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S.F. No. 4128 - Department of Direct Care and Treatment and Office of Inspector General Establishment and Duties Transfer - The A-1 Amendment
 
Author: Senator Rich Draheim
 
Prepared By: Patrick Hauswald, Senate Counsel (651/296-5079)
 
Date: March 9, 2020



 

S.F. No. 4128, as proposed to be amended by the A-1 amendment, would replace the introduced language of Article 2 establishing a state Office of Inspector General. The A-1 amendment would establish an Office of Human Services Licensing and Integrity, which would independently carry out the licensing, background studies, and program integrity functions for all programs currently administered by the Department of Human Services, effective July 1, 2021. In effect, the department would remain responsible to administer the programs and function as payor, but the new office would serve as an external, independent entity that conducts licensing, background studies, and program integrity activities.

      Sections 1-2 (15A.06, subdivision 1; 15A.0815, subdivision 3) establish that the new office would have a director appointed under the same regulations as other commissioners, and whose salary is limited to up to 120 percent of the governor’s salary.

      Section 3 [245I.01] provides definitions for terms used throughout the new chapter 245I.

      Section 4 [245I.02] creates the new Office of Human Services Licensing and Integrity, to be led by a director who is appointed by the governor and approved by the senate. The office’s responsibilities include all activities necessary to conduct the licensing, background study, and program integrity functions for all programs administered by the department. The office will also contract with a third party to conduct external audits of the department’s financial activities. The director is required to report annually to the legislature to give an update of the office’s activities and results of those activities. The director is also authorized to access any data or employees necessary to conduct its investigatory activities.

      Section 5 [245I.03] clarifies that the office’s responsibilities and activities are meant to be carried out only by the office and not the department, while the responsibility to develop policies, procedures, or legislative proposals relating to human services programs remains with the department. The director is authorized to enter any agreement with another agency or office as necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the office.

      Section 6 (Transfer of Duties) requires the commissioners of administration and management and budget to coordinate the transfer of the relevant duties from the Department of Human Services to the Office of Human Services Licensing and Integrity, and ensure that the aggregate budget for those activities remains the same. Affected employees shall retain their status from their service at the department and transfer it to the new office.

      Section 7 (Direction to Commissioner, Director) directs the commissioner of human services and the director of human services licensing and integrity to review examples of other states that operate an external human services inspector general or similar office, including the state of Utah, to develop any necessary policies or agreements to implement the new office and enable it to carry out its required duties. The commissioner and director shall also consult together to determine and report to the legislature on whether the transfer of a particular division would result in avoidable financial waste. Finally, the commissioner is directed specifically not to duplicate any activity conducted by the new office, and to seek any federal waivers necessary to comply with that direction.

      Section 8 (Revisor Instruction) directs the revisor of statutes to work with nonpartisan staff to prepare legislation to make any required statutory changes to accommodate the transfer of duties from the department to the new office.

 

 
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