Audit Finds That Oklahoma Workers’ Comp Commission Isn’t Tracking Payments

A state audit of the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission indicates the agency has not been tracking some mandatory assessments.

A sample test of claims paid from two funds showed roughly half had no supporting documentation to determine the calculation used to make the assessments, the Journal Record reported Saturday. The commission also could not tell Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones’ office who actually made payments into the fund.

“Obviously we had some concerns about that,” Jones said. “When we addressed that with the management, they were in agreement and started making changes to correct that to make sure something didn’t happen that could have happened.”

Auditors did not find any wrongdoing, but Jones said the most pressing worry was that payments could have been improperly recorded.

One of the accounts, known as the Self-Insurance Guaranty Fund, had almost $1.5 million as of Sept. 1. Until the account reaches $2 million, or if it falls below $1 million, each private self-insurer and group self-insurance association is assessed 1 percent of actual paid losses over the past year.

Workers’ comp attorney and commission watchdog Bob Burke said the guaranty fund is in place so that if a self-insured company cannot pay a workers’ comp claim, the state can pay for loss of earnings and medical treatment for injured workers.

“The quick action of the present commission and Director (Kim) Bailey demonstrate the positive direction in which the commission is headed,” Burke wrote in an email to The Journal Record. “There is no doubt they want complete transparency in revenues, expenditures and operation of the guaranty fund.”

The audit covers a period from Feb. 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015. Other issues mentioned in the audit were a lack of segregation of duties over revenue, spending and inventory. Those issues have been fixed, the commission reported.