The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Government Lawyers
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Executive order regarding consolidation of legal services
In an effort touted to streamline state government and improve efficiency, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich on March 31, 2003, signed Executive Order Number 10 (2003). Through this order, Governor Blagojevich proposes to consolidate and transfer internal auditing, legal services, and facilities management of all agencies under the Governor to the Department of Central Management Services. Legal functions specific to each particular agency will remain at that agency. Adjudicatory legal staff may also remain with an agency. However, common functions related to personnel, procurement, bond financing and many other issues will be consolidated. The Blagojevich Administration expects an initial costs savings of $5.4 million by consolidating legal work common to all agencies and expects: (1) higher quality legal work as attorneys are able to specialize; (2) decreased litigation; and (3) less costly legal contracts with outside counsel. The executive order will become effective on the 61st day after its delivery to the General Assembly. A copy of Executive Order Number 10 (2003) can be found on the state's Web site at <www.illinois.gov/gov/execorders.cfm>.
Executive order regarding ethical standards for state employees
On January 23, 2003, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich adopted a series of measures to impose stricter ethical standards on state employees. These measurers were adopted through the signing of three executive orders. Through Executive Order Number 3 (2003), the Governor created the Office of Inspector General to investigate complaints regarding alleged violations of law, corruption or other forms of misconduct. In addition to creating the Office of Inspector General, the executive order directs the Inspector General to establish and maintain a toll-free "Ethics Hotline" that the public may use to report instances of public corruption and misconduct. Executive Order Number 4 (2003) establishes greater protection to state employees who report instances of corruption or other unethical behavior. It also allows for action to be taken against anyone who retaliates against an employee who reports misconduct. Finally, Executive Order Number 5 (2003) mandates an ethics-training program for all state employees. The purpose and intent of this executive order is to educate state employees as to their ethical duties and responsibilities and to address ethical issues that face state employees in the discharge of their duties. The General Counsel for the Governor will develop the training program. Copies of Executive Orders 3, 4, and 5 (2003) can be found on the state's Web site at <www.illinois.gov/gov/execorders.cfm>.
Administrative law judge continuing legal education program
The Illinois Association of Administrative Law Judges (IAALJ) is the host affiliate for the National Association of Administrative Law Judges mid-year educational program to be held in Chicago on May 29-31, 2003, at the Illinois State Bar Association Regional Office, 20 South Clark. The title of the program is "Administrative Law Judges and Agencies: Working to Enhance Public Confidence in Administrative Adjudication."
This two-and-a-half-day program will focus on writing decisions and the relationship between Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) and agencies. The faculty will be comprised of law school professors, judges and justices, ALJs, Chief ALJs, attorneys, and agency general counsels and administrators. Judges and justices who hear appeals of ALJs' decisions will provide their insight, along with other faculty, to assist ALJs in writing a decision that will enhance the public's confidence that it has been afforded justice by an impartial decision maker. Panels and round table discussions will provide for an exchange between the ALJs and agency representatives to identify ways of working together to ensure public trust in the administrative judiciary. Contact Ann Breen-Greco (President, IAALJ) 773/539--3292; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Erika LaCerda (Vice-President, IAALJ) 773/814-5498 for more information.