According to a new report Tennessee’s State Museum has continued on a strife ridden course of inadequacy when it relies on employee screening. This after one employee had been charged with the theft of over $60k. The Tennessee comptroller has highlighted a number of issues at the museum which includes the apparent absence of a background check policy applied to certain posts. Employees hired who were under qualified and the lack of control over actual hours worked by employees.

Auditors had found that the initiative towards the implementation of a background check policy had been well intended however the museum had as yet not instituted the background check policy. The audit had been critical of the failure to implement the background check policy stating that it increased the risk of employees engaging in illegal activity and further left the museum exposed to abuse, waste and fraud. One employee (Kathy Alexander) was only recently indicted over falsifying invoices and personally renting a vehicle courtesy of the museum this accounted for over $60k of missing museum funds.

However the findings of the auditor do not sit well with the museum in respect of the process of hiring. Human Resources had put forward the museum’s tenacity in attempting to initiate a background check policy. They also state that it was unfair to broadcast the failings of the museum when, in fact, there is no background check state policy.

The background check audit unearthed an employee working in a position without adequate qualifications. However the museum countered that it had changed criteria prior to hiring which rendered qualifications irrelevant. The museum agreed with concerns over tracking employee work hours. Another issue was potential damage to artifacts, the museum currently resides in a basement posing ongoing problems of water damage. The budget has earmarked $120 million to create a new museum but also requires $40 million of private funds, the fund raising continues. December 2018 is projected for the opening of the new museum.

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