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SECTION 5.05
Powers and duties of the head of the department
Mental Hygiene (MHY) CHAPTER 27, TITLE A, ARTICLE 5
§ 5.05 Powers and duties of the head of the department.

(a) The commissioners of the office of mental health and the office
for people with developmental disabilities, as the heads of the
department, shall jointly visit and inspect, or cause to be visited and
inspected, all facilities either public or private used for the care,
treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with mental illness and
developmental disabilities in accordance with the requirements of
section four of article seventeen of the New York state constitution.

(b) (1) The commissioners of the office of mental health, the office
for people with developmental disabilities and the office of alcoholism
and substance abuse services shall constitute an inter-office
coordinating council which, consistent with the autonomy of each office
for matters within its jurisdiction, shall ensure that the state policy
for the prevention, care, treatment and rehabilitation of individuals
with mental illness and developmental disabilities, alcoholism, alcohol
abuse, substance abuse, substance dependence, and chemical dependence is
planned, developed and implemented comprehensively; that gaps in
services to individuals with multiple disabilities are eliminated and
that no person is denied treatment and services because he or she has
more than one disability; that procedures for the regulation of programs
which offer care and treatment for more than one class of persons with
mental disabilities be coordinated between the offices having
jurisdiction over such programs; and that research projects of the
institutes, as identified in section 7.17 or 13.17 of this chapter or as
operated by the office for people with developmental disabilities, are
coordinated to maximize the success and cost effectiveness of such
projects and to eliminate wasteful duplication.

(2) The inter-office coordinating council shall annually issue a
report on its activities to the legislature on or before December
thirty-first. Such annual report shall include, but not be limited to,
the following information: proper treatment models and programs for
persons with multiple disabilities and suggested improvements to such
models and programs; research projects of the institutes and their
coordination with each other; collaborations and joint initiatives
undertaken by the offices of the department; consolidation of
regulations of each of the offices of the department to reduce
regulatory inconsistencies between the offices; inter-office or office
activities related to workforce training and development; data on the
prevalence, availability of resources and service utilization by persons
with multiple disabilities; eligibility standards of each office of the
department affecting clients suffering from multiple disabilities, and
eligibility standards under which a client is determined to be an
office's primary responsibility; agreements or arrangements on
statewide, regional and local government levels addressing how
determinations over client responsibility are made and client
responsibility disputes are resolved; information on any specific cohort
of clients with multiple disabilities for which substantial barriers in
accessing or receiving appropriate care has been reported or is known to
the inter-office coordinating council or the offices of the department;
and coordination of planning, standards or services for persons with
multiple disabilities between the inter-office coordinating council, the
offices of the department and local governments in accordance with the
local planning requirements set forth in article forty-one of this
chapter.

(c) The commissioners shall meet from time to time with the New York
state conference of local mental hygiene directors to assure consistent
procedures in fulfilling the responsibilities required by this section
and by article forty-one of this chapter.

(d) 1. The commissioner of mental health shall evaluate the type and
level of care required by patients in the adult psychiatric centers
authorized by section 7.17 of this chapter and develop appropriate
comprehensive requirements for the staffing of inpatient wards. These
requirements should reflect measurable need for administrative and
direct care staff including physicians, nurses and other clinical staff,
direct and related support and other support staff, established on the
basis of sound clinical judgment. The staffing requirements shall
include but not be limited to the following: (i) the level of care based
on patient needs, including on ward activities, (ii) the number of
admissions, (iii) the geographic location of each facility, (iv) the
physical layout of the campus, and (v) the physical design of patient
care wards.

2. Such commissioner, in developing the requirements, shall provide
for adequate ward coverage on all shifts taking into account the number
of individuals expected to be off the ward due to sick leave, workers'
compensation, mandated training and all other off ward leaves.

3. The staffing requirements shall be designed to reflect the
legitimate needs of facilities so as to ensure full accreditation and
certification by appropriate regulatory bodies. The requirements shall
reflect appropriate industry standards. The staffing requirements shall
be fully measurable.

4. The commissioner of mental health shall submit an interim report to
the governor and the legislature on the development of the staffing
requirements on October first, nineteen hundred eighty-eight and again
on April first, nineteen hundred eighty-nine. The commissioner shall
submit a final report to the governor and the legislature no later than
October first, nineteen hundred eighty-nine and shall include in his
report a plan to achieve the staffing requirements and the length of
time necessary to meet these requirements.

(e) The commissioners of the office of mental health, office for
people with developmental disabilities, and the office of alcoholism and
substance abuse services shall cause to have all new contracts with
agencies and providers licensed by the offices to have a clause
requiring notice be provided to all current and new employees of such
agencies and providers stating that all instances of abuse shall be
investigated pursuant to this chapter, and, if an employee leaves
employment prior to the conclusion of a pending abuse investigation, the
investigation shall continue. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to
diminish the rights, privileges, or remedies of any employee under any
other law or regulation or under any collective bargaining agreement or
employment contract.