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Policy Research Shop Support for the Policy Research Shop is provided by the Ford Foundation and by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education,

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Presentation on theme: "Policy Research Shop Support for the Policy Research Shop is provided by the Ford Foundation and by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Policy Research Shop Support for the Policy Research Shop is provided by the Ford Foundation and by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education. Policy Research Shop Assessing the Possibility of Establishing a State-level Ombudsman in Vermont Andrew Clay Chinedu Udeh Lorelei Yang The contents of this report were developed under grant P116B from the U.S. Department of Education. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

2 Policy Research Shop Agenda Understand function of Ombudsman Assess Vermont Status Quo Assess state-level ombudsmen in representative states Costs and Benefits of a Vermont Ombudsman Recommend best practices Highlight next steps

3 Policy Research Shop What is an Ombudsman? Origin of idea Establishment in U.S.

4 Policy Research Shop Common Features Function – Impartial agency that investigates complaints against state agencies – Housed in legislature – Serves oftentimes as a mediator – Has power to investigate, make reports and subpoena Selection Process – Approved by legislature Jurisdiction – Administrative functions of state agencies Complaint Process – Receives complaints; ensure issue falls under jurisdiction; begins mediation or investigation process; writes a report if necessary; keep files for designated period Complaint Load and Type – Corrections

5 Policy Research Shop Vermont Status Quo Attorney General’s Office / Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) Department of Corrections Long Term Care Ombudsman Other state agencies

6 Policy Research Shop State Analysis: Choosing states Table 1: State by State Comparisons Geographical size (sq. miles) Annual Expenditures (billions of dollars) Population Size Population Density (persons per square mile) Population Ethnicity (percent White) Vermont9,614.26$1.1625, % Alaska663,267.26$5.7710, % Nebraska77,353.73$3.31,826, % Iowa56,271.55$5.93,046, % Hawaii6,470$4.81,374, % Arizona114,000$7.96,482, %

7 Policy Research Shop State Analysis: Alaska Office structure – State Ombudsman and Anchorage municipality – 9 staff members Budget – $1,097,000 a year Jurisdiction – State agencies, National Guard, University of Alaska Complaint Process Complaint Load and Type Outreach – Native Americans

8 Policy Research Shop State Analysis: Arizona Office structure – Approval by governor – 7 staff members Budget – $530,000 a year Jurisdiction – Administrative acts of state agencies, public access Complaint Process Complaint load & type – 4,008 – Child Protective Services Outreach – State agencies

9 Policy Research Shop State Analysis: Hawaii Office structure – 9 staff members Budget – $1,017,875 Jurisdiction Complaint Process Complaint load & type – 4,686 cases Outreach – Fairs, Corrections

10 Policy Research Shop State Analysis: Nebraska Office structure – 11 staff members Budget – $1.126 million biennially Jurisdiction – State agencies, local and county jails Complaint Process – Mediation focused Complaint load & type – 2,346 cases Outreach – Legislative offices & State agencies

11 Policy Research Shop State Analysis: Iowa Office structure – 16 staff members – Selective case selection Jurisdiction – State agencies; county and local government Budget – $1.52 million Complaint Process – Reports Complaint load & type – 4,400 cases – 25% county cases Outreach – TV commercial, state fairs

12 Policy Research Shop Costs and Benefits of an Ombudsman Office Costs – Economic – Political Benefits – Central Complaint Resolution – Credibility / Responsiveness – Ease of Process for Complainant – Removal of Legal Costs for Complainant and State – Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

13 Policy Research Shop Summary Office structure – 9 – 16 staff members Jurisdiction – State agencies – local governments Budget – $530,000 – $1.5 million Complaint Process – Mediation to Formal Reporting Complaint load & type – ~2,000 – 4,400 cases – Corrections Outreach – Referral - commercials

14 Policy Research Shop Best Practices House in Legislative Branch Maintain relationships with legislative staff and state agencies Targeted Outreach United State Ombudsman Association Nebraska Model vs. Iowa Model

15 Policy Research Shop Next Steps Investigate complaint processes in other state agencies Investigate Costs and Benefits of decentralized complaint processes Consider Public-Private Partnership

16 Policy Research Shop QUESTIONS?


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