Bill Text

Bill Information


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-812 Developmental services: Inspector General.(2019-2020)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 04/25/2019 09:00 PM
AB812:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 25, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 01, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 812


Introduced by Assembly Member Frazier

February 20, 2019


An act to add Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 4600) to Division 4.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to developmental services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 812, as amended, Frazier. Developmental services: Inspector General.
Existing law, the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, requires the State Department of Developmental Services to contract with regional centers to provide services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Existing law establishes the State Council on Developmental Disabilities to, among other things, develop the California Developmental Disabilities State Plan and monitor and evaluate the implementation of the plan.
Existing law requires the department to develop and implement a plan to monitor, evaluate, and improve the quality of community-based services through the use of a performance dashboard of specified metrics, including, among others, quality and access measures and the number of complaints referred to the department by a consumer regarding a regional center.

This bill would create the Independent Office of the Developmental Services Inspector General in state government, as an independent office that would not be a subdivision of any other government entity, to ensure that the State Department of Developmental Services and regional centers are operating efficiently, effectively, and in compliance with federal and state laws. The bill would require the Governor to appoint the Developmental Services Inspector General for a 6-year term, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and would prohibit the Developmental Services Inspector General from being removed from office during the term except for good cause. The bill would specify the duties and responsibilities of the Developmental Services Inspector General, which include, among other things, reviewing policies, practices, and procedures, and conducting audits, surveys, and other investigations of activities involving state developmental services funds. The bill would require the Developmental Services Inspector General to submit an annual report to the Governor, the Legislature, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, and the protection and advocacy agency, as defined.

This bill would require the department, on or before July 1, 2020, to convene a working group of consumers, consumer representatives, and representatives of specified agencies to examine topics related to oversight and accountability of the developmental services system. The bill would require the department, on or before January 1, 2021, to report to the Legislature any findings and policy recommendations resulting from working group’s examination.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act provides consumers with developmental disabilities with access to critical services and supports.
(b) Those services and supports are delivered through regional centers, under the oversight of the State Department of Developmental Services.
(c) As a result, information held by, and the operations of, the regional centers and the State Department of Developmental Services are vital to ensuring that consumers may access needed services and supports.

(d)To ensure that consumers have access to necessary information and effective systems for the delivery of services and supports, it is the intent of the Legislature that this act enhance the transparency and accountability of the state’s developmental disabilities system.

SEC. 2.Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 4600) is added to Division 4.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
4.5.Inspector General
4600.

(a)There is hereby created in state government the Independent Office of the Developmental Services Inspector General. To ensure that the State Department of Developmental Services and regional centers are spending funds efficiently, effectively, and in compliance with applicable federal and state laws, the office shall not be a part of, or subject to the control of, any other governmental entity.

(b)The Governor shall appoint, subject to confirmation by the Senate, the Developmental Services Inspector General to a six-year term. The Developmental Services Inspector General shall not be removed from office during that term, except for good cause. The reasons for removal of the Developmental Services Inspector General shall be stated in writing and shall include the basis for removal. The writing shall be sent to the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the Assembly at the time of the removal and shall be deemed to be a public document.

4601.

The Developmental Services Inspector General shall review policies, practices, and procedures, and conduct audits, surveys, and other investigations of activities involving state developmental services funds. Specifically, the Developmental Services Inspector General’s duties and responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(a)Examining the operating practices of the State Department of Developmental Services and the regional centers to identify potential improvements in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs to improve the welfare of persons with developmental disabilities.

(b)Identifying best practices in the delivery of developmental services and developing policies or recommending proposed legislation to enable the State Department of Developmental Disabilities and regional centers to adopt practices and policies to improve the welfare of persons with developmental disabilities.

(c)Identifying best practices in the solicitation, screening, selection, and evaluation of programs and projects that receive funding from the State Department of Developmental Services to study and improve the welfare of developmentally disabled consumers, including, but not limited to, programs and projects administered or performed by regional centers, community-based organizations, or other entities.

(d)Providing objective analysis of and, when possible, offering solutions to concerns raised by the public involving the state’s developmental services programs and project delivery methods, including, but not limited to, the relationship between the State Department of Developmental Services and the regional centers and the operation of the regional centers.

(e)Conducting, supervising, and coordinating audits, surveys, and other investigations relating to the programs and operations of the State Department of Developmental Services and regional centers in order to evaluate whether they are achieving the goal of improving the welfare of persons with developmental disabilities.

(f)Ensuring that the Secretary of California Health and Human Services and the Legislature are fully and currently informed concerning barriers to accountability, transparency, and improved outcomes for consumers, as it relates to the expenditure of funds or administration of programs and operations by the State Department of Developmental Services and regional centers.

4602.

The Office of the Developmental Services Inspector General may do all of the following:

(a)Enter into contracts.

(b)Establish offices.

(c)Appoint employees as may be necessary to assist in the discharge of the duties required by this chapter, consistent with applicable civil service laws.

(d)Fix the compensation of employees and prescribe their duties.

(e)Have access to, and the authority to examine and reproduce, any and all records and property of the State Department of Developmental Services or a regional center in connection with performing the duties imposed by this chapter.

(f)Have access to, and authority to interview, any State Department of Developmental Services or regional center employee in connection with performing the duties imposed by this chapter.

4603.

The Developmental Services Inspector General is vested with the full authority to exercise all responsibility for maintaining a full-scope, independent, and objective audit and investigation program, as prescribed by Sections 1237, 13885, 13886.5, 13887.5, and 13888 of the Government Code.

4604.

Notwithstanding Section 13887 of the Government Code, in order to achieve independence and objectivity pursuant to this chapter, the Independent Office of the Developmental Services Inspector General shall meet both of the following requirements:

(a)The Developmental Services Inspector General shall report all audit and confidential investigation findings and recommendations made under the Developmental Services Inspector General’s jurisdiction to the Secretary of California Health and Human Services on an ongoing and current basis.

(b)(1)The Developmental Services Inspector General shall report, at least annually, or upon request, to the Governor, the Legislature, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, and the protection and advocacy agency, as defined in Section 4900, a summary of the Developmental Services Inspector General’s investigation and audit findings and recommendations. The summary shall be posted on the office’s internet website and shall otherwise be made available to the public upon its release to the Governor, Legislature, State Council on Developmental Disabilities, and protection and advocacy agency. The summary shall include, but need not be limited to, significant problems discovered by the Developmental Services Inspector General and whether the Developmental Services Inspector General’s recommendations relative to audits and investigations have been implemented by the State Department of Developmental Services or regional centers.

(2)The report shall be submitted to the Legislature in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

SEC. 2.

 (a) The California Health and Human Services Agency shall, on or before July 1, 2020, convene a working group to examine topics related to oversight and accountability of the developmental services system, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Existing oversight structures for the State Department of Developmental Services and regional centers.
(2) The purview, duties, and effectiveness of existing oversight structures.
(3) Any gaps in the purview and duties of existing oversight structures.
(4) Any available data on the utilization rates of existing regional center mediation processes.
(5) Any available data on the utilization rates of the existing administrative appeals process.
(6) The education or information, if any, that is provided to consumers, their families, and consumer representatives about the existing mediation and appeals processes.
(b) The working group shall include, but not be limited to, consumers and consumer representatives, and representatives of all of the following:
(1) The State Department of Developmental Services.
(2) Regional centers.
(3) The state’s protection and advocacy agency.
(4) The State Council on Developmental Disabilities.
(5) The California State Auditor’s Office.
(6) The State Controller’s Office.
(c) (1) The State Department of Developmental Services shall, on or before January 1, 2021, report to the Legislature any findings and policy recommendations resulting from working groups examination.
(2) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.