KHON2 News: State Tax Employees Speak Out Against Proposed Snooping Measures

Calvin Calkins, state tax employee: "The employees are fearful for reprisals, so we don't want to talk. They have not trained us. They have not given us any rules. They didn't even tell us about this bill. I had to find out through the grapevine."

Calvin Calkins, state tax employee: “The employees are fearful for reprisals, so we don’t want to talk. They have not trained us. They have not given us any rules. They didn’t even tell us about this bill. I had to find out through the grapevine.” -KHON2. Calkins grew up on the Wai`anae Coast and is a Wai`anae High School graduate. Click image to see the video and full report.

The following excerpts are from a report, “Tax snooping brings chilly reception at State Capitol,” by Gina Mangieri, KHON2 News, 11 Feb. 2013:

The [state tax] department wants legal penalties for what currently are only administrative policies and procedures barring the kind of records snooping that allegedly was behind a suspension of 21 tax staff from Oahu and neighbor island offices in December 2011.

State tax employees came forward to defend their work, and that of the accused, at a hearing of tax measures Monday.

“Browsing is somebody looks at somebody’s tax return or tax account. They’re not supposed to, period. Nothing ever got outside of the department on this whole browsing brouhaha,” tax employee Ed Beal said.

Senate judiciary committee, led by Sen. Clayton Hee, listen to testimony 2/11/13. "Clearly these two bills were targeted toward the employees only, and that's part of the dysfunction," Hee said. "They are as culpable as their department employees as they are the supervisors, and if training is lacking or supervision is lacking then clearly this issue does not rest with employees only but also with the administration."

Senate technology and judiciary committee, led by Sen. Clayton Hee, listens to testimony 2/11/13. “Clearly these two bills were targeted toward the employees only, and that’s part of the dysfunction,” Hee said. “They are as culpable as their department employees as they are the supervisors, and if training is lacking or supervision is lacking then clearly this issue does not rest with employees only but also with the administration.” -KHON2

The measures have not been set for house hearings. The senate technology and judiciary deferred them.

“Clearly the tax department is taking on the appearance of being a dysfunctional department where the employees and the administration are at odds,” judiciary chairman Sen. Clayton Hee said.

The judiciary chair asked the department to go back to the drawing board and to consult the very employees who came forward.

The tax department told KHON2 News they are “always trying to make improvements in the areas of communications and security.”

Click here to see the video and full report on the KHON2 News site.

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