TO: DR. DALE E. THOMSON, PH.D
SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL JUSTICE
FROM: ANTHONY ZANDER
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL JUSTICE
SUBJECT: RECONSIDERATION OF SENATE BILL NO. 7100
CC: MS. BARKER
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF INTERNAL SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL JUSTICE
RECONSIDERAT ION OF SENATE BILL NO. 7100: STATE
GOVERNMENT REORGANIZAT ION
Senators Kirt Smith and Barbara Jackson have drafted a reorganization bill that would
take the Office of Special Investigations (OISI) out of the Department of Social Justice
(DSJ) and align it under the direction of the Washington State Police Department
(WSPD). Success of this move would sacrifice over 15 years of steady progressive
achievements, eliminate $8.7 million from the annual biennial budge and displace 77
specialized trained full time employees (FTEs).
In response to Senate Bill No. 7100 (SB 7100) I have drafted two possible alternatives to
minimize the impact of the proposed legislation.
1) Proposal of a new bill: Contrast to SB 7100 I am suggesting that DSJ introduce
a new bill to the Legislature - a copy of the bill has been attached for viewing. In
summary, Senate Bill No. 7200 (SB 7200) suggests a reorganization to allow the
transfer of resources of WSPDs special investigation unit to the authority of DSJs
OISI Division. Below is an excerpt from SB 7200:
New Section 3
In order to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of state resources,
the Division of Office of Internal Special Investigations within the
Department of Social Justice shall, where feasible, use existing facilities
and systems through the transfer of funds from the office internal special
investigations of the Washington State Police Department
I am suggesting we take this aggressive measure as soon as possible. The bill
should be introduced as an alternative to SB 7100 during Committee Action. SB
7100 is currently being scheduled for a public hearing, but the chair may possibly
forego it and fast-forward to Committee Action. Your approval of this alternative
bill is highly urgent. If the deadline of Committee Action is approaching too
quickly, I suggest we present SB 7200 to the full body; with the understanding that
the chair may not place it atop the agenda. We should take whatever course of
action is deemed best for the department, but also considering the urgency to
expedite the process.
2) Analysis of Programs Effectiveness: The sponsors of SB 7100 argue that “the
WSPD as having the expertise, trained staff, and longer experience in dealing with
the kinds of problems the OISI is supposed to solve. WSPD has a similar unit with
15 years’ experience in infiltrating criminal activities in police departments”. The
sponsors also go on to argue about the staff training and technology available. I am
suggesting that we ask a specialized auditor to perform a comprehensive analysis to
test the effectiveness of each programs equivalent areas. If the information is only
in favor of WSPD slightly, this information can be presented as an argument
against SB 7100; as the results are not worth the costs associated with the
reorganization. If the results are in favor of OISI we not only use it as an argument
to block SB 7100, but to absorb WSPDs special investigation unit via SB 7200.
3) Leave as is: The department simply suggests, with solid support, to leave each
department as is. If we can show that the resources needed to dedicate to an
organizational change does not produce a net gain in cost savings, efficiency,
and/or effectiveness it will surely weigh heavily against SB 7100.
The sponsors of the SB 7100 outline a number of concerns with the OISI. I have put
together a number of responses that will ease the anxiety of the majority of the
legislators. The goals detailed below can, and will, be integrated into either alternative
that is chosen.
One concern has been costs of the program under OISI. The sponsors of the bill
argue, “…savings, efficiency and greater productivity will be gained by eliminating
duplicate clerical, auditing, computer operations, administrative, supervisory and other
middle-management functions” (Case--Legislative Strategy-State Govt Reorganization).
The Chief of Staff at the Office of Financial Management has said, “The savings are not
going to be as high as initially postulated… Complicating matters is the unknown impact
of an expected drop in federal assistance for all state programs in general and some
criminal justice programs in particular.” Because of this with the comprehensive analysis
alternative, we suggest leaving the organization structure as is.
One of the sponsors concerns was the lack of oversight by the legislature “They
[OISI] have too much flexibility and not enough direction from the Legislature. We’re
supposed to be the policy-makers, but we don’t know what’s going on.” In response to
his concern I have proposed that the Sec of DSJ appoint legislators (or his/her staff) to
serve on the board and/or advisory committee. These appointees will more than likely be
one representative from each political party.
Community Drug Problem
One of the concerns of the senator was the continuing drug problem within his
urban Seattle district. I am suggesting that we ask for additional resources to expand our
successful rehabilitation and peer monitoring program outside the walls of the states
correctional system. This would normally be considered outside the scope of OISI and
fall under Department of Health and Human Services, but if the senator believes that the
obtaining of OISI will allow WSPD to curb the drug abuse, then lets suggest our already
existing program be the pilot for his project.
There will be a few challenges in defeating this bill; even if we decided to implement
either of the alternatives.
1) Relationships – There is an obvious relationship between the governor and the
director of WSPD. There needs to be a fine, tactical approach to ensuring the
governor’s position regarding SB 7100 is in our favor. Also, there seems to be an
opportunity to gain support in the other house. I will discuss this in more detail at
a later time.
2) Committee Members – Other than the 2 sponsors of the bill, the Senate
Corrections Committee members are either first-term legislators or are new to this
committee and therefore are not knowledgeable about the OISI or this particular
program. It will take a strenuous effort to educate and recruit the other committee
members to side against their [SB 7100 sponsoring] co-committee members. This
will prove to be even more difficult because the 2 sponsors are of opposite
political parties and will have bipartisan support.
3) SB 7200 – One of the alternatives suggested is the reorganization for OISI to
consume the special investigation unit from WSPD. Their position has been the
reorganization bill as “having logic as a management tool, believes it could
improve accountability, service delivery, and save money”. There have been
arguments that have disputed their claims. These disputes can be used against our
own reorganization bill.
Key to stopping SB 7100 will be gaining the support of Governor Welty. As we know,
the governor appointed the director of WSPD after the individual served as the campaign
head of a city wide drug abuse special investigation. Well this drug abuse program was
started by Welty when he was Mayor of Spokane. There is an obvious connection, and
one of the senator’s talking points when he proposed the legislation was the drug abuse
problem in his district. We need to take make sure we acknowledge the governor on
taking the initial stance against drug usage. We will use this to align his efforts and
results in Spokane to our efforts and results under OISI. It may also be advantageous to
mention the budgetary laws. We know the governor has not spoken in favor or against SB
7100, so if we can show the budgetary effort it would take to implement such a task, he
will stay at minimal neutral on the matter. Best outcome would be for him to say such a
move should wait until next budge-adoption year.
Also, we need to collect all the support we can; OFM and other department heads,
outside agencies, interest groups, and other legislators. Currently there are legislators
jockeying their candidate for board/advisory committee positions. For more than just
ethical reasons I would not suggest trading a seat for favorable support. I would suggest
that you acknowledge the type of the members you seek to fill such positions. It’s no
secret the department is looking for individuals who have experience in health delivery
related fields, rehabilitation, mental/emotional counseling, and community involvement. I
believe common knowledge of this will serve in the department’s best interest.
Director, Office of Legislative Affairs
att. SB 7200