Federation of
Tax Administrators

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(Washington , D. C., April 9, 2009) The Federation of Tax Administrators announced today that the Washington State Department of Revenue has won the 2009 FTA Award for Training for its Ethics Training Program.

This award is made to state revenue departments for outstanding training programs.

Presentation of the award will take place at the FTA Annual Meeting on June 1 in Denver, Colo. Washington has also been invited to make a presentation on the program during the annual meeting.

The winning program is a fully automated, online video called “Wheel of Ethics.” It is used to educate the agency’s 1000-plus employees, who are spread over 16 offices and some of them located out of state, on the ethics laws and policies that govern employee actions.

The agency built the training itself, from the ground up, including the content, the video and the tracking system that automates the administration of the training. This approach resulted in significant ongoing cost savings. Also, the number of employees who can receive ethics training has increased by 32 percent. Trainers now say they can teach a “vitally serious topic” in a highly efficient manner in a format that maximizes employees’ enjoyment and retention of the material.

Judges called the program “cleverly done” and “fresh,” an “innovative approach, good quality training. And not only was it entertaining, but the content is there as well.”

The entries were judged by an independent panel consisting of Rod Sterling of the Internal Revenue Service, George Guttman of the Government Accountability Office and Mark Gallagher of USAID’s office of Fiscal Reform and Economic Governance.

The Federation of Tax Administrators is a nonprofit organization comprised of the tax and revenue departments of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City. Its mission is to improve the standards and methods of tax administration.