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28th Legislature(2013-2014)

Bill Text 28th Legislature


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                                           
07 Evidence.                                                                                                               
08                           _______________                                                                               
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                          
18 read:                                                                                                                   
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                          
02 read:                                                                                                                   
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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