This page, No. 268: Office of Quality Assurance for the Mental Retardation Consent Decrees (OQA), is offered by
Executive Order

Executive Order No. 268: Office of Quality Assurance for the Mental Retardation Consent Decrees (OQA)

Date: 12/29/1986
Issuer: Michael S. Dukakis
Mass Register: No. 547
Revoked by: Executive Order 383

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, it is the solemn duty of the Commonwealth to maximize the opportunities for all citizens to live as full and fulfilling lives as possible,

WHEREAS, retarded citizens face special obstacles and hardships and must rely heavily on the state to protect their rights and their opportunities for growth,

WHEREAS, until a decade ago, retarded citizens of the Commonwealth residing in state schools were receiving little more than custodial care,

WHEREAS, within the past decade, officials of the Commonwealth, in the face of litigation, committed themselves to work with the facilities of retarded residents and the federal district court to design a comprehensive program to improve the care of those citizens,

WHEREAS, after months of study, negotiation and planning, consent decrees were entered into with representatives of those retarded citizens and their families which set forth the needs of those citizens and how to meet them,

WHEREAS, over the past decade, the Commonwealth, through the collaboration of the executive and the legislative branches and the guidance of the federal court, revolutionized the system of care for the retarded by extensively renovating its state schools as required by the consent decrees; by increasing the number of professional and other staff to care for the residents; by expanding the availability and range of mental retardation services; and by developing for the first time a network of homes for the retarded in the heart of the Commonwealth's neighborhoods,

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is substantially complying with the commitments of the consent decrees, and as a result, the federal court has now determined that it need no longer actively supervise compliance with the decrees,

WHEREAS, during this period of disengagement from the decrees, the Court has ordered that the Commonwealth establish an independent quality assurance oversight process,

WHEREAS, it is the solemn duty of the Commonwealth to protect the constitutional rights of those retarded citizens who have been or who are residents of the state school and to give them the opportunity to live as full and normal a life as possible,

NOW, THEREFORE, I Michael S. Dukakis, Governor of the Commonwealth, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do hereby establish the Office of Quality Assurance for the Mental Retardation Consent Decrees (OQA) and the Advisory Committee to the Office of Quality Assurance for the Mental Retardation Consent Decrees, for the purpose of monitoring the quality of care provided to retarded citizens who are members of the class covered by the consent decrees, as provided in the Order dated October 9, 1986 of U.S. District Court Judge Tauro in Ricci v. Callahan.

OQA shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Human Services, promulgate such rules and regulations as necessary to carry out its functions and duties, consistent with the terms of the court Order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 29th day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eighty-six and the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and eleven.

Michael S. Dukakis, Governor
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Michael Joseph Connolly
Secretary of the Commonwealth

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