Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 11:00 a.m.
Access Code: 8725035698
Peter B. Neumer, Acting Inspector General; William J. Diggins, Interim Deputy Inspector General; Brian Dunn, Chairperson; Shirley Perez, Board Member; Megan Norlin, Board Member; Angela Hearts-Glass, Board Member; Jae-Jin Pak, Board Member; Pamela Oller, Administrative Assistant
Call to order
The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m.
Approval of Meeting Minutes
April 14, 2020, minutes reviewed.
Motion to approve the minutes - Shirley Perez
Motion Seconded - Angela Hearts-Glass
All in Favor; No Opposed
April 14, 2020, minutes approved
COVID19 Impact and Policies (OIG Operations/DHS Facilities & Community Providers)
Acting Inspector General Neumer reported on the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on OIG/DHS operations.
- Update reported of COVID19's impact on facilities/agencies
- OIG offices continue to work remotely and will do so until it is determined to be safe to return to its work sites
- Overall, remote working is proceeding reasonably, considering various limitations with technology and the inability to conduct on-site investigative activity
- OIG is working on the implementation of the use of video conferencing for interviewing subjects
- DD/MH Facilities/Agencies (statewide) have reported positive COVID19 cases. The OIG is responsible to ensure they are following DHS guidelines as it pertains to COVID19. Where appropriate, OIG highlights certain allegations to the DD Division. OIG is tracking all deaths related to COVID19 within a facility/agency that is within OIG's jurisdiction
- Interviews continue to be conducted via telephone, with specific rules in place as to who is in attendance from OIG during the interviews. The office can complete a full investigation utilizing the tools available while continuing to work remotely
- All aspects of confidentiality and compliance within HIPPA guidelines are being met while continuing to work remotely
- OIG is moving forward with hiring of the pending positions that were on a hold status at the onset of the stay at home order
- DHS has formed a return to work committee - Interim Deputy Inspector General Diggins is a participant of this committee. The purpose of the committee is to ensure all appropriate safety precautions are in place and that training is available for employees to return to the office and perform their job efficiently and in a safe environment
Year to Date Statistics
OIG provided the board certain OIG reports to enhance the board's knowledge of the functionality of OIG and the various factors that are contained within each caseload per investigator.
The office is working on a case intake "pilot" plan. The goal is to ensure cases are completed in the most efficient manner and to reduce the caseloads. There are several factors when an investigation is initiated (the amount of required documentation, obtaining documents from outside entities, and/or involvement with OIG clinical coordinator, etc.) which all affect the length of time a case will remain open.
Reported allegations initially had a slight decline following the onset of remote work. This decline may have been a factor of the offices preparing for COVID19 or remote work. Allegations appear to be increasing again.
The office is in the final stages of hiring Investigative Team Leaders (ITL). The ITL will assist with their bureau's caseload movement. The positions have been strategically placed and balanced statewide. The Personal Service Contract employee that was hired in January 2020, is proving to be an asset for OIG.
Shirley Perez left the meeting (12:05 pm)
Draft Credible Evidence Policy
The current policy is being revised as it pertains to placing employees on administrative assignment and on paid administrative leave for a period until the investigative report is complete. The office is looking to differentiate between credible evidence and non-credible evidence allegations made that initiate such leave. The goal is to reduce placing employees on paid administrative leave over an extended period, if the allegation has been found non-credible.
OIG Preliminary Recommended Revisions - With Guidance & Approval from DD Division and DHS Legal Staff
- Ensuring safety of all individuals is OIG's priority during this process
- Prior to placing employee on paid administrative leave, review case to determine whether there is credible evidence of abuse and/or neglect. If no credible evidence of abuse/neglect is found, the employee an be returned immediately to their position. This process will eliminate unnecessary placement of an employee on paid administrative leave for several weeks while waiting for OIG's final report that states the allegation did not have credible evidence to substantiate said allegation.
- Obtain consistency statewide within agencies/facilities when placing employees on paid administrative leave.
Chairperson Dunn reminded the board to complete their Statement of Economic Interest Forms and annual training that is required by the State.
If the board would like to discuss specific topics at the next meeting June 9, 2020, at 11 a.m., email the topics to Chairperson Dunn.
The board made a request for OIG to send the 1st quarter reports of the year to the members, prior to the next meeting, which will be discussed during the meeting.