Governor Phil Scott Expedites Response to Vermont Department of Labor Tax Form Error

03 February 2021

Dispatches senior officials to address immediate needs; requests performance audit from State Auditor; appoints new deputy commissioner

Montpelier, Vt. - Governor Phil Scott today took additional actions to address and correct the tax form errors announced by the Vermont Department of Labor (VDOL) on Monday.

Specifically, the Governor has dispatched two senior-level tactical response teams to VDOL to expedite the response to the 1099-G tax form errors; asked State Auditor Doug Hoffer to conduct a performance audit to identify the root cause of the error and provide recommendations for long-term quality control improvements; and he has appointed a new deputy commissioner to help lead the department.

Tactical Response Teams

The first of two tactical teams, the Response Coordination Team (RCT), will focus on expediting recovery of the incorrect 1099-G forms; the timely delivery of correct forms; and improved, consistent communication to impacted Vermonters and legislators.  The RCT will also support other department projects and operational needs as necessary. 

This team includes:

  • Brittney Wilson, deputy chief of staff, Governor’s Office
  • Doug Farnham, chief of operations, Agency of Administration
  • Shawn Nailor, deputy secretary, Agency of Digital Services

The second tactical team, the Consumer Protection Team (CPT), will work in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office to provide information and access to protections from fraud or other illegal activities to any Vermonter whose information may have been compromised.

This team includes:

  • Kristin Clouser, deputy secretary, Agency of Administration
  • Jaye Pershing Johnson, the Governor’s Legal Counsel

The Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Brittney Wilson will lead both teams and report directly to Governor Scott on a daily basis until each team has completed its mission. 

Request for Performance Audit

Governor Scott has also requested that State Auditor Doug Hoffer conduct a performance audit. The Governor’s goals for the audit include identifying the root cause of the error, long-term quality control improvements, and other performance improvement opportunities and best practices. 

“State agencies and departments have a responsibility to Vermonters to deliver excellent service and to safeguard their information. This incident does not meet those standards, and we must do all we can to make this right for Vermonters,” said Governor Scott. “These actions will provide more resources and the expertise needed to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and implement new processes to avoid this type of error in the future. I also thank Auditor Hoffer for agreeing to assist with this important effort.”

New Deputy Commissioner

Lastly, the Governor is also appointing senior advisor and former Franklin County state senator Dustin Degree as deputy commissioner at the Department of Labor. Degree currently serves as a special assistant to the Governor and executive director of the State Workforce Development Board.

“Dustin has helped to lead our focus on growing and strengthening the workforce for several years and will bring additional leadership to the department as they work to rectify the current situation, modernize their business processes and refocus on supporting the needs of working Vermonters and Vermont’s long-term economic growth,” added Governor Scott. “I want to thank Dustin, and this entire team, for stepping up to help Vermonters impacted by this error.”

 

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Contact Information

Office of Governor Phil Scott
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609
Phone: 802 828-3333 (TTY: 800 649-6825)
Fax: 802 828-3339

Public Records Database and Agency Records Officer or Liaison Contact Information

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