Aug 01, 2018

Local 207 Members Win DOR Outstanding Performance Citation

On Monday, July 30th, the DOR announced the 2018 DOR Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance Winners, following their 2018 Performance Review Program.  Among those recognized were several NAGE members, who have worked incredibly hard over the past year to improve on existing systems and training, help their team members, deliver incredible product and much more.  

"This group of members has shown tremendous effort and diligence over the past year, and we would like to congratulate them on their well-earned recognition," said NAGE President David J. Holway. 
 
Local 207 President Theresa McGoldrick is proud to have so many member honored for their work,  "They deserve this recognition, they work hard every day and should be acknowledged for the outstanding work that they do."  

Please see the letter below from Commissioner Harding, detailing the achievements of the winners.
 
Good Afternoon,
 
As part of the 2018 Performance Review Program, I am honored to announce the 2018 DOR Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance winners.
 
The selection process was challenging as every recommendation was worthy of recognition. While we are unable to honor each nomination with a citation, I would like to commend the outstanding performances of all individuals who were recommended. Every office and level of this organization shared their nominations and the stories that prove DOR employees consistently serve above and beyond expectation. A sincere thank you to everyone who participated in this program. DOR’s employees are exceptionally talented, and routinely perform at a remarkable level. The efforts and accomplishments of this year’s recipients embody the greatest aspects of public service and highlight what makes DOR exceptional.
 
I have included some of the commentary directly from the nomination forms to illustrate how deserving these individuals and groups are of this recognition.
 
The 2018 winners of the Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance are:
 
 
David Berch, Counsel II, Rulings and Regulations Bureau
David’s enthusiasm for the issues he delves into is infection. He is the go to person in the Bureau for time sensitive assignments. David’s diligence and close attention to detail were on display this year in his support of the Commissioner’s role as chairman of the Industry subcommittee supporting the Cannabis Control Commission and his drafting of DOR’s cannabis regulations. David’s strong work ethic is evident in even more mundane projects where his prepares incredibly thoughtful and comprehensive reviews. David’s promptness in replying to inquiries and the high quality of his work reflects positively on the Rulings and Regulations Bureau and DOR as a whole.
 
Gregory Caggiano, Tax Examiner III, Business Income Tax Bureau
Greg has been a beacon of calm and a strong resource in the Voluntary Disclosure, Federal Change and Amended Returns Unit. His willingness to share his knowledge with all is notable. Greg’s “can do” attitude tackling Amended Corporate Returns as well as his ability to efficiently work Voluntary Disclosure cases at a rate superior to average production counts. He clearly understands the Taxpayers experience and works diligently to improve their experience at all interfaces. Greg has created a useful federal Change Revenue Agent Report spreadsheet and has shared it with the Unit which reduced the time to process these Audits. Greg creates a culture of success as he assists others with trouble shooting and finding resolutions. He has helped prepare and conduct training, presenting VDA Instruction as well as RAR training to the BITB, once again demonstrating his want for the agency as a whole to be successful.
 
Amy Clayman, Counsel, Child Support Enforcement
Amy’s accomplishments in the past year are numerous. Her work on the development of CSE’S new automated system COMETS HD where she served as a subject matter expert in the area of enforcement was vital to CSE. She developed and delivered training and support to staff for HD implementation and developed more than twenty policies and procedures to guide staff and enforcement actions. Amy’s work affects every CSE staff member and many of our customers. Her knowledge and oversight of matters related to disclosure of CSE information guide all CSE staff and insure that CSE operates in accord with stringent federal and state laws. The policies and procedure she developed document agency policy in a clear and concise manner that is easy for staff to understand and follow. She is adept at explaining complex issues and Amy is always ready to roll up her sleeves and help with any requests.
 
Kerry-Lyn Eadie, Appeals Officer, Office of Appeals
Kerry-Lyn is a dedicated professional, while working in Office of Appeals she’s always committed to get the right results and always willing to take on additional responsibility. Kerry-Lyn handles multi-million dollar corporate and transaction tax settlements, while also handling very complex Brownfields Credit disputes. While Kerry-Lyn has become the “go to” person for Brownfields Credit determinations, she has assisted individuals from the Litigation Bureau, Audit Bureau and the Ruling and Regulation Bureau with credit inquires and determinations. Kerry-Lyn’s accomplishments have directly impacted her co-workers by providing guidance and assistance with difficult matters. Her conduct of conferences is exemplary and is a cornerstone of model customer service.
 
Maria Federico, EDP Computer Operator Supervisor
Maria’s extensive knowledge of the processing imaging systems and all DOR tax forms assist not only processing but all of DOR. Maria is responsible for training and quality control of three different imaging systems. In addition to training fulltime processing staff, Maria also trains seasonal temps and borrowed staff. Most of this done with very short notice. Maria is always more than willing to spend as much time as necessary with staff members. Maria ensures each operator understand the importance of prepping returns and the impact on the Taxpayer
 
Lina Jallad, Tax Examiner IV, Tax Administration
Lina has been an integral part of a much improved filing season for income tax. In the past year Lina served as the income tax Bureau coordinator for an array of time sensitive efforts to prepare for a filing season that provided a good customer experience for millions of taxpayers. Beginning in the summer, she was a major contributor to an agency wide effort to identify both problems that have caused taxpayer pain and possible solutions. Over the late fall she helped coordinate the testing of many of the needed changes. In Late January we opened for business and began excepting 3.5 million returns and Lina took center stage as the single individual most responsible for selecting and testing returns as they came through our processing system. She identified errors and how we were processing returns, enabling us to change how we were doing our processing and identifying situations where errors were likely so we could perform quality checks. All of this was done under intense time pressure, as we typically get 250,000 returns a week during most of the filing season. Lina has gone above and beyond she truly cares about both the taxpayer and employee experience which has shown in the amount of time and effort Lina has given.
 
Brian Looney, Tax Auditor I, Litigation Bureau
Brian is an indispensable member of the Litigation Bureau due to his ability to value large, complex cases that require interlocking spreadsheets with multiple variables and periods. Brian can construct robust spreadsheets that allow a clear Audit trail so that he and others can double check his work, a vital necessity when dealing with cases sometimes worth many millions of dollars. He has developed good short cuts and templates that he can reuse repeatedly. He is creative in his approach to structuring and explaining spreadsheets, so that he can give a clear answer to attorneys seeking the effect of different settlement scenarios. Brian’s strong ability to listen, analyze data, and provide prompt and accurate feedback to colleagues who request his attention on their cases has allowed his coworkers to resolve cases correctly and in a timely manner thus helping to achieve an agency goal to improve speed of resolution. Brian is accessible to all his colleagues: they are comfortable with seeking his opinion on issues and have trust in the work that he produces for them.
 
Timothy Stille, Tax Counsel, Litigation Bureau
In addition to maintaining a work load at the Appellate Tax Board, based on his knowledge and experience of sales and use tax, Tim is a valuable recourse for everyone in the department presented with a challenging sales or use tax issue. In the Litigation Bureau, Tim’s input is sought with respect to virtually every significant sales and use tax issue. Tim can usually provide definitive and correct answers on sales and use tax questions that would require significant research for others but he also knows when a question requires additional research. In these instances Tim does not hesitate to confer with his colleagues and with senior department officials, if necessary, always with the goal of getting the correct answer. Tim has a strong network of colleagues within the department but it’s not just his colleagues that like and respect him, opposing counsel also finding easy to work with and he always treats taxpayers and there representatives with respect. Tim embodies the values of the department Tim not only completes his job duties but also supports others collaboratively and makes us better at our jobs.
 
CSE HQ Safety Concerns Team:
Susan Barros, Diana Clermont, Heather Duggan, Carolyn Muzzi
When CSE implemented its new automated system in January, it was crucial to ensure that cases where customers had safety concerns related to domestic violence continued to be identified timely and accurately and that CSE staff took appropriate steps to follow up when safety concerns were identified. The team took it upon themselves to research all available information about how the system would process cases with safety concerns. With implementation, they were diligent about working the system, identifying issues that needed to be resolved, and developing workarounds when necessary. They provided guidance and direction to other staff on how to process and identify cases with safety concerns. The work that this team has done has had a significant impact perhaps most importantly, they have helped insure that parents in the CSE case load who have domestic violence concerns are identified and contacted. The teams contact with parents is primarily to explain CSE services so parents can determine if it is safe to access those services. The team has worked diligently to understand how the new system processes safety concern cases and developed and delivered clear training material to all CSE staff on how to interpret and use those functional areas of the system. This team is highly motivated and professional. The energy compassion and dedication they bring to work every day is exceptional.
 
EDT DLS Course 101 Team:
Jodi Beaton, Frank Boegemann, Kathleen Colleary, Paul Corbett, Nate Cramer, James Crowley, Thomas Dawley, Donald Gorton, Joanne Graziano, Thomas Guilfoyle, Mary Jane Handy, Patricia Hunt, Lisa Krzywicki, Robert Leung, Brian, Lynch, Andrew Nelson,
Mark Petit, Donna Quinn, Anthony Rassias, Kirsten Shirer Taylor,
Paul Tarquinio, Deborah Wagner
 
Assessment Administration; Law, Procedure and Evaluation, also known as course 101, is a training program the Division of Local Services has mandated to provide for local assessors. Assessors and their staff with valuation responsibilities must complete course 101 and pass the course examination within two years of their original election or appointment. Participants have been required to attend 5 of the 6 sessions in order to qualify to take the test and receive certification of completion. Due to the steadily increase in demand from local officials, DLS teamed up with DOR’s Employee Training and Development Division to provide an online format of the course. This spring, DLS will offer the entire Assessment Administration: Law, Procedure and Evaluation and all its related instructional materials online for the first time. Literally hundreds of hours over 14 months were spent by Municipal Finance Law Bureau staff to ensure all legal texts were properly sited and referenced by Bureau of Local Assessment staff to ensure policy statements were clear and accurate, by Informational Technology to ensure technical capabilities and compatibility and by additional DLS staff to edit text update instructional material and draft closed captioning. Staff worked diligently and thoughtfully to establish an instruction tool that conveyed complex topics without overwhelming the learner. Throughout the process, EDT served as a guide, partner and invaluable resource in determining clear and universally agreed upon expectations, instructional formats, materials, and assessment goals related to course 101 online. The course 101 online learning initiative represents a successful collaboration of different sections of DOR joined together to achieve a significant accomplishment. The result is a modern, interactive online training resource available on the DLS Gate Way System that will serve our constituents for years to come.
 
Hardship Express Implementation Team:
Amie Acevedo, Michael Carballeira, Allan Ferullo Jr., Joseph Gaeta, Margaret Gilmore,
Rita McDonough, Helder Rosa
Hardship express is a process that has been developed and implemented as a work flow in the collections Bureau at the DOR. The Hardship express idea was developed initially out of the DOR Emerging Leaders Program. ELP graduate Allen Ferullo Jr. brought the project to full fruition bringing in the concept and idea back to his day to day, pulling this team together and in his words “once the momentum started it was unstoppable”. The team recognized early that the existing process for a tax payer applying for hardship consideration was excessively long both for DOR and taxpayer. This team had now successfully modernized, centralized and streamlined the Hardship application process. Unnecessary paperwork has been eliminated and process times can be spoken to in weeks not months. The streamline process is an exemplification of DOR’s goal to provide professional service, provide clear and timely guidance and to provide outstanding customer service to our constituents. Utilization of technology and data at our disposal has mitigated if not eliminated frustration and fear for our taxpayers who are already facing difficult times.
 
Springfield Meals Tax Field Audit Team:
Frank Iovine, Richard Lajoie, Nadine Merrill, Margaret Nicklaw, Michael O’Neil, Carmelina Wilkie
This group has done an exemplary job of conducting Sales of Meals Tax audits that involve point of sales systems (POS). Under the leadership of their supervisor the group has done an outstanding job of securing POS data from the different systems that they have encountered and they worked together to determine how to analyze the data and uncover fraudulent data manipulation activity. As a group they have uncovered data manipulation of 50 cases and civil fraud penalties have been applied in 31 of those cases. Their work has also led to criminal investigations involving several other cases. Their work has led the way for other Sales and Meals tax audit groups by showing the extent of the issue of POS data manipulation.
 
Tax Newsroom:
John Carregal, Dannielle Colwell, Debora DeBonis, Jovani Fox, Priti Grover, Robert Hazelton, Leona Odom, Peter Olejnik, Jessica Purington, Alan Sweeney, Creaghan Trainor
In February 2018 the DOR Tax Newsroom was launched with the mission to increase internal communication, through efficiently providing alerts and updates to staff and to better serve the taxpayers of the Commonwealth. The team was able to utilize current technology available on DORnet and created from scratch a webpage dedicated to housing real-time updates for DOR staff. Because DOR spans across many towns and locations, the tax newsroom helps keep everyone on one accord and most importantly speaking in one voice. The Tax Newsroom group accomplishments were felt throughout all tax of administration. Housing the tax newsroom on DORnet allowed real time updates to be viewed in all of the different locations and improved lines of communication across groups and divisions, breaking down any inner silos. This group was given a short time line to have this project up and running, utilizing skills from various DOR departments. Due to the overwhelming success of the Tax Newsroom, the newsroom structure has since been adopted by CSE to improve their communication efforts as well. 
 
Trustee Tax Bureau Internet Vendor Project Team:
Anthony Azevedo, Daniel Conlin
In response to a recent DOR initiative to seek sales tax compliance from out of state no nexus vendors, the department issued 830 CMR 64H.1.7 Vendors Making Internet Sale. In order to enforce, this new Regulation group was formed with the filing enforcement supervisor, Anthony Azevedo and one of his tax examiners Daniel Conlin. Their goal was to identify potential out of state vendors, who met the filing threshold of the regulation, contact them to explain the new filing requirements and to secure returns for the sales tax due. This project has taken shape over the last year and has generated over 10 million dollars in revenue. The team worked with many different areas of the Department to foster sales tax compliance through contact with Internet Vendors. From Legal’ s initiative to write a new Regulation the group sought Legal’ s guidance with the application of the Regulation and their assistance with written materials that were send out to out of state vendors. The group worked with GeniSys to implement a registration notification on MassTax Connect to identify and advise new registrants of their filing obligations.
Overall the Agency goal is to promote compliance with a new Regulation. The development of a taxpayer outreach program specific to out of state vendors was essential to achieve an Agency goal. Effectively managing such a high profile project demonstrates exceptional managerial abilities, organizational skills, and outstanding performance by both of these gentlemen.
 
 
Please join me in congratulating all of the DOR 2018 Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance winners!
 
Thank you,
 
Chris
 
 
 
Christopher C. Harding
Commissioner
Massachusetts Department of Revenue
100 Cambridge Street, 8th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 626-3235
hardingch@dor.state.ma.us
 


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