New Administration Commissioner plans more stringent vetting of hires, efficiencies in government

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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - The Department of Administration’s new commissioner is looking to use her experience in the federal government to find efficiencies and deliver more with less.

Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka was born and raised in Alaska. She comes back to the state to work in the Department of Administration, replacing former Commissioner Jonathan Quick, who stepped down after giving “incorrect information” during his confirmation hearing about his business interests.

Tshibaka says she is mindful of the potentially disruptive impact of the transition: “I'm not coming in like, ‘All right, let's go,’ you don't move a barge like a speed boat; you move it incrementally with people in mind.”

Another appointee to the department, Art Chance, declined his job offer on Jan. 24 after social media posts threatening sexual violence were made public.

[RELATED: Two Dunleavy appointees out as Senate Democrats ask for more stringent vetting]

Tshibaka says she wasn’t at the department at the time, but she will be implementing hiring practices she used in the federal government-- practices where it is routine to look into a candidate’s social media posts and check their references.

Her vetting process also emphasizes using a panel to make hiring appointments after a stringent background check, rather than relying on a single person to make decisions.

The new commissioner has a 16-year history working in the federal government, including working as the Chief Data Officer for the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General.

She says she will use her experience in the federal government working with data analytics to find ways to deliver services more effectively. Even with big budget cuts, Tshibaka says her methods mean that, “even if we have leaner resources, we may even be able to deliver more services.”



 
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