AB 255, as amended, Irwin. Veterans: Inspector General for Veterans Affairs.
Existing law establishes the Department of Veterans Affairs and designates the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as the chief administrative officer of the department. Existing law also establishes the California Veterans Board, and requires the board to advise the department and secretary on policies for operations of the department. Existing law provides for veterans programs, including the veterans farm and home purchase programs, and provides for veterans homes.
This bill would create the office of
begin delete Inspector Generalend delete for Veterans Affairs, begin delete whoend delete would be subject to the direction of the begin delete Governor,end delete within the department. The bill would require the begin delete inspector generalend delete to be appointed by the Governor, subject to Senate confirmation. The begin delete inspector generalend delete would be responsible for reviewing the operations and financial condition of each California veterans home, each veterans farm and home purchase program, and begin delete allend delete
other begin delete veteransend delete programs begin delete supported by the state.end delete Beginning January 1, 2017, and each year begin delete after,end delete the bill would require the begin delete inspector generalend delete to submit a report to the board and the Legislature begin delete and make anyend delete recommendations begin delete he or she deems necessary for improving the operations of the veterans programs.end delete
The bill would
begin delete inspector generalend delete to receive communications from any individual who believes he or she may have information that warrants a review or investigation of a veterans program. begin delete The bill would authorize, and in some instances require, the inspector general to conduct a review or investigation.end delete The bill would begin delete also require the establishment ofend delete a toll-free telephone number to report alleged wrongdoing regarding veterans programs.
The bill would repeal the provisions described above on January 1, 2020.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Section 73.5 is added to the Military and Veterans
2Code, to read:
(a) (1) There is hereby created the office of
begin delete Inspector for Veterans Affairs within the department.
begin delete inspector generalend delete shall be appointed by
6the Governor, subject to Senate confirmation.
begin delete(A)end delete begin delete end delete begin deleteThe inspector general end deleteshall be subject
8to the direction of the
begin delete Governor.end delete
P3 1(B) The inspector general shall provide ongoing and independent
2advice to the board regarding any issue that is being considered
3by the board.
4(b) The inspector general shall be responsible for all of the
12(1) Reviewing the operations and financial condition of each
13California veterans home and veterans farm and home purchase
begin delete program. For the purposes of reviewing the operations of each
15veterans home, the Veterans Home Allied Council and home
16residents shall have unfettered access to the inspector general.end delete
18(2) Reviewing the operation and financial condition of all other
19veterans programs supported by the state, including, but not limited
20to, county veterans service offices and veterans memorials.
begin delete anyend delete allegations of department employee
23misconduct and reporting any findings of misconduct directly to
24the secretary, for further action that the secretary may deem
26(c) (1) The inspector general shall conduct a review or
27investigation, as specified in subdivision (b), if requested to do so
28by the Governor, any member of the board, or the secretary. In
29addition, the inspector general may conduct a review or
30investigation, as specified in subdivision (b), as he or she deems
31necessary or if requested by any Member of the Legislature or any
32member of the public.
33(2) Whenever the inspector general conducts a review or
34investigation pursuant to a request of any Member of the
35Legislature, the inspector general shall submit a report of his or
36her findings to that member.
begin delete(1)end delete begin delete end deleteBeginning January 1, 2017, and each year begin delete after, the shall submit a
2inspector generalend delete
3 report to the board and the Legislature
begin delete and make any recommendations he or she deems
5necessary for improving the operations of the veterans programs.end delete
9(2) A report submitted to the Legislature pursuant to paragraph
10(1) shall comply with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020,
12and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that
13is enacted before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends that date.
Section 73.6 is added to the Military and Veterans
15Code, to read:
begin delete inspector generalend delete may receive
17communications from any individual, including, but not limited
18to, a participant in a farm and home purchase program or a resident
19of a California veterans home, who believes he or she may have
20information that warrants a review or investigation of a
begin delete program that is supported by the state. Theend delete identity of the person providing the information
23shall be held as confidential by the
begin delete inspector generalend delete
24 and may be disclosed only to the
begin deleteGovernor, any member of the
25board, any Member of the Legislature, or the secretary, as the
26inspector general deems appropriate and in the furtherance of his
27or her duties.end delete
begin deleteIn order to properly respond to any allegation, the inspector shall establish
30general end delete
31a toll-free public telephone number for the purpose of identifying
32any alleged wrongdoing regarding
begin delete veteransend delete
33 programs. This telephone number shall be posted at every
34California veterans home and throughout all department and county
35veterans service offices, in clear view of all veterans home
36residents, employees, and the public. In addition, the telephone
37number shall be issued to every participant of a home purchase
38program. When deemed appropriate by the
begin delete inspector general,end delete he or she shall initiate a review or investigation of any
begin delete However, any request to conduct an
The request shall be confidential
P5 1investigation shall be in writing.end delete
2and is not subject to disclosure under the California Public Records
3Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7
4of Title 1 of the Government Code).
5(c) The identity of the person providing the information that
6initiated the review or investigation shall not be disclosed without
7that person’s written permission, except to a law enforcement agency in the furtherance of its
10(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020,
11and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that
12is enacted before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends that date.
The Legislature finds and declares that Section 2 of
14this act, which adds Section 73.6 of the Military and Veterans
15Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the
16meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and
17agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the
18California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision,
19the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the
20interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting
22In order to protect the privacy of persons who provide
23information of alleged wrongdoing by or complaints against
24veterans programs to the
begin delete Inspector Generalend delete for
25Veterans Affairs, the limitations on the public’s right of access
26imposed by Section 2 of this act are necessary.