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State agency cutting staff at Cape office

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Missouri Department of Revenue will eliminate more than a third of its auditing staff positions in its Cape Girardeau fiscal services division office by February, an agency spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Agency officials plan to eliminate five of the current 13 auditing jobs in the local office at 3102 Blattner Drive.

The fiscal services division staff in Cape Girardeau audits businesses in the Southeast Missouri region.

The move is part of a restructuring effort designed to improve efficiency, officials said.

"The director of that division wanted to move toward a less top-heavy organization," said spokeswoman Maura Browning.

The agency's goal is to have a ratio of five auditors to one supervisor. Any supervisors with fewer than five auditors to supervise will have added responsibilities and duties, officials said.

The Cape Girardeau office currently has three supervisors, nine auditors and one administrative assistant. Several of the auditors are home based and don't report to the office on a regular basis, Browning said.

Under the reorganization, the Cape Girardeau office staff will be trimmed to one supervisor, six auditors and an administrative assistant.

"This will be in line with the department's supervisory goals and ensure that the Cape audit office is not a burden financially for the state," said Browning.

The agency made a similar restructuring move at its St. Joseph, Mo., office, she said.

Some of those who lose their Cape Girardeau staff jobs could transfer to other Revenue Department offices in St. Louis and elsewhere, she said. Some supervisors could end up taking auditor jobs, too, she said.

A supervisor in the Cape Girardeau office declined to comment publicly on the situation.

Division director Kim Lauer announced the restructuring during a visit to the Cape Girardeau office Dec. 15. No specific employees have been told their jobs will be eliminated, Browning said.

Agency officials said the announcement was made before Christmas to give staff members as much advance warning about the restructuring moves.

"Certainly there is no good time to announce reductions, but we thought it most fair to give our employees as much notice as possible," Browning said.

mbliss@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123


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