LINCOLN — Contractors and employees of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services went bowling during work time last week, a state official confirmed Thursday.
HHS spokeswoman Kathie Osterman said a dozen people were involved with the event, which occurred at Lincoln’s Sun Valley Lanes. They included 10 contractors and two state employees.
The group spent one hour in a meeting involving a work-related activity and recognition of their recent accomplishments, she said. Two hours were spent bowling.
Osterman said that, once HHS officials found out about the incident, they asked the contractors to take the bowling hours as vacation or unpaid time. All agreed. Agency officials were reviewing the state labor contract and personnel rules to determine how to handle the hours for the two state employees.
Osterman said the supervisor involved, Dan Gartin, had worked in the private sector previously, where his experience had been that such outings were common.
She said Gartin was “very apologetic for his error in judgment” in instructing the others to put the event on their time sheets. She said all participants paid for their own food, drink, bowling costs and transportation and had not consumed alcohol.
The group members involved are working on information technology requirements of the federal health care overhaul.