Bill Text 28th Legislature
- Session Laws
00 Enrolled HB 127
01 Relating to compensation of the ombudsman and to employment of staff by the ombudsman
02 under personal service contracts; relating to disclosure by an agency to the ombudsman of
03 communications subject to attorney-client and attorney work-product privileges; relating to
04 the privilege of the ombudsman not to testify and creating a privilege under which the
05 ombudsman is not required to disclose certain documents; relating to procedures for
06 procurement by the ombudsman; and amending Rules 501 and 503, Alaska Rules of
09 * Section 1. AS 24.55.060 is amended to read:
10 Sec. 24.55.060. Compensation. The ombudsman is entitled to receive an
11 annual salary equal to a step in [A,] Range 26 on the salary schedule set out in
12 AS 39.27.011(a) [FOR JUNEAU].
13 * Sec. 2. AS 24.55.070 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
01 (d) Notwithstanding (c) of this section, staff appointed by the ombudsman
02 may be employed under a personal services contract as provided by AS 24.10.060(f).
03 * Sec. 3. AS 24.55.160(a) is amended to read:
04 (a) In an investigation, the ombudsman may
05 (1) make inquiries and obtain information considered necessary;
06 (2) enter without notice to inspect the premises of an agency, but only
07 when agency personnel are present;
08 (3) hold private hearings; and
09 (4) notwithstanding other provisions of law, have access at all times to
10 records of every [STATE] agency, including confidential records, except sealed court
11 records, production of which may only be compelled by subpoena, and except for
12 records of active criminal investigations and records that could lead to the identity of
13 confidential police informants.
14 * Sec. 4. AS 24.55.160 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
15 (c) Disclosure by an agency to the ombudsman under this chapter of a
16 communication that is subject to the attorney-client privilege, or attorney work-
17 product privilege, does not waive the privilege as to any other person. The
18 ombudsman may not disclose a privileged communication provided under this
19 subsection unless the communication is evidence of an act of an agency that the
20 ombudsman reasonably believes is criminal.
21 * Sec. 5. AS 24.55.260 is repealed and reenacted to read:
22 Sec. 24.55.260. Ombudsman's privilege not to testify or disclose
23 documents. (a) The ombudsman and staff of the ombudsman may not testify or be
24 deposed in a judicial or administrative proceeding regarding matters coming to their
25 attention in the exercise of their official duties, except as may be necessary to enforce
26 the provisions of this chapter.
27 (b) The records of the ombudsman and staff of the ombudsman, including
28 notes, drafts, and records obtained from an individual or agency during intake, review,
29 or investigation of a complaint, and any reports not released to the public in
30 accordance with AS 24.55.200, are not subject to disclosure or production in response
31 to a subpoena or discovery in a judicial or administrative proceeding, except as the
01 ombudsman determines may be necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
02 Disclosure by the ombudsman is subject to the restrictions on disclosure in
03 AS 24.55.160 - 24.55.190.
04 * Sec. 6. AS 24.55.275 is amended to read:
05 Sec. 24.55.275. Contract procedures. The ombudsman shall adopt by
06 regulation procurement procedures that are appropriate for the office of the
07 ombudsman and that are similar to those adopted by the legislative council under
08 AS 36.30.020, as they may be amended from time to time. The procedures shall
09 [CONSISTENT WITH AS 36.30 TO] be followed by the office of the ombudsman in
10 contracting for professional and other services, supplies, and office space, and for
11 construction limited to providing and maintaining office space for the office of
12 the ombudsman. However, competitive principles in the procurement procedures
13 adopted by the legislative council under AS 36.30.020 do [THE PROCEDURE
14 FOR REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS DOES] not apply to contracts for investigations
15 under AS 24.55.100 [, AND THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN SHALL
16 COMPLY WITH THE FIVE PERCENT PREFERENCE UNDER AS 36.30.321(a)].
17 * Sec. 7. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to
19 INDIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENTS. (a) AS 24.55.160(c), added by sec. 4 of
20 this Act, has the effect of changing Rules 501 and 503, Alaska Rules of Evidence, by
21 clarifying that disclosure by an agency to the ombudsman under AS 24.55 of a
22 communication that is subject to the attorney-client privilege or attorney work-product
23 privilege does not waive the privilege as to any other person and that the ombudsman has a
24 privilege not to testify or disclose documents as provided under AS 24.55.260, as repealed
25 and reenacted by sec. 5 of this Act, and may not be made to disclose a communication
26 provided by an agency to the ombudsman that is subject to the attorney-client privilege or
27 attorney work-product privilege.
28 (b) AS 24.55.260, as repealed and reenacted by sec. 5 of this Act, has the effect of
29 changing Rule 501, Alaska Rules of Evidence, by clarifying that the ombudsman and the staff
30 of the ombudsman have a privilege not to testify or disclose or produce records in a judicial or
31 administrative proceeding, except as provided under AS 24.55.160 - 24.55.200.
01 * Sec. 8. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to
03 CONDITIONAL EFFECT. (a) AS 24.55.160(c), added by sec. 4 of this Act, takes
04 effect only if sec. 7(a) of this Act receives the two-thirds majority vote of each house required
05 by art. IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.
06 (b) AS 24.55.260, as repealed and reenacted by sec. 5 of this Act, takes effect only if
07 sec. 7(b) of this Act receives the two-thirds majority vote of each house required by art. IV,
08 sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.
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