EXECUTIVE ORDER No.2005 - 11

OFFICE OF SERVICES TO THE AGING
MICHIGAN TASK FORCE ON ELDER ABUSE

WHEREAS, Section 1 of Article V of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 vests the executive power of the State of Michigan in the Governor;

WHEREAS, Section 4 of Article V of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 authorizes the establishment of temporary commissions or agencies for special purposes;
 
WHEREAS, Section 17 of Article V of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 empowers the Governor to present to the Legislature information as to the affairs of the state and recommend measures that the Governor considers necessary or desirable;

WHEREAS, elder abuse is a complex health and social problem involving harm or threatened harm to a senior citizen, including neglect by a person responsible for the elder’s health or welfare and exploitation involving misuse of the elder’s funds or property;

WHEREAS, experiences in addressing child abuse and domestic violence suggest that the number of instances and severity of elder abuse can be reduced by developing coordinated and effective adult protective services, criminal justice, and social services programs, including prevention, training, investigation, and victim support;

WHEREAS, establishment of a task force examining issues relating to elder abuse will assist the state in identifying new resources, best practices, and necessary changes in law, policies, and practices to assist in the prevention of elder abuse;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of the State of Michigan, by virtue of the power and authority vested in the Governor by the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, order the following:

I. DEFINITIONS

As used in this Order:

A. “Office” means the Office of Services to the Aging created within the Department of Management and Budget under Section 5 of the Older Michiganians Act, 1981 PA 180, MCL 400.585, and transferred to the Department of Community Health by Executive Order 1997-5, MCL 400.224.

B. “Task Force” means the Michigan Task Force on Elder Abuse created under this Order.

II. CREATION OF THE MICHIGAN TASK FORCE ON ELDER ABUSE

A. The Michigan Task Force on Elder Abuse is created as an advisory body within the Office.

B. The Task Force shall consist of 15 residents of this state appointed as members of the Task Force by the Governor.

C. In addition to the members appointed under Section II.B, the Director of the Office, the Director of the Department of Community Health, the Director of the Department of Human Services, the Director of the Department of State Police and the Commissioner of Financial and Insurance Services, or their designees, shall serve as non-voting, ex officio members of the Task Force.

D. Members of the Task Force appointed by the Governor under Section II.B shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

E. A vacancy on the Task Force shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

III. CHARGE TO THE TASK FORCE

A. The Task Force shall act in an advisory capacity and shall do all of the following:

1. Review existing state efforts regarding the prevention and prosecution of elder abuse including physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and financial abuse and exploitation.

2. Identify and prioritize pressing issues and significant challenges that must be addressed to protect Michigan’s vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

3. Review laws, policies, and practices of other states and make recommendations for changes in Michigan to address elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

4. Recommend a process for the development of a widely accessible reference database of current information and research concerning elder abuse.

5. Provide recommendations to promote effective communications and coordination of efforts between the public and private sectors at both the state and local levels regarding the prevention and effective prosecution of elder abuse.

6. Review and provide advice regarding the potential effectiveness of a public-private communications network throughout Michigan related to elder abuse, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and financial abuse and exploitation.

7. Review other state practices and recommend approaches to develop dedicated local investigative teams that have the tools and legal authority necessary to effectively identify, investigate, and prosecute elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

8. Identify new opportunities to support and expand research studies that document the scope and depth of elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation in Michigan.

9. Provide recommendations for the development of training and technical assistance materials for investigation and enforcement professionals.

10. Provide recommendations for the development of a plan to generate public awareness of the scope of elder abuse, such as recommendations for public service announcements, editorials, community presentations and forums, website development, publications, and other materials to provide relevant information to the public.

11. Based on the foregoing, make recommendations to the Governor.

B. The Task Force shall provide other information, recommendations, or advice as requested by the Governor or the Director of the Office.

C. The Task Force shall complete its work and issue a final report and recommendations, including any proposed changes in law, to the Governor by May 31, 2006.

IV. OPERATIONS OF THE TASK FORCE

A. The Task Force shall be staffed and assisted by personnel from the Office as directed by the Governor, subject to available funding.  Any budgeting, procurement, and related management functions of the Task Force shall be performed under the direction and supervision of the Director of the Office.

B. The Task Force shall adopt procedures consistent with Michigan law and this Order governing its organization and operations.

C. The Governor shall designate one of the members of the Task Force to serve as its Chairperson.  The Task Force may select from among its members a Vice-Chairperson.

D. The Task Force shall select from among its members a Secretary.  Task Force staff shall assist the Secretary with recordkeeping responsibilities.

E. A majority of the members serving on the Task Force constitutes a quorum for the transaction of the Task Force’s business.  The Task Force shall act by a majority vote of its serving members.

F. The Task Force shall meet at the call of the Chairperson and as may be provided in procedures adopted by the Task Force.

G. The Task Force may establish committees and request public participation on workgroups as the Task Force deems necessary.  The Task Force may also adopt, reject, or modify any recommendations proposed by a committee or a workgroup.

H. The Task Force may, as appropriate, make inquiries, studies, investigations, hold hearings, and receive comments form the public.  The Task Force may also consult with outside experts in order to perform its duties, including, but not limited to, experts in the private sector, organized labor, government agencies, and at institutions of higher education.

I. Members of the Task Force shall serve without compensation. Members of the Task Force may receive reimbursement for necessary travel and expenses according to relevant statutes and the rules and procedures of the Department of Management and Budget and the Civil Service Commission, subject to available funding.

J. The Task Force may hire or retain contractors, sub-contractors, advisors, consultants, and agents, and may make and enter into contracts necessary or incidental to the exercise of the powers of the Task Force and the performance of its duties as the Director of the Office deems advisable and necessary, in accordance with this Order, and the relevant statutes, rules, and procedures of the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Management and Budget.

K. The Task Force may accept donations of labor, services, or other things of value from any public or private agency or person.

L. Members of the Task Force shall refer all legal, legislative, and media contacts to the Office.

V. MISCELLANEOUS

A. All departments, committees, commissioners, or officers of this state or of any political subdivision of this state shall give to the Task Force, or to any member or representative of the Task Force, any necessary assistance required by the Task Force, or any member or representative of the Task Force, in the performance of the duties of the Task Force so far as is compatible with its, his, or her duties. Free access shall also be given to any books, records, or documents in its, his, or her custody, relating to matters within the scope of inquiry, study, or investigation of the Task Force.

B. Any suit, action, or other proceeding lawfully commenced by, against, or before any entity affected by this Order shall not abate by reason of the taking effect of this Order

C. The invalidity of any portion of this Order shall not affect the validity of the remainder of the Order.
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan this 24th day of May, in the year of our Lord, two thousand and five.

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JENNIFER M. GRANHOLM
GOVERNOR

BY THE GOVERNOR:
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SECRETARY OF STATE