Bill Details - HB1755 (2018)

HB 1755-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2018 SESSION

18-2147

05/08

 

HOUSE BILL 1755-FN

 

AN ACT establishing an office of the inspector general.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Marple, Merr. 24; Rep. Comeau, Carr. 5; Rep. Burt, Hills. 39; Rep. McConnell, Ches. 12; Sen. Giuda, Dist 2

 

COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes an office of the inspector general to independently advocate for the people and provide assistance in the exercise of their Article 14 rights.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

18-2147

05/08

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen

 

AN ACT establishing an office of the inspector general.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  New Chapter; Office of the Inspector General.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 4-F the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 4-G

Office of the Inspector General

4-G:1  Office of the Inspector General Established.

I.  There is hereby established the office of the inspector general.  The inspector general shall independently advocate exclusively for the people and provide assistance in the exercise of their Article 14 rights.  Further, the inspector general shall promote the common law as the foundation of all that supports the people's unalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.  The inspector general shall not compete with or diminish the attorney general's duty to the corporation but instead shall be responsible for promoting the integrity and accountability of all public servants as well as efficiency in all agencies of government.  The inspector general shall not be a member or past member of the bar.  The inspector general shall be appointed by the governor and council for a term of 4 years.  Successive terms shall be by ballot of the people.  The salary of the inspector general shall be established pursuant to the procedure in RSA 14:14-c and shall be as specified in RSA 94:1-a.

II.  The inspector general shall:

(a)  Initiate, supervise, and coordinate investigations, recommend policies, and carry out other activities designed to deter, detect, prevent, and eradicate fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement, misconduct, and nonfeasance in government.

(b)  Investigate, upon receipt of a complaint or for cause, any administrative action of any agency, regardless of the finality of the administrative action.

(c)  Request such assistance and information as may be necessary for the performance of the duties of the inspector general, the paramount duty being the protection of the rights of the people under Article 14 of the New Hampshire Bill of Rights.

(d)  Examine the records and reports of any agency and its administration.

(e)  Coordinate complaint-handling activities with all agencies and enforce penalties.

(f)  Coordinate the activities of whistleblowers and maintain a toll-free telephone number, or whistleblower's hotline, to receive complaints and information from all inhabitants concerning the possible violation of law, administrative rules, mismanagement, fraud, waste, abuse of authority, malfeasance, nonfeasance, or a substantial or specific danger to the health, welfare, or safety of the public.

(g)  Report expeditiously to the 3 branches of this government any violation of criminal or civil law and assist in the prosecution of the perpetrator.

(h)  Act as liaison with other states and agencies to promote accountability, integrity, and efficiency in state government.

(i)  Act as liaison and monitor the activities of all government agencies.

(j)  Review, evaluate, and monitor the policies, practices, and operations of the executive office of the governor and council and make recommendations for improvements and cost saving measures.

(k)  Conduct special investigations and management reviews received by affidavit complaints from all inhabitants.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBAO

18-2147

11/17/17

 

HB 1755-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT establishing an office of inspector general.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [ X ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Various Government Funds

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill would establish the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).  The OIG, among other things, would be authorized to examine records of any state agency, investigate any administrative action of any agency, conduct special investigations and management reviews, and enforce penalties.  

 

The Department of Justice provides legal counsel and representation to executive branch agencies, boards, commissions and officials.  The Department anticipates this bill would result in an increase in demand for legal counsel, and potentially for representation, from such agencies and individuals as they respond to inquiries from the OIG.  The extent of that increase and the impact on the Department’s expenditures cannot be predicted.

 

The Department of Administrative Service assumes the OIG would be funded as part of the general fund budget like other executive branch agencies.  The budget would include appropriations for the salary and benefits of the Inspector General and any necessary staff, office space, equipment, supplies and other operating costs.  The amount of these appropriations is indeterminable.  The Department expects, like other agencies, it would be subject to investigation, examination and review by the Office.  The Department indicates there could be costs associated with these actions and the Department would need to devote staff or other resources to respond to, or assist, the OIG.  These costs cannot be determined without  information on the frequency or scope of the OIG activities.  The Department of Administrative Services maintains payroll, accounting and budget information for the other state agencies.  The Department assumes it would likely be required to provide the OIG with records and information regarding those agencies in the case of almost any investigation.  These costs cannot be determined without additional information on the frequency or scope of the OIG activities.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Departments of Administrative Services and Justice

 

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2018 Introduced 01/03/2018 and referred to Executive Departments and Administration HJ 1 P. 22
Jan. 25, 2018 Public Hearing: 01/25/2018 01:00 PM LOB 306
Jan. 30, 2018 Executive Session: 01/30/2018 LOB 306
March 6, 2018 Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/06/2018 (Vote 18-0; CC) HC 9 P. 23
Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 18-0; CC)
March 6, 2018 Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 03/06/2018 HJ 6 P. 41

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 25, 2018 House Hearing
Jan. 30, 2018 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
March 6, 2018 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1755 Revision: 2197 Date: Nov. 20, 2017, 1:45 p.m.