CHAPTER 48
ORGANIZATION OF STATE AGENCIES

Table of Contents

Sec. 4-38c. Departments within the executive branch.
Sec. 4-60r. Electronic notification of clients of state agencies.
Sec. 4-60s. Conversion of forms to electronic format. Inventory.
Sec. 4-61dd. Whistle-blowing. Disclosure of information to Auditors of Public Accounts. Investigation by Attorney General. Rejection of complaint. Complaints re retaliatory personnel actions. Report to General Assembly. Large state contractors. Posting of notice. Definitions.

      Sec. 4-38c. Departments within the executive branch. There shall be within the executive branch of state government the following departments: Office of Policy and Management, Department of Administrative Services, Department of Revenue Services, Department of Banking, Department of Agriculture, Department of Children and Families, Department of Consumer Protection, Department of Correction, Department of Economic and Community Development, State Board of Education, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Department of Public Health, Board of Regents for Higher Education, Insurance Department, Labor Department, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Department of Developmental Services, Department of Social Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Veterans' Affairs and Department of Construction Services.

      (P.A. 77-614, S. 3, 610; P.A. 79-598, S. 1, 27; P.A. 80-482, S. 4, 345, 348; P.A. 82-218, S. 37, 46; P.A. 84-241, S. 2, 5; P.A. 86-175, S. 3, 4; P.A. 87-9, S. 2, 3; 87-496, S. 3, 110; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; 93-262, S. 28, 87; 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-195, S. 7, 83; 95-250, S. 14, 42; 95-257, S. 11, 12, 21, 58; 95-309, S. 11, 12; P.A. 96-211, S. 1, 5, 6; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(d), (f), 148; P.A. 04-169, S. 17; 04-189, S. 1; 04-219, S. 2; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(a); P.A. 11-48, S. 285; 11-51, S. 47, 142; 11-80, S. 1, 4.)

      History: P.A. 79-598 included department of housing; P.A. 80-482 deleted reference to department of business regulation and added departments of banking, insurance, liquor control, and public utility control; P.A. 82-218 replaced board of higher education with board of governors pursuant to reorganization of higher education system, effective March 1, 1983; P.A. 84-241 added "of higher education" to board of governors for clarity; P.A. 86-175 added department of veterans' affairs; P.A. 87-9 amended the section by replacing "banking department" with "department of banking"; P.A. 87-496 added department of public works; P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-262 removed references to department on aging, department of income maintenance and department of human resources and added reference to department of social services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-381 replaced department of health services with department of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-195 deleted reference to Department of Liquor Control, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 95-250 and P.A. 96-211 replaced Departments of Economic Development and Housing with the Department of Economic and Community Development; P.A. 95-257 replaced Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Department of Public Health and replaced Department of Mental Health with Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 95-309 changed effective date of P.A. 95-250 but did not affect this section; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-169 removed reference to Department of Agriculture and changed "Department of Consumer Protection" to "Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection", effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Secs. 146 and 148 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 04-219 added Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, effective January 1, 2005; pursuant to P.A. 07-73 "Department of Mental Retardation" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Department of Developmental Services", effective October 1, 2007; pursuant to P.A. 11-48, "Board of Governors of Higher Education" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Board of Regents for Higher Education", effective July 1, 2011; P.A. 11-51 deleted "Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security" and "Department of Public Safety" and added "Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection" and replaced "Department of Public Works" with "Department of Construction Services", effective July 1, 2011; P.A. 11-80 changed "Department of Environmental Protection" to "Department of Energy and Environmental Protection" and deleted "Department of Public Utility Control", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 4-60r. Electronic notification of clients of state agencies. Each state agency of the Executive Department of the state government shall review its existing policies concerning the mailing of notifications to clients of such agency and shall use electronic notification and correspondence with such clients where deemed appropriate by such agency and where not in conflict with any provision of the general statutes. If such notification or correspondence is mandated by a provision of the general statutes to be sent by first class mail, the agency may request the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to such agency to introduce legislation to provide for the electronic transmission of such notification or correspondence.

      (P.A. 11-150, S. 23.)

      History: P.A. 11-150 effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 4-60s. Conversion of forms to electronic format. Inventory. Each agency of the Executive Department of the state government shall explore the feasibility of converting all applications and forms used by the public to electronic format and create an inventory of all forms used by such agency.

      (P.A. 11-150, S. 25.)

      History: P.A. 11-150 effective July 8, 2011.

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      Sec. 4-61dd. Whistle-blowing. Disclosure of information to Auditors of Public Accounts. Investigation by Attorney General. Rejection of complaint. Complaints re retaliatory personnel actions. Report to General Assembly. Large state contractors. Posting of notice. Definitions. (a) Any person having knowledge of any matter involving corruption, unethical practices, violation of state laws or regulations, mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority or danger to the public safety occurring in any state department or agency or any quasi-public agency, as defined in section 1-120, or any person having knowledge of any matter involving corruption, violation of state or federal laws or regulations, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority or danger to the public safety occurring in any large state contract, may transmit all facts and information in such person's possession concerning such matter to the Auditors of Public Accounts. The Auditors of Public Accounts shall review such matter and report their findings and any recommendations to the Attorney General. Upon receiving such a report, the Attorney General shall make such investigation as the Attorney General deems proper regarding such report and any other information that may be reasonably derived from such report. Prior to conducting an investigation of any information that may be reasonably derived from such report, the Attorney General shall consult with the Auditors of Public Accounts concerning the relationship of such additional information to the report that has been issued pursuant to this subsection. Any such subsequent investigation deemed appropriate by the Attorney General shall only be conducted with the concurrence and assistance of the Auditors of Public Accounts. At the request of the Attorney General or on their own initiative, the auditors shall assist in the investigation.

      (b) (1) The Auditors of Public Accounts may reject any complaint received pursuant to subsection (a) of this section if the Auditors of Public Accounts determine one or more of the following:

      (A) There are other available remedies that the complainant can reasonably be expected to pursue;

      (B) The complaint is better suited for investigation or enforcement by another state agency;

      (C) The complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith;

      (D) Other complaints have greater priority in terms of serving the public good;

      (E) The complaint is not timely or is too long delayed to justify further investigation; or

      (F) The complaint could be handled more appropriately as part of an ongoing or scheduled regular audit.

      (2) If the Auditors of Public Accounts reject a complaint pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, the Auditors of Public Accounts shall provide a report to the Attorney General setting out the basis for the rejection.

      (3) If at any time the Auditors of Public Accounts determine that a complaint is more appropriately investigated by another state agency, the Auditors of Public Accounts shall refer the complaint to such agency. The investigating agency shall provide a status report regarding the referred complaint to the Auditors of Public Accounts upon request.

      (c) The Attorney General may summon witnesses, require the production of any necessary books, papers or other documents and administer oaths to witnesses, where necessary, for the purpose of an investigation pursuant to this section or for the purpose of investigating a suspected violation of subsection (a) of section 17b-301b until such time as the Attorney General files a civil action pursuant to section 17b-301c. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, the Attorney General shall where necessary, report any findings to the Governor, or in matters involving criminal activity, to the Chief State's Attorney. In addition to the exempt records provision of section 1-210, the Auditors of Public Accounts and the Attorney General shall not, after receipt of any information from a person under the provisions of this section or sections 17b-301c to 17b-301g, inclusive, disclose the identity of such person without such person's consent unless the Auditors of Public Accounts or the Attorney General determines that such disclosure is unavoidable, and may withhold records of such investigation, during the pendency of the investigation.

      (d) (1) No state officer or employee, as defined in section 4-141, no quasi-public agency officer or employee, no officer or employee of a large state contractor and no appointing authority shall take or threaten to take any personnel action against any state or quasi-public agency employee or any employee of a large state contractor in retaliation for (A) such employee's or contractor's disclosure of information to (i) an employee of the Auditors of Public Accounts or the Attorney General under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section; (ii) an employee of the state agency or quasi-public agency where such state officer or employee is employed; (iii) an employee of a state agency pursuant to a mandated reporter statute or pursuant to subsection (b) of section 17a-28; or (iv) in the case of a large state contractor, an employee of the contracting state agency concerning information involving the large state contract; or (B) such employee's testimony or assistance in any proceeding under this section.

      (2) (A) Not later than ninety days after learning of the specific incident giving rise to a claim that a personnel action has been threatened or has occurred in violation of subdivision (1) of this subsection, a state or quasi-public agency employee, an employee of a large state contractor or the employee's attorney may file a complaint against the state agency, quasi-public agency, large state contractor or appointing authority concerning such personnel action with the Chief Human Rights Referee designated under section 46a-57. Such complaint may be amended if an additional incident giving rise to a claim under this subdivision occurs subsequent to the filing of the original complaint. The Chief Human Rights Referee shall assign the complaint to a human rights referee appointed under section 46a-57, who shall conduct a hearing and issue a decision concerning whether the officer or employee taking or threatening to take the personnel action violated any provision of this section. The human rights referee may order a state agency or quasi-public agency to produce (i) an employee of such agency or quasi-public agency to testify as a witness in any proceeding under this subdivision, or (ii) books, papers or other documents relevant to the complaint, without issuing a subpoena. If such agency or quasi-public agency fails to produce such witness, books, papers or documents, not later than thirty days after such order, the human rights referee may consider such failure as supporting evidence for the complainant. If, after the hearing, the human rights referee finds a violation, the referee may award the aggrieved employee reinstatement to the employee's former position, back pay and reestablishment of any employee benefits for which the employee would otherwise have been eligible if such violation had not occurred, reasonable attorneys' fees, and any other damages. For the purposes of this subsection, such human rights referee shall act as an independent hearing officer. The decision of a human rights referee under this subsection may be appealed by any person who was a party at such hearing, in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183.

      (B) The Chief Human Rights Referee shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, establishing the procedure for filing complaints and noticing and conducting hearings under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision.

      (3) As an alternative to the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection: (A) A state or quasi-public agency employee who alleges that a personnel action has been threatened or taken may file an appeal not later than ninety days after learning of the specific incident giving rise to such claim with the Employees' Review Board under section 5-202, or, in the case of a state or quasi-public agency employee covered by a collective bargaining contract, in accordance with the procedure provided by such contract; or (B) an employee of a large state contractor alleging that such action has been threatened or taken may, after exhausting all available administrative remedies, bring a civil action in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of section 31-51m.

      (4) In any proceeding under subdivision (2) or (3) of this subsection concerning a personnel action taken or threatened against any state or quasi-public agency employee or any employee of a large state contractor, which personnel action occurs not later than two years after the employee first transmits facts and information concerning a matter under subsection (a) of this section or discloses information under subdivision (1) of this subsection to the Auditors of Public Accounts, the Attorney General or an employee of a state agency or quasi-public agency, as applicable, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the personnel action is in retaliation for the action taken by the employee under subsection (a) of this section or subdivision (1) of this subsection.

      (5) If a state officer or employee, as defined in section 4-141, a quasi-public agency officer or employee, an officer or employee of a large state contractor or an appointing authority takes or threatens to take any action to impede, fail to renew or cancel a contract between a state agency and a large state contractor, or between a large state contractor and its subcontractor, in retaliation for the disclosure of information pursuant to subsection (a) of this section or subdivision (1) of this subsection to any agency listed in subdivision (1) of this subsection, such affected agency, contractor or subcontractor may, not later than ninety days after learning of such action, threat or failure to renew, bring a civil action in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to recover damages, attorney's fees and costs.

      (e) Any employee of a state or quasi-public agency or large state contractor, who is found by the Auditors of Public Accounts, the Attorney General, a human rights referee or the Employees' Review Board to have knowingly and maliciously made false charges under subsection (a) of this section, shall be subject to disciplinary action by such employee's appointing authority up to and including dismissal. In the case of a state or quasi-public agency employee, such action shall be subject to appeal to the Employees' Review Board in accordance with section 5-202, or in the case of state or quasi-public agency employees included in collective bargaining contracts, the procedure provided by such contracts.

      (f) On or before September first, annually, the Auditors of Public Accounts shall submit, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the clerk of each house of the General Assembly a report indicating the number of matters for which facts and information were transmitted to the auditors pursuant to this section during the preceding state fiscal year and the disposition of each such matter.

      (g) Each contract between a state or quasi-public agency and a large state contractor shall provide that, if an officer, employee or appointing authority of a large state contractor takes or threatens to take any personnel action against any employee of the contractor in retaliation for such employee's disclosure of information to any employee of the contracting state or quasi-public agency or the Auditors of Public Accounts or the Attorney General under the provisions of subsection (a) or subdivision (1) of subsection (d) of this section, the contractor shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than five thousand dollars for each offense, up to a maximum of twenty per cent of the value of the contract. Each violation shall be a separate and distinct offense and in the case of a continuing violation each calendar day's continuance of the violation shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense. The executive head of the state or quasi-public agency may request the Attorney General to bring a civil action in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to seek imposition and recovery of such civil penalty.

      (h) Each state agency or quasi-public agency shall post a notice of the provisions of this section relating to state employees and quasi-public agency employees in a conspicuous place that is readily available for viewing by employees of such agency or quasi-public agency. Each large state contractor shall post a notice of the provisions of this section relating to large state contractors in a conspicuous place which is readily available for viewing by the employees of the contractor.

      (i) No person who, in good faith, discloses information in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from such good faith disclosure.

      (j) As used in this section:

      (1) "Large state contract" means a contract between an entity and a state or quasi-public agency, having a value of five million dollars or more; and

      (2) "Large state contractor" means an entity that has entered into a large state contract with a state or quasi-public agency.

      (P.A. 79-599, S. 1, 2; P.A. 83-232; P.A. 85-559, S. 5; P.A. 87-442, S. 1, 8; P.A. 89-81, S. 3; P.A. 97-55; P.A. 98-191, S. 1, 2; P.A. 02-91, S. 1; P.A. 04-58, S. 1, 2; P.A. 05-287, S. 47; P.A. 06-196, S. 26; P.A. 09-185, S. 2; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-5, S. 16; P.A. 11-48, S. 17.)

      History: P.A. 83-232 amended Subsec. (a) to authorize a former state employee or state employee bargaining representative to disclose information and to require the attorney general to report to the complainant his findings and any actions taken, amended Subsec. (b) to prohibit retaliatory action by "any state officer or employee" and to provide that an employee may file an appeal if retaliatory action is threatened or taken, and added Subsec. (c) re sanctions for an employee who makes false charges; P.A. 85-559 required that state employees report to inspector general rather than to attorney general and that findings be reported in accordance with Sec. 2-104(b) rather than to governor or chief state's attorney as was previously the case; P.A. 87-442, in Subsec. (a), substituted "person" for "state employee, former state employee or state employee bargaining representative acting on behalf of any state employee or former state employee or on his own behalf", authorized any such person to transmit facts and information to auditors of public accounts, instead of to inspector general, required auditors to review matter and report to attorney general, required attorney general to make investigation and auditors to assist at his request, required attorney general, instead of inspector general, to report findings to governor or chief state's attorney, instead of to complainant, and applied provisions re nondisclosure of identity of person to auditors and attorney general instead of to inspector general and limited applicability of such provisions to receipt of information under this section, instead of this section or Sec. 1-19(b) and, in Subsec. (b), substituted "auditors of public accounts or attorney general" for "inspector general" and limited applicability of provisions of Subsec. to disclosure of information under provisions of this section instead of this section and Sec. 1-19(b); P.A. 89-81 added Subsec. (d) requiring annual report by auditors to general assembly on matters transmitted to them under this section; P.A. 97-55 applied section to quasi-public agencies; P.A. 98-191 applied section to large state contractors, effective July 1, 1998 (Revisor's note: P.A. 88-230, 90-98, 93-142 and 95-220 authorized substitution of "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" in public and special acts of the 1998 session of the General Assembly, effective September 1, 1998); P.A. 02-91 substantially revised Subsec. (b) procedures re alleged retaliatory personnel actions by designating existing provisions as Subdivs. (1) and (4), adding Subdivs. (2) and (3) re investigation by Attorney General and complaints to Chief Human Rights Referee, adding provision in Subdiv. (4) re existing procedure for employee appeals and civil actions as alternative to provisions of Subdivs. (2) and (3), adding Subdiv. (5) providing, in proceedings under Subdivs. (2), (3) and (4), for a rebuttable presumption that certain personnel actions are retaliatory and making conforming and technical changes, and made technical change in Subsec. (e), effective June 3, 2002; P.A. 04-58 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (c); P.A. 05-287 made technical and conforming changes throughout the section, amended Subsec. (a) to authorize the Attorney General to conduct any investigation deemed proper based on any other information that may be reasonably derived from the report, require the Attorney General to consult with the Auditors of Public Accounts re the relationship of such other information to the report and authorize the withholding of records from such investigation during the pendency of such investigation, amended Subsec. (b) to insert clause designators, include contractors in the list of protected persons and provide protection for disclosure to state agencies in Subdiv. (1), designate new Subdiv. (3)(A) re complaints by state or quasi-public agency employees and employees of large state contractors, redesignate existing Subdiv. (3) as Subdiv. (3)(B) and add Subdiv. (6) re action by a state officer or employee, quasi-public agency officer or employee, or employee or officer of a large state construction contractor to impede, fail to renew or cancel a contract, amended Subsec. (e) re disclosure to any employee of the contracting state or quasi-public agency, added new Subsec. (g) re good faith disclosures to the Auditors of Public Accounts or the Attorney General, redesignated existing Subsec. (g) as Subsec. (h) and amended same by redefining "large state contract" in Subdiv. (1), effective July 13, 2005; P.A. 06-196 made technical changes in Subsec. (b), effective June 7, 2006; P.A. 09-185 amended Subsec. (b)(1)(C) by adding reference to Sec. 17a-28(b); Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-5 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provisions re Attorney General's investigation under Sec. 17b-301b(a) and receipt of information under Secs. 17b-301c to 17b-301g, effective October 5, 2009; P.A. 11-48 added new Subsec. (b) re rejection of complaints, redesignated part of existing Subsec. (a) as Subsec. (c), redesignated existing Subsecs. (b) to (h) as Subsecs. (d) to (j), amended Subsec. (d) to add provision re employee's testimony or assistance in Subdiv. (1), to delete former Subdiv. (2) re employee notice to Attorney General, to redesignate existing Subdivs. (3) to (6) as Subdivs. (2) to (5), to change deadline from 30 to 90 days, specify that complaint be against the state agency, quasi-public agency, large state contractor or appointing authority, permit complaint to be amended and authorize human rights referee to order production of certain evidence in Subdiv. (2), to change deadline from 30 to 90 days in Subdiv. (3), to change deadline from 1 year to 2 years and add provisions re disclosure of information under Subdiv. (1) and re disclosure to a state agency or quasi-public agency employee in Subdiv. (4), and to add reference to disclosure under Subdiv. (1) in Subdiv. (5), amended Subsec. (e) to specify that finding be by the Auditors, Attorney General, human rights referee or Employees' Review Board, amended Subsec. (f) to add reference to Sec. 11-4a, amended Subsec. (g) to add reference to Subsec. (d)(1), amended Subsec. (h) to require state and quasi-public agencies to post notice, amended Subsec. (i) to delete reference to disclosure to the Auditors and Attorney General, and made technical and conforming changes.

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