April 26, 2019 @ 1:00 p.m.
Access Code: 1469835118
Michael McCotter, Inspector General; Mark Kraus, SPSA Bureau of Compliance & Evaluation; David Friedland, Chairperson; Cathy Lomasney, Board Member; John Pingo, Board Member; Katherine Burson, Board Member; Pamela S. Oller, Administrative Assistant
Call to Order
Meeting called to order at 1:04 p.m.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes for November 9, 2018, were reviewed. Motion to approve the minutes of November 9, 2018 - John Pingo. Motion seconded - David Friedland. All in agreement with no abstentions.
Inspector General's Report
Inspector General McCotter reported that the newly appointed DHS Secretary is Grace Hou. Secretary Hou's transition team and OIG Administrative Staff have reviewed OIG's process. OIG has been approved to hire nine (9) additional staff to include four (4) Internal Security Investigator II, Opt. A, three (3) Investigator Team Leader and two (2) Office Associates. The Office of Inspector General will be working on the reorganization. Original request made to previous administration was to increase headcount by twenty-seven (27) was denied. There is a promotion within OIG staff; a current Internal Security Investigator II, Opt. A employee will become the Bureau Chief of Chicago-Metro Bureau, effective May 1, 2019.
Chairperson Friedland inquired of the current OIG headcount. Inspector General McCotter stated the goal is ninety-seven (97). However, with recent approval of nine (9) additional staff it will be sitting at a headcount of eighty-one (81).
Katherine Burson requested clarification on the headcount. Inspector General McCotter responded it is the goal to fill all eighty-one (81) positions. The office is seeking possibilities of placing headquarters in a geographical location (Des Plaines) which will in turn cut back on the travel time. There is quite a bit of travel Statewide required by the Investigators to cover their geographical area.
Chairperson Friedland inquired about staffing in the proposed new locations. Inspector General McCotter stated this area is currently covered by the Elgin office. The goal is to place one (1) or two (2) Internal Security Investigator II's at the Des Plaines location. This will cut down on the travel time. DHS has an office located in Des Plaines, and the OIG will contact that office regarding availability of at least one (1) office for OIG.
Chairperson Friedland concerned about the lengthy duration of an investigation. Inspector General McCotter discussed the process of assignment of staff to specific demographic areas. There are monthly meetings with Bureau Chief's to review and discuss their pending cases. The shortage of office support staff as it compares to the current investigative staff and how it affects the completion of caseloads within a timely manner. As soon as the reorganization has been approved, this information will be shared with Chairperson Friedland, who will in turn share with the board members.
Review of Substantiated Cases
Chairperson Friedland inquired about the process of completed cases that may have recommendations. Mark Kraus reported all recommendations are sent to the agency/facility and they receive a written response with the report. The agency/facility are to review and approve a plan of action as they pertain to OIG's recommendations and return to the OIG. This information is entered into the OIG's database for future reference. The OIG does not have jurisdiction to approve the plan of action from the agency/facility. The Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities Divisions follow-up on the plan of action. OIG does a random check of approximately 15%-20% monthly (10% is required) and OIG requests documentation on how they adhered by OIG's recommendations. Reason for random sample check is OIG does not have the manpower available for all cases. Explained the OIG's recommendations are not mandatory and if the Division has a disagreement with the recommendations made, they can discuss with OIG specific modifications. Also, explained the right to request a reconsideration on case findings. The Divisions are either Mental Health or Developmental Disability and each division has their own processes to adhere by when implementing recommendations and plan of action as they pertain to the recommendations resulting from an OIG investigation. Explained the obligation of DHS licensed, funded personnel and/or employees of DHS to comply with investigative efforts. As far as discipline action for individuals investigated - OIG has certain steps in place for such situations. The final discipline action is in the discretion of the agency/facility.
Katherine Burson inquired about the cases sent to the board for review and discussion. Mark Kraus replied the cases for review are both unsubstantiated and substantiated. As far as the healthcare worker registry that OIG reports, each agency/facility is required to complete a background check and search the healthcare worker registry to see if an individual is listed.
Chairperson Friedland inquired about complaints and/or findings in the public eye. Mark Kraus explained the current system in place (DHS scorecard) and the information that is allowed in the public eye. Also, reiterated the FOIA process is available and the FOIA records sent out adhere by all confidentiality rules. If the Office of Inspector General finds systemic issues, it is reported to the appropriate Division. The office is currently creating a report from the internal database of trend analysis and systemic issues. The goal is to utilize this tool in the future for data and material collected by OIG investigations to assist with resolution recommendations of systemic issues.
Chairperson Friedland requested reports of both systemic and trend analysis. Inspector General McCotter will inquire with DHS Secretary regarding the release of such reports to the board.
Mark Kraus explained to board members the need to check their State email accounts at least once per month and the purpose of the account is to abide by HIPPA when sending information to the board via email. If they do not go into the email system at least once per month, they will be locked out and will need to contact OIG office for access. Also, reiterated the password needs updated every two (2) months.
Cathy Lomasney applauds the Internal Security Investigators for their duties and an incredible job they are doing in the communities.
Chairperson Friedland stated the next tentative meeting is scheduled for July 12, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. via teleconference.
Meeting adjourned at 1:45 p.m.