State agency mails newsletter to thousands of dead people

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- By sending extra copies of newsletter where they never should have gone, a state agency made a mistake that wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars.

Costly mixup

State agency sends newsletter to dead people - The Arizona State Retirement System takes pride in its annual newsletter. But a mix-up sent extra copies of that newsletter where they never should have gone.

Related videos:
Search Video:

"All we can do is apologize, and hope it didn't cause any undue harm," said David Cannella of the Arizona State Retirement System.

The ASRS just sent its annual newsletter to 500,000 state workers and retirees. A mix-up, however, also sent that newsletter to about 20,000 deceased members. It's a costly mistake -- to the tune of about $14,000.

The timing of the error is somewhat ironic. The director's message this year is about how agency is going green by print fewer mailers -- mailers like the one that just went out.

The agency used to print its newsletters four times each year. Because they've moved much of their information online, they've been able to cut back -- but not cut out -- printing.

"We also have a lot of members who are retired and tell us they don't use computers," Cannella explained. "It's not feasible to get all of our information all the time by people coming to our Web site."

The agency believes it can recoup the money in by saving in other area.

"We're just going to be a little bit more diligent in the future," Cannella said. "We're going to continue to make sure we inform our members as best we can, but we're going to try and make sure this problem doesn't happen again."