A. The ombudsman-citizens aide shall:

Terms Used In Arizona Laws 41-1376

  • Administrative act: means an action, decision, omission, recommendation, practice, policy or procedure of an agency but does not include the preparation or presentation of legislation or the substantive content of a judicial order, decision or opinion. See Arizona Laws 41-1371
  • Agency: means a department, office, corporation, authority, organization, commission, council or board of the executive branch of state government, a department, office, institution, authority, organization, commission, committee, council or board of state government that is independent of the executive or legislative branches of state government or an officer, employee or member of an agency acting or purporting to act in the exercise of official duties. See Arizona Laws 41-1371
  • Appropriation: The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • including: means not limited to and is not a term of exclusion. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • Writing: includes printing. See Arizona Laws 1-215

1. Investigate the administrative acts of agencies pursuant to section 41-1377, subsections A and B except as provided in section 41-1377, subsections C, D and E. The ombudsman-citizens aide shall investigate the administrative acts of an agency without regard to the finality of the administrative act.

2. Annually before January 1 prepare a written report to the governor, the legislature and the public that contains a summary of the ombudsman-citizens aide’s activities during the previous fiscal year. The ombudsman-citizens aide shall present this report annually before the legislative council and distribute copies of the report to the director of the governor’s office of strategic planning and budgeting, the chairperson of the joint legislative budget committee and the cochairpersons of the administrative rules oversight committee. This report shall include:

(a) The ombudsman-citizens aide’s mission statement.

(b) The number of matters that were within each of the categories specified in section 41-1379, subsection B.

(c) Legislative issues affecting the ombudsman-citizens aide.

(d) Selected case studies that illustrate the ombudsman-citizens aide’s work and reasons for complaints.

(e) Ombudsman-citizens aide’s contact statistics.

(f) A description of the public awareness and outreach activities conducted by the ombudsman-citizens aide.

(g) Ombudsman-citizens aide’s staff.

3. Before conducting the first investigation, adopt rules that ensure that confidential information that is gathered will not be disclosed.

4. Appoint a deputy ombudsman and prescribe the duties of employees or, subject to appropriation, contract for the services of independent contractors necessary to administer the duties of the office of ombudsman-citizens aide. All staff serves at the pleasure of the ombudsman-citizens aide, and they are exempt from chapter 4, articles 5 and 6 of this title. All staff shall be subject to the conflict of interest provisions of title 38, chapter 3, article 8.

5. Before conducting the first investigation, adopt rules that establish procedures for receiving and processing complaints, including guidelines to ensure each complainant has exhausted all reasonable alternatives within the agency, conducting investigations, incorporating agency responses into recommendations and reporting findings.

6. Notify the chief executive or administrative officer of the agency in writing of the intention to investigate unless notification would unduly hinder the investigation or make the investigation ineffectual.

7. Appoint an assistant to help the ombudsman-citizens aide investigate complaints relating to the department of child safety. The assistant shall have expertise in the department of child safety procedures and laws. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the ombudsman-citizens aide and the assistant have access to the department of child safety records and to any automated case management system used by the department of child safety.

B. After the conclusion of an investigation and notice to the head of the agency pursuant to section 41-1379, the ombudsman-citizens aide may present the ombudsman-citizens aide’s opinion and recommendations to the governor, the legislature, the office of the appropriate prosecutor or the public, or any combination of these persons. The ombudsman-citizens aide shall include in the opinion the reply of the agency, including those issues that were resolved as a result of the ombudsman-citizens aide’s preliminary opinion or recommendation.