Executive Order

Executive Order No. 229: Refugee Advisory Council

Date: 04/26/1983
Issuer: Michael S. Dukakis
Mass Register: No. 363

WHEREAS, the Massachusetts Office of Refugee Resettlement was created for the purpose of implementing the requirements of the Refugee Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-212) to assist refugees in the Commonwealth to become self-sufficient as rapidly as possible; and

WHEREAS, the Refugee Act of 1980 requires that a comprehensive program of services for refugees be developed in the Massachusetts Office of Refugee Resettlement and described in an annual amendment to the State Plan for Refugee Resettlement; and

WHEREAS, the knowledge and expertise of representatives from the refugee community, resettlement agencies and public and private institutions involved in the refugee program are essential in developing programs for refugees; and

WHEREAS, there is a need for the Massachusetts Office of Refugee Resettlement to coordinate the development of these programs by incorporating the existing knowledge and information that these experts possess: and

WHEREAS, the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement recommends that each state have an Advisory Council to assist the state office in reaching its goals:

NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael S. Dukakis, Governor of the Commonwealth, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby order as follows:

1. There is hereby created a Council, to be known as the Refugee Advisory Council, to consist of not less than fifteen (15) members and not more than thirty (30) members who shall serve without compensation. The members of the council shall be appointed by the Governor for a one year term and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

The membership of the Advisory Council shall consist of representatives who live in the Commonwealth and shall include (1) refugees eligible to benefit from services under the plan, and (2) representatives from local government, voluntary resettlement organizations, service providers, and other private organizations and individuals.

From the membership, the Governor shall designate a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson. They shall serve for a one (1) year term. In addition, the Secretary of Human Services, Directors of the Division of Employment Services and Office of Human Resources, Commissioners of the Department of Public Welfare, Department of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, Department of Social Services, Special Assistant for Education, Chairman of State-Wide Welfare Advisory Board and Program Manager for Massachusetts Refugee Resettlement Program, shall serve as ex-officio members of the Council.

The Advisory Council's goals shall include but not be limited to:

A. Identifying and advising the Massachusetts Office of Refugee Resettlement on issues, of refugee community concern, including needs, quality of service and accountability: and

B. Increasing communication, mutual understanding and willingness to cooperate among representatives of groups and organizations within the community that serve the refugee population; and

C. Gathering data on the impact of present policies, practices and services on clients, providers and other segments of the refugee community: and

D. Ensuring that the refugee community voluntary agencies, service providers, volunteer groups and individuals serving the refugee community are familiar with and understand the policies, procedures and available services of the Refugee Assistance Program.

2. The Council may form subcommittees from its own membership and the community at large and is authorized to call upon any Secretariat, office, department, board, commission, council or other agency of the Executive branch of State Government under my jurisdiction and any officer, member or employee thereof, to supply such statistical data, program reports and other information and materials as the Council deems necessary or appropriate to perform its work, and, if so called upon, they are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Council and to furnish it with such information or assistance in connection with such review and analysis and in connection with effecting such recommendations as may be developed for the implementation thereof.

3. The Council shall submit an annual written report to the Governor of its findings and recommendations.

4. This Order shall take effect immediately and shall continue in force until amended or revoked.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 26th day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eighty-three and of the Independence of the United States, two hundred and seven.

MICHAEL S. DUKAKIS

GOVERNOR

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

MICHAEL JOSEPH CONNOLLY

SECRETARY OF THE COMMONWEALTH

Contact for No. 229: Refugee Advisory Council

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