The chairman of the Iowa Lottery Board says a nearly six-percent payment approved for the Iowa Lottery employees Thursday is nothing like the bonuses paid in a central Iowa job training scandal. The revelation that huge salaries and bonuses were paid to administrators of the Central Iowa Employment and Job Training Consortium with little or no justification created a scandal that’s still ongoing.
Lottery Board chairman Tim Clausen says the payments to lottery employees is part of an incentive package approved back in 2004. Clausen says it’s not a bonus, it’s an incentive to that’s performance based. The lottery turned 54-million dollars in profit over to the state at the end of the fiscal year June 30th.
The target for the incentive plan was just over 51-million dollars. Clausen says all employees except commissioner Ed Stanek will receive the payment because the lottery hit its revenue goal. Clausen says the incentive was based on the income transfers to the state, so if the lottery employees increased revenue and kept expenses down, they would receive the incentive payment based on a percentage of their salaries. Clausen says this six percent payment is for the past 12 month fiscal year and says the employees failed to meet the goal in the prior six months.
Clausen says the payment is not excessive when viewed in context. Clausen says, “You’ve got to remember that their base pay is lowered because, as a board, we want incentive pay to be part of the compensation package for our employees. In other words, an incentive to perform.” Clausen says the lotter is unlike any other state department in that they try to bring in money to the state and don’t spend taxpayer dollars.
Clausen, who is an attorney from Sioux City, says the money-making aspect of the lottery requires a different approach than other agencies in state government. He says, “The way I look at it, is that we are just like a corporation. The taxpayers are our shareholders, we have a board of directors that is the lottery board. We have a C-E-O, that’s doctor Stanek. And we have a group of very good hard-working employees innovative employees, that uh, incentive compensation in my opinion and in the board’s opinion is a great way to motivate.”
Clausen says the employees received the incentive payment even after some 111-million dollars in TouchPlay revenue was not included in the revenue to determine incentive payments. Clausen says he wasn’t in favor of pulling out the TouchPlay money. But, Clausen says a number of individuals felt the lottery employees should not be given a bonus on TouchPlay money when many TouchPlay operators lost money after the Legislature ordered TouchPlay machines shut down.
The Iowa Lottery says sales in the 2006 fiscal year hit a record of 218-million dollars, even without the TouchPlay revenue. Clauson says the State Auditor and Attorney General were both consulted before the board voted on the compensation plan.