go in 2004 - who is responsible for this job NOW?
June 8, 2006- 9:15 PM - (Revised 6-9-06 - 10:45AM) I have decided to hold off posting Part 3 until Tuesday, June 13. As you can see, I've also decided to make this a 4 part series because I want to tell the story of Mark Bradshaw - in his memory - and his story is how I will close this series. After all, he was an ex-employee too.
I've wanted to tell Mark's story for 2 years and I feel now is the right time. I've heard so much about him that I feel like I knew him. IF any of you want to share something about Mark to let everyone know how well he was liked, loved, respected and appreciated - I will post your remarks with my story. I will NOT post your names but I am requesting that you identify yourself to me. You don't have to - but - I'd truly appreciate it if you would. In your messages, please put in the subject line - Mark Bradshaw.
Part 3 will be posted Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - PM - and Part 4 will be posted next Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - PM.
June 8, 2006 - 11:15AM - Revisions to the June 7th Editorial Below - Corrected the amount shown for salaries saved in 2004. I originally posted a figure of $235K and it should have been $300K. I also increased the average salary to $8K - not $6K! Additionally I added a link to a story in the Houston Chronicle about how "final" reports don't always jive with DRAFT reports.
June 7, 2006 - Part 2 of a 4 Part Series - First let me update you with regards to yesterday's editorial. The TLC updated their web site this morning to reflect the organizational changes and they removed Diane Morris' name as Director of HR. Now, what I didn't say yesterday, is that Stephen White is shown as the "Enforcement Chief" - problem is - I don't believe he carries that title now. I could be wrong, but this was my understanding. So IF by chance I am right, staff should have corrected this as well. Either way, I must say that this was the fastest response I've ever had to updating the TLC web site when I've mentioned something that needed fixing.
Now let's move on to the topic of audits and surveys - recent and past - and the "reported" results. Surveys and audits are conducted either by in-house staff or outside vendors.
Understand The Process -
Then the firm ALWAYS submits a "DRAFT" report before submitting a Final Report. Management and Legal review the findings. Then management submits their "comments" or "suggested revisions" to the firm and then the firm makes whatever adjustments to their "final" report and in the end, submits a "Final" report. This same process applies when the audit is done "in-house."
The "Final" report becomes a "public" document.
In my observations, "final" reports have rarely reflected the whole TRUTH.
In Jan 2005, Texas Tech provided the first truthful "Player Research" report during the Jan 2005 commission meeting although the "final" report was ultimately changed as requested by TLC management. The Dallas Morning News also conducted a study which supported Texas Tech's conclusions.
Player research is a requirement set forth by the Texas Legislature - our legislators want to know who supports the games of Texas. Until Jan 2005, they never really knew the truth. This caused a big stink because the Texas Lottery lost advertising money as a result of them learning the truth!
2) In 1999, the TLC reported that players supported a Lotto Texas matrix change to 6/54. The TLC concluded this by conducting "player research" meetings in several major cities across Texas. The methodology used - they found 10 people in each city to come together for round table discussions and had them fill out surveys.
It's important to note - the 10 people consisted mostly of non-players or people who rarely played the lottery. In the final [public] report, one group's input was totally thrown out. You know why - because ONE person in that group understood what was "really" going on - so - the TLC claims he influenced the other 9 people so they threw out their input altogether. Bottom line, they didn't say what the TLC wanted to hear.
3) In 2003, Ipsos Reid was hired to do a study on which Multi State Game Texas should join. The real results was that the People of Texas wanted to join Powerball. Management disagreed and so Texas joined Mega Millions. The state has never seen the projected income and this was never reported publicly either!
4) 2004 - State agencies survey their employees. The report is titled "Survey of Organizational Excellence." (Often referred to as the SOE Report) 2004 is when the TLC gutted Security and Marketing. They reduced the workforce (RIF) by approx 35 people. But the truth is - the TLC didn't really cut their salary expenses. They did report to the legislature that they had reduced their workforce as instructed and showed a savings to the state of something like
BTW - That meant each employee who was laid off earned about
Anyway, when the SOE report came out, they had horrible scores. So, Mr. Grief and Diane Morris decided that this wasn't a "fair" survey because of all those people who had been laid off. Management labeled them as "disgruntled employees." To get the score higher on the SOE, management threw out all comments from the Security & Marketing Divisions.
You must understand, those were THE people who had absolutely NO FEAR of losing their jobs so they were free to tell it like it was. Some of those people had been with the TLC since start-up and knew everything. FYI - Reagan Greer and Gary Grief were the top folks during this time frame.
I could go on but I think you get the point about how the TLC handles surveys, audits, investigations, studies. (Here's a story that appeared in the Houston Chronicle last year regarding how true findings are not always reported, click here.)
Just so that you know, Representative Kino Flores commented about the TLC's "studies/audits" during a hearing at the capitol last year. He asked them why they bothered to spend the money on audits and surveys since the results were always changed/altered - the reports don't necessarily reflect the truth. We all laughed over that one (it was the way he said it) - of course, the TLC staff didn't think it was very funny. Rep Flores was right though. What is the point of having surveys and audits done when no action is taken to correct areas of concern?
This brings me to the purpose of Part 2 of my 4 part series of editorials.
UT spent January compiling the data and submitted a DRAFT report in February.
In March 2006, UT submitted their "final report" to the Texas Lottery and it was presented to the commissioners during the March 29th commission meeting.
The "reported" results were that the scores this year were better than last years scores and they had a greater response than last year. Diane Morris told the Commissioners that the lower scores were in the area of fair pay, internal communications, holographic, team effectiveness and supervisor effectiveness.
Now if you read the "draft" report I'm posting and covering today, you'll read on the 1st page that the scores were "generally good, a drop in scores was reported in almost all constructs when compared to previous survey results." A link to the report comes later ... Hang on everybody - you've gotta read my story before you get to read the report! :))
Anyway, going through the process ... The next logical step - for the TLC - is to address those areas of concern so next years report will be even better and for most companies, a real objective would be to make sincere changes for improvement.
So TLC management instructed a few divisions to form committees/workgroups (Information Resources SOE Group [IR], Executive SOE Sub-Group & Enforcement SOE Committee) to study, analyze and make recommendations to management on how to best correct the low scoring area's in the troubled areas/divisions. A very logical plan of action.
The deadline for completion was the end of May and two of the three reports were completed in a timely manner. The two committees gave their DRAFT reports directly to executive staff - Sadberry & Grief.
The only report still NOT completed is the IR Committee Report. Why is that?
Let's Elaborate A Little Bit About the IR Committee Report
After the committee gathered all the input from their own survey, the IR Committee made and agreed on, their recommendations. They've concluded their work but the Final Report is still not complete.
The TLC is calling the IR Committee report a "DRAFT." Why this report is considered a DRAFT is a million dollar question. How can actual employee comments (examples shown below) and committee suggestions be considered a "DRAFT?" They've finished their work.
OK - I'll tell you WHY. It's because management has not approved the recommendations or even agreed to implement the suggestions made by the committee. Personally, I think someone is trying to figure out how to get rid of or delete the comments actually submitted by the employees in this new survey. Also management probably doesn't want to take the committee's recommendations.
I do have conflicting stories on exactly where this report is and its status. It's either with Mike Fernandez, Gary Grief, Sadberry or all three. I honestly don't know.
So that you know, the Information Resource (IR) department answers to the Administration Director who is Mike Fernandez. This is where Shelton Charles worked - the Fired Ex-Employee who is currently suing the TLC.
What did the IR survey ask?
So what did the employees say in this report?
To read the report in its entirety just click here (pdf). This report really makes for an interesting read to say the least. As you read the report, you can feel and sense the employees disgust and you can see the how very candid the employees are in their responses. They are begging to be heard by executive management but they have little faith that changes will occur.
Here it is one year AFTER employee dissatisfaction was exposed and the SAME problems still exists in the IR department.
HINT - Be sure and notice - on the 1st page - it says that, "the final document will have new recommendations and some of the existing recommendations may be removed."
Hey, management - why bother to ask a committee to make recommendations if you may DELETE or EDIT them? Why ask employee opinions if you plan to ignore them?
FYI - I'm posting this report because I do NOT want management to cover up, delete or edit the real findings. The report shows the employees actual comments and the Committee's recommendations/solutions. Now it's PAST time for Director Sadberry to respond and/or take action.
Committee Members (The ones who spearheaded the IR survey and completed a survey too)
Summary of Part 2 of a 4 Part Series
Coming - Part 3 of a 4 Part Series - The State Auditors audits, about the fired employees, the recent changes to Lotto Texas, plus several other interesting tidbits that I have on my list.
Continued....click here to read more
A Special Message To All
TLC Employees - Past & Present
- Don't Be Misled - A Legend Has NOT Returned -
Read all about the new Lotto Texas game that we will be playing
effective 4/23/06. Lower prizes, less money in the prize pool and
there's no guarantee that we'll receive our share of sales. Click here.
Whistleblower Lawsuit Filed by
Former TLC Employee - Shelton Charles
Feb 2, 2006 - Press Release - This is the 2nd lawsuit filed!
Feb 3, 2006 - Added Houston Chronicle Story
Revised: Feb 8, 2006 - Added Austin American Statesman Story
Read Newspaper Stories, Click here
Read The Petition That Was Filed With the Court, Click here (pdf)
Ex-Employee Sues TLC - Jan 31, 2006
They are calling for trial by jury ... this will be interesting.
One has to wonder, are more lawsuits in the works? Click here.
Told Ya So
About me, Judicial Watch & the cheated winners
Dallas Observer, posted 8/11/05 - Click here
A Dallas Observer Feature Story
My hats off to the Dallas Observer and reporter, Rick Kennedy,
for a fantastic feature story about my life since I decided to keep an eye
on the Texas Lottery. I finally posted his story, added links and comments.
Click here to read. (June 11, 2005)
Texas Lottery Denies Cheating Lotto Texas Winners
But excerpts from Commission Meetings refutes the TLC claims
of innocence. The complete story including a winners complaint letter
to the DA, excerpts and a spreadsheet showing the wins. Click here.
The Lotto Report
P. O. Box 495033
Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 681-1048 Fax