Florida Senate - 2020                                     SB 466
       By Senator Brandes
       24-00449-20                                            2020466__
    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 agency inspector general;
   13         authorizing the agency inspector general to
   14         independently procure services and hire or remove law
   15         enforcement staff; revising procedures, and providing
   16         additional limitations, regarding the removal or
   17         transfer of an agency inspector general; authorizing
   18         the inspector general to present written objections to
   19         such removal or transfer to additional officers within
   20         a certain timeframe; prohibiting a Cabinet officer
   21         from preventing or prohibiting the agency inspector
   22         general from taking action on an audit or
   23         investigation; providing requirements regarding the
   24         compensation of the agency inspector general;
   25         modifying powers and requirements as to the auditing
   26         and investigatory duties of the agency inspector
   27         general; revising requirements for the agency
   28         inspector general’s annual report; providing that
   29         complaints or allegations regarding the office of
   30         inspector general be submitted to the Chief Inspector
   31         General, rather than the agency head; authorizing each
   32         agency inspector general to issue and serve subpoenas;
   33         authorizing an agency inspector general to petition
   34         the circuit court in the event of noncompliance with a
   35         subpoena; providing an effective date.
   37  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   39         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (5) of section
   40  14.32, Florida Statutes, is amended, and paragraph (d) is added
   41  to that subsection, to read:
   42         14.32 Office of Chief Inspector General.—
   43         (5) In exercising authority under this section, the Chief
   44  Inspector General or his or her designee may:
   45         (b) Issue and serve subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum,
   46  for executive branch agencies under the jurisdiction of the
   47  Governor, to compel the attendance of witnesses and the
   48  production of documents, reports, answers, records, accounts,
   49  and other data in any medium.
   50         (d) Appoint duly constituted certified law enforcement
   51  officers who meet the qualifications of law enforcement officers
   52  established by chapter 943 under the job classification of
   53  CIG/EOG Law Enforcement Inspector. An officer who is appointed
   54  pursuant to this paragraph is subject to chapter 901 and has the
   55  same arrest, jurisdiction, and other authority provided for
   56  state law enforcement officers in that chapter. Each officer has
   57  the same right and authority to carry firearms as other state
   58  law enforcement officers. These law enforcement powers include,
   59  but are not limited to, the ability to make arrests; serve
   60  search warrants, subpoenas, or writs; collect or seize evidence;
   61  analyze evidence; conduct interviews; conduct physical
   62  surveillance and prepare reports and exhibits; and assist
   63  prosecutors in the preparation and presentation of criminal
   64  cases to include testimony in courts. The focus of such officers
   65  is to detect, deter, and investigate waste, fraud, abuse, and
   66  misconduct in a state commission, an agency under the
   67  jurisdiction of the Governor, or the Executive Office of the
   68  Governor, and to promote economy and efficiency in those
   69  entity’s programs through administrative or criminal
   70  investigations, reviews, and inspections.
   72  In the event of noncompliance with a subpoena issued pursuant to
   73  this subsection, the Chief Inspector General may petition the
   74  circuit court of the county in which the person subpoenaed
   75  resides or has his or her principal place of business for an
   76  order requiring the subpoenaed person to appear and testify and
   77  to produce documents, reports, answers, records, accounts, or
   78  other data as specified in the subpoena.
   79         Section 2. Paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of subsection (3),
   80  paragraphs (c) and (f) of subsection (6), subsection (7),
   81  paragraph (c) of subsection (8), and subsection (9) of section
   82  20.055, Florida Statutes, are amended, paragraph (e) is added to
   83  subsection (3) of that section, and subsection (11) is added to
   84  that section, to read:
   85         20.055 Agency inspectors general.—
   86         (3)
   87         (b) The inspector general shall report to the Chief
   88  Inspector General and be under the general supervision of the
   89  agency head and is not subject to supervision by the agency head
   90  or any other employee of the state agency in which the office is
   91  established. For state agencies under the jurisdiction of the
   92  Governor, the inspector general shall be under the general
   93  budget supervision of the agency in which the office is
   94  established head for administrative purposes, shall report to
   95  the Chief Inspector General, and may hire and remove staff
   96  within the office of the inspector general in consultation with
   97  the Chief Inspector General but independently of the agency. The
   98  inspector general may procure services necessary to perform the
   99  office’s mission, independently of the agency in which the
  100  office is established, and may hire and remove staff within the
  101  office who are duly constituted law enforcement officers who
  102  meet the qualifications of chapter 943.
  103         (c) For state agencies under the jurisdiction of the
  104  Cabinet or the Governor and Cabinet, the inspector general may
  105  only be removed from office by the Chief Inspector General, or
  106  transferred to another position with the Chief Inspector
  107  General’s approval agency head. For state agencies under the
  108  jurisdiction of the Governor, the inspector general may only be
  109  removed from office or transferred to another position by the
  110  Chief Inspector General for cause, including concerns regarding
  111  performance, malfeasance, misfeasance, misconduct, or failure to
  112  carry out his or her duties under this section. The Chief
  113  Inspector General shall notify the Governor in writing of his or
  114  her intention to remove or transfer the inspector general at
  115  least 21 days before the removal. For state agencies under the
  116  jurisdiction of the Governor and Cabinet, the agency head may
  117  only remove or transfer the inspector general for cause,
  118  including malfeasance, misfeasance, misconduct, or failure to
  119  carry out his or her duties under this section. The agency head
  120  shall notify the Governor and Cabinet in writing of his or her
  121  intention to remove the inspector general at least 21 days
  122  before the removal. For agencies under the Governor, the
  123  Governor and Cabinet, or a Cabinet officer, if the inspector
  124  general disagrees with the removal or transfer, the inspector
  125  general may present objections in writing to the Governor, each
  126  Cabinet officer, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the
  127  House of Representatives, and the Majority and Minority Leaders
  128  of both houses of the Legislature within 30 days of the
  129  notification the 21-day period.
  130         (d) The Governor, the Governor and Cabinet, a Cabinet
  131  officer, the agency head, or agency staff may not prevent or
  132  prohibit the inspector general from initiating, carrying out, or
  133  completing any audit or investigation.
  134         (e) The inspector general must be compensated at the same
  135  rate as other senior management officials within the agency.
  136         (6) In carrying out the auditing duties and
  137  responsibilities of this act, each inspector general shall
  138  review and evaluate internal controls necessary to ensure the
  139  fiscal accountability of the state agency. The inspector general
  140  shall conduct financial, compliance, electronic data processing,
  141  and performance audits of the agency and prepare audit reports
  142  of his or her findings. The scope and assignment of the audits
  143  shall be determined by the inspector general; however, the
  144  agency head may at any time request the inspector general to
  145  perform an audit of a special program, function, or
  146  organizational unit. The performance of the audit shall be under
  147  the direction of the inspector general, except that if the
  148  inspector general does not possess the qualifications specified
  149  in subsection (4), the director of auditing shall perform the
  150  functions listed in this subsection.
  151         (c) The inspector general and the staff shall have access
  152  to any records, data, and other information or staff of the
  153  state agency he or she deems necessary to carry out his or her
  154  duties. The inspector general may also request such information
  155  or assistance as may be necessary from the state agency or from
  156  any federal, state, or local government entity.
  157         (f) The inspector general shall submit the final report to
  158  the agency head, the Auditor General, and, for state agencies
  159  under the jurisdiction of the Governor, the Chief Inspector
  160  General. Final audit reports must be posted to the applicable
  161  agency’s website within 5 business days after the report becomes
  162  final.
  163         (7) In carrying out the administrative or criminal
  164  investigative duties and responsibilities specified in this
  165  section, each inspector general shall initiate, conduct,
  166  supervise, and coordinate investigations designed to detect,
  167  deter, prevent, and eradicate fraud, waste, mismanagement,
  168  misconduct, and other abuses in state government. For these
  169  purposes, each inspector general shall:
  170         (a) Receive complaints and coordinate all activities of the
  171  agency as required by the Whistle-blower’s Act pursuant to ss.
  172  112.3187-112.31895.
  173         (b) Receive and consider the complaints which do not meet
  174  the criteria for an investigation under the Whistle-blower’s Act
  175  and conduct, supervise, or coordinate such inquiries,
  176  investigations, or reviews as the inspector general deems
  177  appropriate.
  178         (c) Report expeditiously to the Department of Law
  179  Enforcement or other law enforcement agencies, as appropriate,
  180  whenever the inspector general has reasonable grounds to believe
  181  there has been a violation of criminal law.
  182         (d) Conduct all types of investigations and other inquiries
  183  free of actual or perceived impairment to the independence of
  184  the inspector general or the inspector general’s office. This
  185  shall include freedom from any interference with investigations
  186  and timely access to records and other sources of information.
  187         (e) At the conclusion of each investigation in which the
  188  subject of the investigation is a specific entity contracting
  189  with the state or an individual substantially affected as
  190  defined by this section, and if the investigation is not
  191  confidential or otherwise exempt from disclosure by law, the
  192  inspector general shall, consistent with s. 119.07(1), submit
  193  findings to the subject that is a specific entity contracting
  194  with the state or an individual substantially affected, who
  195  shall be advised in writing that they may submit a written
  196  response within 20 working days after receipt of the findings.
  197  Such response and the inspector general’s rebuttal to the
  198  response, if any, shall be included in the final investigative
  199  report.
  200         (f) Submit in a timely fashion final reports on
  201  investigations conducted by the inspector general to the agency
  202  head, except for whistle-blower’s investigations, which shall be
  203  conducted and reported pursuant to s. 112.3189.
  204         (8)
  205         (c) The final reports prepared pursuant to paragraphs (a)
  206  and (b) shall be provided to the heads of the respective
  207  agencies and, for state agencies under the jurisdiction of the
  208  Governor, the Chief Inspector General. Such reports shall
  209  include, but need not be limited to:
  210         1. A description of activities relating to the development,
  211  assessment, and validation of performance measures.
  212         2. A description of significant abuses and deficiencies
  213  relating to the administration of programs and operations of the
  214  agency disclosed by investigations, audits, reviews, or other
  215  activities during the reporting period.
  216         3. A description of the recommendations for corrective
  217  action made by the inspector general during the reporting period
  218  with respect to significant problems, abuses, or deficiencies
  219  identified.
  220         4. The identification of each significant recommendation
  221  described in previous annual reports on which corrective action
  222  has not been completed.
  223         5. A summary of each audit and investigation completed
  224  during the reporting period.
  225         6. A summary of the budget of the office of inspector
  226  general, including a statement concerning whether the budget is
  227  sufficient to address and achieve the office’s mission.
  228         7. A description of whether the agency has interfered with,
  229  or attempted to interfere with, the independence of the office
  230  and whether the agency has responded timely to requests for
  231  information, testimony, and records.
  232         (9) The inspector general in each state agency shall
  233  provide to the Chief Inspector General agency head, upon
  234  receipt, all written complaints concerning the duties and
  235  responsibilities in this section or any allegation of misconduct
  236  related to the office of the inspector general or its employees,
  237  if received from subjects of audits or investigations who are
  238  individuals substantially affected or entities contracting with
  239  the state, as defined in this section. The Chief Inspector
  240  General may investigate such complaints or allegations as he or
  241  she deems appropriate or take other appropriate action For state
  242  agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor, the inspector
  243  general shall also provide the complaint to the Chief Inspector
  244  General.
  245         (11) Each agency inspector general may issue and serve
  246  subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum to compel the attendance of
  247  witnesses and the production of documents, reports, answers,
  248  records, accounts, and other data in any medium. In the event of
  249  noncompliance with a subpoena or a subpoena duces tecum issued
  250  pursuant to this section, the inspector general may petition the
  251  circuit court of the county in which the person subpoenaed
  252  resides or has his or her principal place of business for an
  253  order requiring the subpoenaed person to appear and testify and
  254  to produce documents, reports, answers, records, accounts, or
  255  other data as specified in the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum.
  256         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.