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OIG Legislative Initiatives

The Inspector General submitted five legislative proposals for the 2017 session of the General Court.

The Office of the Inspector General reviews and comments on numerous pieces of legislation during each legislative session. In addition, the Office regularly assists individual legislators in both the development of legislation specific to the districts they represent, as well as legislation that affects the operation of state and local government. The Office is often called on by legislators to meet with and provide guidance to municipalities on matters not related to legislation. The Office also responds to requests from the Governor’s Office to review legislation that has been passed by the legislature and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Over many legislative sessions, the Inspector General has testified before legislative committees on issues related to economic stimulus, municipal relief, health care, public construction, ethics, and public cost-savings initiatives. In all cases, the main theme involved transparency and safeguards ensuring appropriate oversight of taxpayer dollars, while allowing for innovation.

The Office also performs certain actions mandated by the legislature. These actions include, but are not limited to, reviewing real property transactions, approving construction manager at risk and design build applications, and reviewing matters related to Mass Health and the state Health Safety Net. Between 2009 and 2012 the Office also reviewed projects funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

2017 Legislative Proposals

An Act Relative to Higher Education Boards and Trustees - House 12

This proposal would require every member of a board of trustees for an institution of higher education in Massachusetts to participate in training from the Department of Higher Education.The proposal also states that membership on the board of trustees shall terminate if a member fails to complete a training program.

An Act Relative to Chapter 30B - House 13

This proposal would increase a fine and make technical corrections to Chapter 30B, the Uniform Procurement Law.  The technical changes update Chapter 30B to include correct statutory references based on recently enacted amendments to other statutes.  The proposal also strikes a section of Chapter 30B that is duplicative.

An Act Relative to Disability Placards - House 14

This proposal would create a penalty for obstructing certain information on disabled persons’ parking placards, increase suspensions for wrongful use, and add language requiring the return of a canceled or revoked placard.  The proposal would also make it a crime to use or display a deceased person’s parking placard or to make counterfeit placards with the intent to distribute them.  The Registry of Motor Vehicles’ Placard Abuse Task Force, which the RMV established to combat placard abuse, has helped to refine this legislation in its current form.

An Act Relative to Tax Returns - House 15

This proposal would allow the Department of Revenue to provide the Office of the Inspector General with records the Office needs to carry out its mandate of preventing and detecting fraud, waste and abuse. Such records would be confidential pursuant to Chapter 12A.

An Act Relative to Chapter 30B Notification - House 16

This proposal would require that contractors notify the Office of the Inspector General of certain violations or overpayments.  The Office could suspend or debar vendors for not complying with this notification requirement.

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