General Assembly Raised Bill No. 871
January Session, 2021 LCO No. 3010
Referred to Committee on COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN
Introduced by:
(KID)
AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE OFFICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES OMBUDSMAN.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Assembly convened:
1 Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2021) (a) There is established an
2 independent Office of the Department of Children and Families
3 Ombudsman within the Office of Governmental Accountability. Such
4 office is responsible for receiving, investigating and making
5 recommendations for the resolution of complaints regarding services
6 rendered by and affecting individuals under the care and custody of the
7 Department of Children and Families or of any public or private agency
8 with which the department has contracted for the provision of services
9 related to child welfare.
10 (b) The director of the Office of the Department of Children and
11 Families Ombudsman shall be appointed by the Governor, in
12 accordance with the provisions of sections 4-5 to 4-8, inclusive, of the
13 general statutes.
14 (c) The director of the Office of the Department of Children and
15 Families Ombudsman shall prepare and maintain a record of all
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16 complaints received by the office. Such record shall include, but not be
17 limited to, (1) a description of the complaint received by the office, (2)
18 information concerning any investigation undertaken by the office in
19 response to a complaint and the findings of such investigation, (3) any
20 recommendations made to the Commissioner of Children and Families
21 for the resolution of a complaint, and (4) any response from the
22 commissioner regarding such recommendations. Any such record shall
23 be made available to the Office of the Child Advocate upon request.
24 Sec. 2. Section 1-300 of the general statutes is repealed and the
25 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2021):
26 (a) There is established the Office of Governmental Accountability.
27 The executive administrator of the office shall serve as the
28 administrative head of the office, who shall be appointed in accordance
29 with the provisions of section 1-301.
30 (b) The Office of Governmental Accountability shall provide
31 personnel, payroll, affirmative action and administrative and business
32 office functions and information technology associated with such
33 functions for the following: The Judicial Review Council established
34 under section 51-51k, Judicial Selection Commission established under
35 section 51-44a, Board of Firearms Permit Examiners established under
36 section 29-32b, Office of the Child Advocate established under section
37 46a-13k, Office of the Victim Advocate established under section 46a-
38 13b, [and] State Contracting Standards Board established under section
39 4e-2 and Office of the Department of Children and Families
40 Ombudsman established under section 1 of this act. The personnel,
41 payroll, affirmative action and administrative and business office
42 functions of said offices, commission, council and boards shall be
43 merged and consolidated within the Office of Governmental
44 Accountability.
45 (c) The executive administrator may employ necessary staff to carry
46 out the administrative functions of the Office of Governmental
47 Accountability, within available appropriations. Such necessary staff of
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48 the Office of Governmental Accountability shall be in classified service.
49 (d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect or limit the
50 independent decision-making authority of the Judicial Review Council,
51 Judicial Selection Commission, Board of Firearms Permit Examiners,
52 Office of the Child Advocate, Office of the Victim Advocate, [or the]
53 State Contracting Standards Board or Office of the Department of
54 Children and Families Ombudsman. Such decision-making authority
55 includes, but is not limited to, decisions concerning budgetary issues
56 and concerning the employment of necessary staff to carry out the
57 statutory duties of each such office, commission, council or board.
This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following
sections:
Section 1 July 1, 2021 New section
Sec. 2 July 1, 2021 1-300
Statement of Purpose:
To establish the Office of the Department of Children and Families
Ombudsman within the Office of Governmental Accountability.
[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except
that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not
underlined.]
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Statutes affected:
Raised Bill: 1-300