Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1478
       By Senator Brandes
       24-01977-19                                           20191478__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to inspectors general; amending s.
    3         14.32, F.S.; revising the Chief Inspector General’s
    4         subpoena authority to include issuing and serving
    5         subpoenas for all executive branch agencies;
    6         authorizing the Chief Inspector General to appoint
    7         certified law enforcement officers; specifying the
    8         qualifications, powers, and focus of such officers;
    9         amending s. 20.055, F.S.; providing that agency
   10         inspectors general report to the Chief Inspector
   11         General; removing an agency head’s supervisory
   12         authority over the inspector general; authorizing the
   13         inspector general to independently procure services
   14         and hire or remove law enforcement staff; revising
   15         procedures, and providing additional limitations,
   16         regarding the removal or transfer of an agency
   17         inspector general; authorizing the inspector general
   18         to present written objections to such removal or
   19         transfer to additional officers within a certain
   20         timeframe; prohibiting a Cabinet officer from
   21         preventing or prohibiting the inspector general from
   22         taking action on an audit or investigation; providing
   23         requirements regarding the compensation of the
   24         inspector general; modifying powers and requirements
   25         as to the auditing and investigatory duties of the
   26         inspector general; revising requirements for the
   27         inspector general’s annual report; providing that
   28         complaints or allegations regarding the office of
   29         inspector general be submitted to the Chief Inspector
   30         General, rather than the agency head; authorizing each
   31         agency inspector general to issue and serve subpoenas;
   32         authorizing the inspector general to petition the
   33         circuit court in the event of noncompliance with a
   34         subpoena; providing an effective date.
   36  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   38         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (5) of section
   39  14.32, Florida Statutes, is amended, and paragraph (d) is added
   40  to that subsection, to read:
   41         14.32 Office of Chief Inspector General.—
   42         (5) In exercising authority under this section, the Chief
   43  Inspector General or his or her designee may:
   44         (b) Issue and serve subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum,
   45  for executive branch agencies under the jurisdiction of the
   46  Governor, to compel the attendance of witnesses and the
   47  production of documents, reports, answers, records, accounts,
   48  and other data in any medium.
   49         (d) Appoint duly constituted certified law enforcement
   50  officers who meet the qualifications of law enforcement officers
   51  established by chapter 943 under the job classification of
   52  CIG/EOG Law Enforcement Inspector. An officer who is appointed
   53  pursuant to this paragraph is subject to chapter 901, and has
   54  the same arrest, jurisdiction, and other authority provided for
   55  state law enforcement officers in that chapter. Each officer has
   56  the same right and authority to carry firearms as other state
   57  law enforcement officers. These law enforcement powers include,
   58  but are not limited to, the ability to make arrests; serve
   59  search warrants, subpoenas, or writs; collect or seize evidence;
   60  analyze evidence; conduct interviews; conduct physical
   61  surveillance and prepare reports and exhibits; and assist
   62  prosecutors in the preparation and presentation of criminal
   63  cases to include testimony in courts. The focus of such officers
   64  is to detect, deter, and investigate waste, fraud, abuse, and
   65  misconduct in a state commission, an agency under the
   66  jurisdiction of the Governor, or the Executive Office of the
   67  Governor, and to promote economy and efficiency in those
   68  entity’s programs through administrative or criminal
   69  investigations, reviews, and inspections.
   71  In the event of noncompliance with a subpoena issued pursuant to
   72  this subsection, the Chief Inspector General may petition the
   73  circuit court of the county in which the person subpoenaed
   74  resides or has his or her principal place of business for an
   75  order requiring the subpoenaed person to appear and testify and
   76  to produce documents, reports, answers, records, accounts, or
   77  other data as specified in the subpoena.
   78         Section 2. Paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of subsection (3),
   79  paragraphs (c) and (f) of subsection (6), subsection (7),
   80  paragraph (c) of subsection (8), and subsection (9) of section
   81  20.055, Florida Statutes, are amended, paragraph (e) is added to
   82  subsection (3) of that section, and subsection (11) is added to
   83  that section, to read:
   84         20.055 Agency inspectors general.—
   85         (3)
   86         (b) The inspector general shall report to the Chief
   87  Inspector General and be under the general supervision of the
   88  agency head and is not subject to supervision by the agency head
   89  or any other employee of the state agency in which the office is
   90  established. For state agencies under the jurisdiction of the
   91  Governor, the inspector general shall be under the general
   92  budget supervision of the agency in which the office is
   93  established head for administrative purposes, shall report to
   94  the Chief Inspector General, and may hire and remove staff
   95  within the office of the inspector general in consultation with
   96  the Chief Inspector General but independently of the agency. The
   97  inspector general may procure services necessary to perform the
   98  office’s mission, independently of the agency in which the
   99  office is established, and may hire and remove staff within the
  100  office who are duly constituted law enforcement officers who
  101  meet the qualifications of chapter 943.
  102         (c) For state agencies under the jurisdiction of the
  103  Cabinet or the Governor and Cabinet, the inspector general may
  104  only be removed from office by the Chief Inspector General, or
  105  transferred to another position with the Chief Inspector
  106  General’s approval agency head. For state agencies under the
  107  jurisdiction of the Governor, the inspector general may only be
  108  removed from office or transferred to another position by the
  109  Chief Inspector General for cause, including concerns regarding
  110  performance, malfeasance, misfeasance, misconduct, or failure to
  111  carry out his or her duties under this section. The Chief
  112  Inspector General shall notify the Governor in writing of his or
  113  her intention to remove or transfer the inspector general at
  114  least 21 days before the removal. For state agencies under the
  115  jurisdiction of the Governor and Cabinet, the agency head may
  116  only remove or transfer the inspector general for cause,
  117  including malfeasance, misfeasance, misconduct, or failure to
  118  carry out his or her duties under this section. The agency head
  119  shall notify the Governor and Cabinet in writing of his or her
  120  intention to remove the inspector general at least 21 days
  121  before the removal. For agencies under the Governor, the
  122  Governor and Cabinet, or a Cabinet officer, if the inspector
  123  general disagrees with the removal or transfer, the inspector
  124  general may present objections in writing to the Governor, each
  125  Cabinet officer, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the
  126  House of Representatives, and the Majority and Minority Leaders
  127  of both houses of the Legislature within 30 days of the
  128  notification the 21-day period.
  129         (d) The Governor, the Governor and Cabinet, a Cabinet
  130  officer, the agency head, or agency staff may not prevent or
  131  prohibit the inspector general from initiating, carrying out, or
  132  completing any audit or investigation.
  133         (e) The inspector general must be compensated at the same
  134  rate as other senior management officials within the agency.
  135         (6) In carrying out the auditing duties and
  136  responsibilities of this act, each inspector general shall
  137  review and evaluate internal controls necessary to ensure the
  138  fiscal accountability of the state agency. The inspector general
  139  shall conduct financial, compliance, electronic data processing,
  140  and performance audits of the agency and prepare audit reports
  141  of his or her findings. The scope and assignment of the audits
  142  shall be determined by the inspector general; however, the
  143  agency head may at any time request the inspector general to
  144  perform an audit of a special program, function, or
  145  organizational unit. The performance of the audit shall be under
  146  the direction of the inspector general, except that if the
  147  inspector general does not possess the qualifications specified
  148  in subsection (4), the director of auditing shall perform the
  149  functions listed in this subsection.
  150         (c) The inspector general and the staff shall have access
  151  to any records, data, and other information or staff of the
  152  state agency he or she deems necessary to carry out his or her
  153  duties. The inspector general may also request such information
  154  or assistance as may be necessary from the state agency or from
  155  any federal, state, or local government entity.
  156         (f) The inspector general shall submit the final report to
  157  the agency head, the Auditor General, and, for state agencies
  158  under the jurisdiction of the Governor, the Chief Inspector
  159  General. Final audit reports must be posted to the applicable
  160  agency’s website within 5 business days after the report becomes
  161  final.
  162         (7) In carrying out the administrative or criminal
  163  investigative duties and responsibilities specified in this
  164  section, each inspector general shall initiate, conduct,
  165  supervise, and coordinate investigations designed to detect,
  166  deter, prevent, and eradicate fraud, waste, mismanagement,
  167  misconduct, and other abuses in state government. For these
  168  purposes, each inspector general shall:
  169         (a) Receive complaints and coordinate all activities of the
  170  agency as required by the Whistle-blower’s Act pursuant to ss.
  171  112.3187-112.31895.
  172         (b) Receive and consider the complaints which do not meet
  173  the criteria for an investigation under the Whistle-blower’s Act
  174  and conduct, supervise, or coordinate such inquiries,
  175  investigations, or reviews as the inspector general deems
  176  appropriate.
  177         (c) Report expeditiously to the Department of Law
  178  Enforcement or other law enforcement agencies, as appropriate,
  179  whenever the inspector general has reasonable grounds to believe
  180  there has been a violation of criminal law.
  181         (d) Conduct all types of investigations and other inquiries
  182  free of actual or perceived impairment to the independence of
  183  the inspector general or the inspector general’s office. This
  184  shall include freedom from any interference with investigations
  185  and timely access to records and other sources of information.
  186         (e) At the conclusion of each investigation in which the
  187  subject of the investigation is a specific entity contracting
  188  with the state or an individual substantially affected as
  189  defined by this section, and if the investigation is not
  190  confidential or otherwise exempt from disclosure by law, the
  191  inspector general shall, consistent with s. 119.07(1), submit
  192  findings to the subject that is a specific entity contracting
  193  with the state or an individual substantially affected, who
  194  shall be advised in writing that they may submit a written
  195  response within 20 working days after receipt of the findings.
  196  Such response and the inspector general’s rebuttal to the
  197  response, if any, shall be included in the final investigative
  198  report.
  199         (f) Submit in a timely fashion final reports on
  200  investigations conducted by the inspector general to the agency
  201  head, except for whistle-blower’s investigations, which shall be
  202  conducted and reported pursuant to s. 112.3189.
  203         (8)
  204         (c) The final reports prepared pursuant to paragraphs (a)
  205  and (b) shall be provided to the heads of the respective
  206  agencies and, for state agencies under the jurisdiction of the
  207  Governor, the Chief Inspector General. Such reports shall
  208  include, but need not be limited to:
  209         1. A description of activities relating to the development,
  210  assessment, and validation of performance measures.
  211         2. A description of significant abuses and deficiencies
  212  relating to the administration of programs and operations of the
  213  agency disclosed by investigations, audits, reviews, or other
  214  activities during the reporting period.
  215         3. A description of the recommendations for corrective
  216  action made by the inspector general during the reporting period
  217  with respect to significant problems, abuses, or deficiencies
  218  identified.
  219         4. The identification of each significant recommendation
  220  described in previous annual reports on which corrective action
  221  has not been completed.
  222         5. A summary of each audit and investigation completed
  223  during the reporting period.
  224         6. A summary of the budget of the office of inspector
  225  general, including a statement concerning whether the budget is
  226  sufficient to address and achieve the office’s mission.
  227         7. A description of whether the agency has interfered with,
  228  or attempted to interfere with, the independence of the office
  229  and whether the agency has responded timely to requests for
  230  information, testimony, and records.
  231         (9) The inspector general in each state agency shall
  232  provide to the Chief Inspector General agency head, upon
  233  receipt, all written complaints concerning the duties and
  234  responsibilities in this section or any allegation of misconduct
  235  related to the office of the inspector general or its employees,
  236  if received from subjects of audits or investigations who are
  237  individuals substantially affected or entities contracting with
  238  the state, as defined in this section. The Chief Inspector
  239  General may investigate such complaints or allegations as he or
  240  she deems appropriate or take other appropriate action For state
  241  agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor, the inspector
  242  general shall also provide the complaint to the Chief Inspector
  243  General.
  244         (11) Each agency inspector general may issue and serve
  245  subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum to compel the attendance of
  246  witnesses and the production of documents, reports, answers,
  247  records, accounts, and other data in any medium. In the event of
  248  noncompliance with a subpoena or a subpoena duces tecum issued
  249  pursuant to this section, the inspector general may petition the
  250  circuit court of the county in which the person subpoenaed
  251  resides or has his or her principal place of business for an
  252  order requiring the subpoenaed person to appear and testify and
  253  to produce documents, reports, answers, records, accounts, or
  254  other data as specified in the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum.
  255         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.