Friday, May 18, 2012

No Tobacco on State Land

Remember in February that Governor Fallin signed executive order 2012-01 which says that "The use of any tobacco product shall be prohibited on any and all properties owned, leased or contracted for use by the State of Oklahoma, including but not limited to all buildings, land and vehicles owned, leased or contracted for use by agencies or instruments of the State of Oklahoma." It was set to be implemented within 6 months of the order- by August 6th.
This applies to contractors working on state property even in their person vehicles. This also includes the prohibition of any tobacco product meaning smokeless tobacco is also not allowed.
State owned colleges and universities should be in compliance with the executive order by August 6, 2012.
What are the state owned properties?
State officials don't yet know precisely how many buildings the state owns, but the current best estimate is about 4,500, said Carol McFarland, acting director of the Office of State Finance.
McFarland said officials in her agency are working diligently with state risk management officials to develop a complete inventory of buildings owned and leased by the state, as well as properties owned by the state that don't have structures on them.
They hope to have the task completed by fall, she said.
Gary Jones, state auditor and inspector, released a performance audit of the state Department of Central Services on Friday that criticized the shortsightedness of legislative leadership for failure to fund routine maintenance of state buildings. That failure has resulted in crumbling buildings that will cost millions to repair, the audit said.
The audit also noted that a division of the Department of Central Services has been unsuccessful in several efforts to develop a comprehensive inventory of state-owned buildings and land, despite several efforts to do so since 1991.
“The audit was right on,” said state Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, who is one of several state lawmakers pushing for better management of state assets.
Failure to Comply
Ultimately each agency to determine the mechanism used to implement and enforce the tobacco ban on state property. While there are no penalties outlined in the Governor’s order for an individual’s non-compliance with the ban, there are other means by which an agency can approach violators and encourage their compliance. These include educational ‘palm cards’, or ‘business cards’ which can be handed out to educate individuals on the purpose and intent of the ban. Similar tools are in development by OSDH, and should be available soon.  If the non-compliant individual is a state employee, the agency can commence with employee disciplinary proceedings as outlined in agency policy and procedures. 

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