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April 2008

Welcome to Oklahoma's eGovernment News Report providing you with up-to-date information on Oklahoma's eGovernment achievements.

Oklahoma Ethics Commission Launches New Web site
The Oklahoma Ethics Commission (OEC) recently launched a new and improved Web site. At the new OEC Web site, visitors can easily obtain information relating to campaign reporting, lobbyist reporting and Oklahoma ethics laws.  

“Our new Web site gives us the opportunity to communicate more effectively with public officers and employees, lobbyists, political candidates, and the media. We strive to provide rules of ethical conduct for state officers and employees and campaigns and provide all visitors to our site with easy access to state disclosure information,” said Marilyn Hughes, OEC Executive Director.

The Web site is designed to meets Oklahoma’s web accessibility standards and was built utilizing OK.gov’s Content Management System. The system also allows the Ethics Commission’s staff to provide the most up-to-date information quickly and efficiently.  OEC invites Oklahoma citizens to visit their new Web site and learn more about Oklahoma’s ethical practices.

Arrow Visit the Oklahoma Ethics Commission Web site


New State Web Site Helps Oklahomans Choose Nursing Facilities
Gov. Brad Henry unveiled an innovative new tool to help Oklahoma consumers make wiser choices when they are looking for long-term care facilities for themselves or their loved ones.

With a click of the mouse, consumers can visit a new Web site to access current information about nursing facilities that contract with the state’s SoonerCare (Medicaid) program. Called Focus on Excellence, the program is designed to encourage quality improvements in long-term care services through public accountability.

“Selecting a nursing home for a loved one is a critical and often emotional decision for Oklahoma families,” Gov. Henry said. “We’re trying to make the decision process a little less difficult by giving consumers easy access to detailed information about long-term care facilities.  This program is also encouraging nursing homes to go the extra mile to provide more and even better services to their residents.”

Nursing facilities voluntarily participate in the program to earn financial bonuses from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) for their performance on 10 rating factors. The Web site also provides information about each of the rating factors that include categories such as quality of care; employee, resident and family satisfaction; and compliance with state and federal requirements.

The OHCA contracted with a national health care data management firm, My InnerView Inc., to provide independent validation of each nursing home’s performance under the program. Using this information, the facilities are awarded a “star rating” based on their scores on these factors with one star being the lowest and five the highest.

“An average 70 percent of nursing facility residents in Oklahoma have their care paid for through the SoonerCare program,” said OHCA CEO Mike Fogarty. “The program is designed to drive measurable improvements in the quality of life, care and services for these Oklahomans. But at the same time, it allows the facilities to set and meet performance improvement targets and see how they compare with other facilities in the state.” Fogarty noted that the program assures state leaders and taxpayers that funds spent on nursing home care distinguish among facilities based on their performance at the same time it provides information for consumers. The program carries out a provision enacted by the Oklahoma Legislature as part of the Oklahoma’s Medicaid Reform Act of 2006.

Initially, 265 facilities, or 85 percent of the nursing facilities in the state, signed up for the program. Of that number, 133 facilities received from two to 10 additional bonus points for performing well on the 10 quality measures. As of March 31, 24 facilities had earned the top rating of five stars.

Nursing facilities are also able to post additional information, such as special services, activities or therapies they offer to the site. Long-term care facilities that are not contracted with the SoonerCare program are eligible to participate in the program rating system but are not eligible for the financial incentives.

The Web site also features a quick search option that provides a list of all nursing homes. Searches can be made by city and zip code or rating factor criteria.

 Arrow Visit the Oklahoma Nursing Home Ratings Web site


Apply Now for Wildlife Department’s Controlled Hunts Until May 15
Hunters can now submit their applications for the “2008-09 Controlled Hunts” over the Internet by visiting the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Web site. 
“Hunters do not want to miss out on this unique opportunity. From pronghorn hunts in the Panhandle to youth turkey hunts, there is something for everyone,” said Micah Holmes, information supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “The online application process is fast, simple and safe.”

After an individual submits an online application, they receive a message immediately confirming that their application was accepted.  “Sportsmen get instant confirmation that their application was filed correctly,” Holmes said.

Administered by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the Controlled Hunts Program offers a wide variety of highly desirable hunts through a random drawing. Some hunts are held to provide high-quality hunting experiences on high-profile areas where it is necessary to regulate hunting pressure. Others are held to achieve management goals for certain species, and others are held to provide hunting experiences in areas where access is otherwise limited.             

All applicants, including lifetime license holders, must pay a $5 application fee to enter the Controlled Hunts drawings. The fee is paid only once per person per year regardless of the number of categories entered.              

Arrow View the Controlled Hunts Online Form


U.S. Secretary of Transportation Launches New Service to Automatically E-mail, Instant Message Safety Recall Information
Consumers Now Able to Sign Up for Safety Seat and Tire Recall Information

Consumers will be able to get important safety updates about child seats and tire recalls automatically e-mailed or sent to their PDA devices as part of a new federal government notification service, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced today.

 “Signing up for this service is one of the easiest things you can do to help protect yourself and the lives of your children,” said Secretary Peters. “We can’t afford to let safety get lost in the mail.” 

The Secretary noted that the new system focuses on safety seat and tire recall information because fewer consumers have historically responded to these important safety updates. For example, less than one-third of affected consumers respond to the tire recalls, while less than half of affected consumers respond to child seat recalls.

“When a product is defective, we want to do everything to get those unsafe products off the market,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Deputy Administrator James F. Ports, Jr. 

Ports urged consumers to visit the Web site and click on the “E-mail” or “RSS” option to register for the new notification service. However, he also reminded consumers that they should continue to register their safety seats and tires with manufacturers, even if they sign up for the new notification service. Ports explained that registering child seats and tires helps manufacturers contact purchasers about recalls in a timely fashion and allows them to provide additional details and instructions about the recalls.

Ports added that the Department has even added a feature to its “safecar.gov” Web site to make it easier for consumers to register safety seats directly with manufacturers. Consumers should click on the “Register your child restraint online” link and take advantage of this service.

Arrow Visit the "Safercar.gov" Web site to Sign Up Today   

What's Inside

Oklahoma Department of Education
Sandy Garrett" We support educators in providing every child in Oklahoma - a record 641,700 students - with academic opportunities... " more

- Sandy Garrett,
 State Superintendent 

Oklahoma Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
Nancy K“We are proud to host the first Oklahoma's Healthy and Fit Schools Scorecard which is a self-assessment tool designed for schools…” more

- Nancy Kabriel,


How Do I Nominate an Oklahoma Rock Song to Become the Official Oklahoma Rock Song?

 arrow grey Visit the Oklahoma Historical Society's Nomination site 

How Do I Save On Gas This Upcoming Memorial Day Weekend?

 arrow grey Visit OERB's Tips for Saving Gasoline and Money site  

How Do I Help the Environment and Use Less Stuff?

 arrow grey Visit DEQ's "Use Less Stuff" site  


Monday, May 26
(Memorial Day) 

arrow grey View all 2008 State Holidays


March for Babies at the Capitol
March of Dimes
May 3, 2008
6am - 2pm
Courtney Cartwright


Governor's Proclamations for 2008
arrow grey 2008 Public Service Recognition Week -
May 5 - 11, 2008

arrow grey 2008 State Employee Recognition Day -
May 7, 2008 

Torch Run Ceremony for Special Olympics at the Capitol
Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics
May 7, 2008
9am - 9:45am
Det. Sgt. Don Hull

Sooner Save Coffee, Cookies, and Questions at the Capitol
Sooner Save
May 13, 2008
8am - 5pm
Augusta Pleshko

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