SENATE BILL 201
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
George K. Muñoz and Bill Tallman
FOR THE LEGISLATIVE FINANCE COMMITTEE
RELATING TO STATE GOVERNMENT; ENACTING THE STATE INSPECTORS GENERAL ACT; REQUIRING CERTAIN DEPARTMENTS TO HAVE OFFICES OF INSPECTORS GENERAL; PROVIDING POWERS AND DUTIES; CREATING THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY COORDINATING COUNCIL; TRANSFERRING FUNCTIONS, MONEY, RECORDS, PERSONNEL, PROPERTY AND CONTRACTS PERTAINING TO AUDIT AND COMPLIANCE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--Sections 1 through 6 of this act may be cited as the "State Inspectors General Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] PURPOSE OF OFFICES OF INSPECTOR GENERAL.--The purpose of the State Inspectors General Act is to create independent and objective units of each department enumerated in Section 4 of that act to:
A. conduct and supervise internal audits, compliance audits and investigations relating to the programs and operations of the department and state-funded entities;
B. provide coordination and recommendations designed to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness and to prevent and detect fraud and abuse in the department and state-funded entities; and
C. provide a means for keeping the cabinet secretary, the governor, the state auditor and the legislature informed about problems and deficiencies relating to the administration of the department and state-funded entities and the progress of any corrective actions.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the State Inspectors General Act:
A. "department" means a cabinet department enumerated in Section 4 of the State Inspectors General Act; and
B. "state-funded entity" means a school district, a charter school, a public post-secondary educational institution and a person who receives grants from or who contracts with a department.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] OFFICES OF INSPECTOR GENERAL--DUTIES--ORGANIZATION--CONFIDENTIALITY.--
A. Each of the following departments shall establish and maintain an office of inspector general:
(1) children, youth and families department;
(2) corrections department;
(3) department of health;
(4) higher education department;
(5) human services department;
(6) public education department;
(7) department of finance and administration;
(8) department of transportation;
(9) early childhood education and care department; and
(10) taxation and revenue department.
B. Each office of inspector general shall:
(1) have the authority to perform internal and compliance audits and investigate its department and related state-funded entities to ensure efficient and effective operations; the proper use of public funding; and the detection and prevention of fraud, waste and abuse;
(2) have unrestricted access to its department's records, data, reports, contracts, memoranda, correspondence and any other information necessary to carry out the duties of the office;
(3) coordinate activities with the state auditor; the medicaid fraud and elder abuse division of the attorney general's office, as applicable; and the legislative finance committee;
(4) recommend changes or corrective action and report on progress made to improve operations and to recover misspent public funding;
(5) refer potential criminal matters to the attorney general or a district attorney and report violations to the state auditor;
(6) as requested by the governor or an interim legislative committee, gather department and state-funded entity information and analyze and validate the information; provided, however, that this duty does not affect the duty of a department or state-funded entity to otherwise provide information in a timely manner upon request of an interim legislative committee;
(7) review and report on the progress of the department and the progress of related state-funded entities to resolve financial post-audit findings and validate performance measures reported in accordance with the Accountability in Government Act;
(8) contract for professional services as necessary to carry out the duties of the office;
(9) have the authority to accept federal funds to perform duties consistent with the State Inspectors General Act; and
(10) adopt professional standards in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards to carry out the provisions of the State Inspectors General Act.
C. The offices of inspector general shall not:
(1) perform audits of department financial statements; or
(2) publicly disclose information or records made confidential by law or exempt from the Inspection of Public Records Act.
SECTION 5. [NEW MATERIAL] OFFICES OF INSPECTOR GENERAL-- REPORTS.--
A. Each office of inspector general shall submit an annual work plan on planned reports and reports in progress to its department secretary, the state auditor, the government accountability coordinating council and the legislative finance committee.
B. An office of inspector general shall issue reports on the results of audits and investigations to the department secretary, the state auditor, the government accountability coordinating council, the legislative finance committee and the governor; provided that information in reports containing information made confidential by law or exempt from the Inspection of Public Records Act shall not be disclosed by the office, the department, the state auditor, the government accountability coordinating council, the legislative finance committee or the governor.
C. Each office of inspector general shall issue an annual report not later than September 1 to the governor, the state auditor, the government accountability coordinating council and the legislative finance committee summarizing the work of the office during the preceding fiscal year, including reports issued; findings and cost savings identified and recommendations made to the department and its related state-funded entities; and the progress of the department and state-funded entities to resolve findings, save or recover public money or implement recommendations.
D. Reports issued pursuant to Subsections B and C of this section shall be made public by posting on the departments' websites and other means. Confidential information shall not be included in public reports.
SECTION 6. [NEW MATERIAL] APPOINTMENT--ORGANIZATION.--
A. The secretary of a department shall appoint an inspector general without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability in accounting, auditing, financial analysis, law, management analysis, public administration or investigations, and any action taken to hire, remove or suspend the inspector general shall be reported to the state auditor and the legislative finance committee within fifteen days. An inspector general and employees in the department's office of inspector general shall be classified employees as provided by the Personnel Act.
B. The office of inspector general shall be operationally separate from other divisions of the department and shall report directly to the secretary. The department shall not prevent, impair or prohibit its inspector general from initiating, carrying out or completing an audit, including an internal audit or a compliance audit, or an investigation.
SECTION 7. A new section of Chapter 2, Article 5 NMSA 1978 is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY COORDINATING COUNCIL--REPORTS OF INSPECTORS GENERAL.--
A. The "government accountability coordinating council" is created, consisting of the state auditor or the state auditor's designee, the attorney general or the attorney general's designee, inspectors general of departments and the director of the legislative finance committee or the director's designee. The council shall select a chair and vice chair for a term of two years.
B. The council shall receive and review from offices of inspector general:
(1) annual work plans and quarterly updates of investigations and planned audits;
(2) annual reports;
(3) reports on the results of investigations and individual audits; and
(4) other reports and information as a result of coordination with offices and agencies of the council.
C. Information and reports containing information made confidential by law or exempt from the Inspection of Public Records Act shall not be disclosed by the council or its member agencies."
SECTION 8. TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS, APPROPRIATIONS, MONEY, PERSONNEL AND PROPERTY.--On the effective date of this act, each department enumerated in Section 4 of the State Inspectors General Act shall transfer all functions, appropriations, money, personnel, records, equipment, furniture and other property of the department pertaining to the department's audit and compliance functions to the department's newly created office of inspector general.
SECTION 9. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2023.
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