I, Michael J. Dunleavy, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority of Article III, Sections 1 and 24, of the State of Alaska Constitution, establish the Statewide Investigator Unit within the Department of Law, establish a task force to implement a plan to consolidate investigators from other designated departments within the Statewide Investigator Unit, and reassign investigators subject to this order and the implementation plan to the Statewide Investigator Unit.
Civil and criminal investigative functions in state departments continue to operate in administrative silos, resulting in resources being deployed inconsistently across programs. Program-specific dedicated investigators can cause deficiencies in the prioritization of life, health, and safety.
The purpose of this order is to consolidate certain investigative functions into the new Statewide Investigator Unit within the Department of Law by reassigning investigative staff from within the Departments of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Environmental Conservation, Health and Social Services, Labor and Workforce Development, and Revenue.
The investigators in the Statewide Investigator Unit will be able to form a statewide team. This consolidation will lead to increased cross-training and greater coverage. This is intended to reduce the cost of investigations and prosecutions by pooling resources and increasing accountability and will result in a more consistent approach to investigations. The investigators will be better able to focus on being the experts in how to conduct investigations. Investigators consolidated within the Department of Law will be more connected with attorney experts on the subject matters of the investigations. In the long term, this order should result in greater prioritization of investigations and associated legal actions of life, health, and safety issues as well as faster response times and increased efficiencies in services to the public.
- The Statewide Investigator Unit is established within the Department of Law.
- Effective immediately, a taskforce is established and delegated the authority for overall implementation of this order, subject to the Governor’s final approval. The task force will develop an implementation plan for the reassignments under this order and establish performance measures to monitor and report compliance. The taskforce will be comprised of the Attorney General, the Director of the Division of Personnel and Labor Relations, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Management Director.
- In accordance with the implementation plan devised by the taskforce, investigative staff from the following departments are reassigned to the Statewide Investigation Unit within the Department of Law:
- Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development – with the exception of investigators employed by the department for the Board of Dental Examiners (AS 08.36.073), the State Medical Board (AS 08.64.103); and the Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors (AS 08.48.055);
- Department of Environmental Conservation;
- Department of Health and Social Services – with the exception of medico-legal investigators;
- Department of Labor and Workforce Development – with the exception of investigators employed by the Department within the section of Workers’ Compensation that investigates fraud (AS 23.30.280(d)); and
- Department of Revenue
- The Statewide Investigator Unit will support statutory investigatory requirements and, within those requirements, prioritize investigations concerning life, health, and safety. The Statewide Investigator Unit investigations will include investigation of:
- Environmental crimes that impact human health and the environment;
- Labor violations that impact the health and safety of workers, the public, and employers;
- Insurance fraud;
- Claims for consumer protection;
- Violations of revenue laws and minimum pricing under the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement;
- Permanent Fund Dividend fraud; and
- Non-compliance with child support orders.
Responsibility for Implementation
The task force is responsible for the implementation of this Order. Department leadership and agency staff are expected to provide their complete cooperation in effecting this reorganization.
Effective immediately, the task force, in partnership with the State’s Administrative Services Directors and agency experts, will develop the investigator consolidation implementation plan and timeline, with implementation to begin in Fiscal Year 2020.
In cooperation with the Office of Management and Budget, the task force is responsible for determining the appropriate allocation and transfer of personal services, travel, contractual, equipment, space, data processing, and any other budgetary resources to ensure the effective implementation of this order.
This Order takes effect immediately and remains in effect until rescinded.
Dated this 13th day of February, 2019.
/s/Michael J. Dunleavy