Somewhere in Utah County, there's a black hole sucking in employee evaluation forms. The forms leave their respective supervisors' hands in a timely fashion but do not reach the personnel office by the deadline.

At least, that's how it appears.According to some supervisors appearing in front of the Utah County commissioners Tuesday, evaluation forms that left their offices on time didn't show up in personnel by their due date, if at all.

That has left a number of county employees going without pay raises they deserved and expected, sometimes for as long as 10 months.

Susan Preator, director of personnel, said that may be part of the problem but that some of the evaluations were not held on time, or at all, and so the employee was not paid at the proper rate.

She said the employees in a few cases are owed the raises retroactively while others suffered no financial loss because they were already at the top of the pay scale.

Commissioner David Gardner said an employee should not be punished if a supervisor fails to evaluate his or her performance or does not finish the paperwork involved.

"Why should I have to micro-manage a particular department?" Gardner said.

He recently had a half dozen county employees come to him over the situation and he wants an explanation from supervisors who are not doing their jobs properly.

Commissioner Jerry Grover said the county's current personnel policy prohibits the commissioners from going back into a past budget year for retroactive payment. To pay the employees back wages, the county policy would have to be revised, he said.

"This is forcing us to revise our policy," he said. "Some were delivery problems. Some were not. Some were the result of failure to be done. To me, that's the biggest problem."

Supervisors from the sheriff's department and the Utah County Security Center said they have copies of some of the missing and late evaluations in their offices, while the personnel office doesn't.

"Do I need to pick them up every morning on my way to work?" asked Gardner. "Because I can do that."

Preator said the forms are dated as they arrive in the personnel office. She suggested the supervisors do the same as the forms leave their desks.

It was also suggested that receipt of the evaluation forms is noted in written form back to the supervisors.

Commissioner Gary Herbert suggested some of the responsibility falls on the employee as well. They should be aware of their evaluation date and remind or insist they have an annual evaluation.

"Somehow, we need to get the message out. It's a two-way street and they'll lose out if they miss an evaluation," Herbert said.

The commission voted to open up the personnel policy for revision so it will be legally able to approve the retroactive pay increases. That discussion will be on the next commission agenda, July 9.