Oregon disciplines tax workers

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oregon officials took disciplinary action against four Department of Revenue employees who let a $2.1 million fraudulent tax return slip by.

Two employees have been re­assigned to jobs in which they will no longer have the authority to approve cash refunds, spokesman Derrick Gasperini said Wednesday. Two others received unspecified disciplinary action for the blunder, but can stay in their positions.

The personnel moves followed an internal investigation into a bogus tax return submitted by Krystle Reyes of Salem, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraud and tax evasion and was sentenced to 5½ years in prison. The audit found no evidence that the employees colluded with Reyes.

Read more at The Register-Guard.

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Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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The 100 Best Companies survey is open

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Friday, October 24, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!


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Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

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I Know How You Feel

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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Most smartphones come equipped with speech recognition systems like Siri or Cortana that are capable of understanding the human voice and putting words into actions. But what if smartphones could do more? What if smartphones could register feeling?


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Crowdfunding 2.0

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120214-crowdfund-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

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Tackling the CEO-worker pay gap

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An SEC rule targets the disparity between executive and employee compensation, reigniting a long-standing debate about corporate social responsibility.


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