I, Frank H. Murkowski, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority of art. III, secs. 1 and 24, of the Alaska Constitution, and in accordance with AS 44.19.145(c), establish the Governor’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in the Department of Health and Social Services.
Background and Purpose
Alaska’s work force development and health and social services systems have many needs that faith-based and community organizations, working in collaboration with government agencies and each other, are well positioned to address-especially those needs requiring human compassion, time, and spiritual and emotional care.
When faith-based and community organizations are operating efficiently, they are flexible, entrepreneurial, and well attuned to local needs. These organizations serve to complement the strengths of government agencies.
Today, many faith-based and community organizations lack the expertise and organizational capacity to engage government agencies in collaborative projects to help meet the material, social, and spiritual needs of Alaskans.
Establishing the Governor’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (council) and the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (office) in the Department of Health and Social Services will jointly serve to facilitate communication and collaboration between faith-based and community-based organizations and government agencies in order to address gaps in Alaska’s work force and health and social services systems.
Establishment of Council
The council is established in the Department of Health and Social Services.
Membership and Officers of the Council
The council consists of public members appointed by the governor and serving at the pleasure of the governor. Public members include representatives from the faith-based community, business community, not-for-profit providers of health and social services, and other community leaders located throughout the state. The number of members will be set by the governor through the appointment process.
The commissioners of the Department of Health and Social Services, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, Department of Corrections, or those commissioners’ designees, serve as ex officio members of the council.
The governor will appoint the chair of the council from among the public members. The council may elect other officers as the council determines necessary.
Duties of the Council
The council shall advise the governor on policies and practices to increase the contributions of faith-based and community organizations to meet the workforce and health and social services needs of the people of Alaska. The council shall provide a report to the governor on the faith-based and community initiatives activities and issues by May 1, 2005.
The council shall convene a statewide conference on faith-based and community initiatives. The conference shall serve to enhance greater public and private partnerships and include opportunities for participants to receive hands-on training designed to help build workforce and health and social services system capacity throughout the state.
Duties of the Office
The office is established in the Department of Health and Social Services. The office will lead a coordinated effort among the departments in the executive branch to promote and coordinate appropriate faith-based, community, and government programs and services.
The office shall be managed by an executive director who shall be selected by the commissioner of health and social services for this project.
The office shall coordinate with the council and shall provide periodic reports to the governor on issues, information, activities, and recommendations related to faith-based and community initiative matters.
The office shall further support the objectives of the faith-based and community initiatives by
- providing a single point of contact for faith-based and community organizations to receive information, assistance, and referrals within the executive branch of state government;
- providing guidance, direction, and support for increased collaboration among faith-based and community organizations and between faith-based and community organizations and the executive branch of state government;
- seeking financing to support faith-based and community initiative programs and services;
- facilitating or providing grant writing training, organizational development, and other technical assistance to help faith-based and community organizations develop increased capacity to provide services and programs to those in need in this state;
- providing training to state employees in the executive branch on how to work with faith-based and community organizations; and
- developing, in accordance with law, intergovernmental agreements among state agencies in the executive branch necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order.
The following general provisions apply to the activities of the council:
- Council members do not receive compensation as a member of the council. Members of the council who are not state government employees are entitled to per diem and travel expenses in the same manner permitted for members of state boards and commissions. Per diem and travel expenses for ex-officio members of the council that are state employees are the responsibility of the state agency the ex-officio member represents.
- To reduce costs, the council may use teleconferencing or other electronic means to the extent practicable to conduct its business.
- The council shall establish procedures for voting and meetings of the council.
- Meetings of the council shall be conducted, and notice of the meetings provided, in accordance with AS 44.62.310 and 44.62.320 (Open Meetings of Governmental Bodies).
This Order takes effect immediately.
DATED at Juneau, Alaska, this 17th day of September, 2004.
/s/Frank H. Murkowski