Honorable Tony Petelos_ Commissioner

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Honorable Tony Petelos_ Commissioner Powered By Docstoc
					February 17, 1999

Honora bl e T ony Pet elo s Com mi ssi on er Depa rtment o f Hu man Resou rces P. O. Box 3 0 40 00 Mont go mer y, AL 3 6 1 30 -4 0 00 Hu man Resou rces, D epartment o f – Hu man Resou rces, C ou nty B oards o f – Fu nds – E xp en ditu res T he Department o f Hu man R esou rces does not have legal au thority to pu r chase appr eciation gi fts, fl o wer s, Christ mas cards, retir ement card s, plaqu es, an d award s. Dea r Mr. Pet elo s: T his opi nio n o f t he Att orn ey G en eral is i ssu ed i n resp on se to y ou r requ e st.

QUEST ION Are ex penditu res by cou nty d epartment s of hu man resou rces for flo wers, foo d, Chri st mas cards, greet ing card s, retir ement card s, plaqu es, and a wards to fo ster parent s and childr en, ju di cial sys tem and law enforcement p erson nel, pu bli c and pri vate agen cies, DHR emplo yees, cou nty board mem ber s, doct or s, commu nit y bu si nesses, an d v olu nteer s allowabl e exp en ditu res?

Honora bl e T ony Pet elo s Pa ge 2 FACT S, L AW, AND ANALYSIS Sect ion 3 8 -2 -6 (1 6 ) of the C od e o f Alaba ma provi des t hat th e St ate Depa rtment o f Hu man Resou rces (DHR) may “[s] olicit , recei ve, and h old gift s, devi ses, an d b equ est s o f mo ney, real estate, and oth er th i ng s o f valu e to b e u sed in th e su pport, devel op ment an d carryi ng on of its work .” ALA. CODE § 38 -2 -6 (1 6 ) (Su pp. 1 9 98 ). Sect ion 3 8 -2 -6 (6 ) of th e Co de o f Alabama pr ovid es that t he State DHR shall “[d]esig nate cou nty d epartment s as its ag ent s u n der its ru les and regu la tion s to per form an y o f t he state department’ s fu ncti on s. ” AL A. CODE § 38 -2 -6 (6 ) (Su pp. 1 99 8 ). Sect ion 3 8 -2 -5 of th e Co de o f Alabama pro vid es, in part, that “[t]he sta te department, su bject to t h e appro val o f t he state board, sha ll allocate su ch fed eral and state fu nd s for pu blic a ssistan ce, admi ni stration and ser vic e s as are available. . . . T h e allocatio n o f t hese fu nd s shal l be based on th e r elative wel fare n eed s in t he sev eral cou nti es. . . . Fu nd s allocated sha ll b e ex pend ed i n th e mann er prescrib ed by t he state department, su b ject to th e appr oval o f t he state board.” AL A. CODE § 3 8 -2 -5 (1 992 ). T he prop o sed exp en ditu res ar e no t within th e statu tory pu rpo ses o f the D epartment o f Hu man Reso u rces. No exp end itu re o f pu bli c fu nd s may be ma de wit hou t statu tory au thorizatio n, regardless o f t he meri t of th e exp en ditu re. All o f th e aforementio ned exp en ditu res wh en mad e b y pu b lic a gen cies ha ve been di sallowed by previou s o pini on s o f t he Att o rney Genera l: Holiday gr eeti ng card s – Opinio n o f t he Att orn ey G en eral dated N ov ember 2 , 1 9 7 1 , to Honorabl e Ho ward E. H en drix, Direct or, Depart ment o f Lab or Holiday gr eeti ng card s – Opinio n o f t he Att orn ey G en eral dated N ov ember 8 , 1 9 6 7 , to Honorabl e Ralph P. Eag erton , Chi ef Exa min er, Department o f Examin er s o f Pu bli c Accou nt s, Qu arterly R ep ort o f t he Att or ney Gen eral, Volu me 1 2 9 , Page 2 7 Foo d, flo wers an d retir ement gi ft s – Opinio n o f t he Att orn ey G en eral dated Ju ly 1 9 , 1 9 94 (9 4 0 02 42 ), to Honorabl e Lau ghli n Ash e, Mayor, Cit y o f S hef fi eld Gift s, Chri st mas parti es, pi cni cs, retir ement parties, flo wers – Opinio n o f t he Att orn ey G en eral dated O cto ber 1 0 , 1 9 78 , to Honorabl e William W. Dillard, Jr., Chi ef E xamin er,

Honora bl e T ony Pet elo s Pa ge 3 Department o f Examin ers o f Pu bli c Accou nt s Plaqu es or framed certi ficat es for empl oy ees – Opinio n o f t he Att orn ey G en eral dated Au gu st 1 9 , 1 9 93 (9 3 -0 029 4 ), to Honorable Fred Gainou s, C hancellor, Alabama Department o f Po st seco ndary E du cation T he Department o f Hu man R esou rces i s a stat e agency. Lik e al l state a gen cies, it i s su bject t o th e restri ctio ns o f sectio n 9 3 as amend ed by a men dment no . 5 8 of t he C on stitu tion o f Alabama. AL A. CON ST . amend . 5 8 . Sectio n 9 3 prohibit s t he State fro m sp en din g pu bli c fu nd s for private pu rposes. Cou nt y d epart m ents o f DHR are a part o f th e state a gen cy . T he cou nty department l ocal fu nd accou nts are pu blic fu n ds o f a sta te agency. As su c h, t hese fu n d s are su bject to t he r estricti on s o f secti on 9 3 and a men dment no . 5 8 . A written lo cal fu n d p olicy o f a DHR cou nt y d epartme nt can not au thori ze what is oth er wise prohi bited b y th e state co nstitu tion. It is th e opini on o f thi s O ffice t hat the D epart ment o f Hu man Resou rces an d its cou nty d epartments are pro hibit ed by th e Co nstitu tio n o f Ala ba ma fro m u si ng pu blic fu nd s t o pu rchase appreciatio n gi ft s, fl ow er s, holida y greetin g cards, r etirement cards, plaqu es, an d award s.

CONCLUSION A cou nty department o f th e Department o f Hu man Resou rces ca nnot lega lly pu rchase appr eciation gi fts, fl o wer s, holi day gr eeti ng cards , retire ment card s, plaqu es, and a wards. I hop e th is opi nio n an swer s y ou r qu esti on. I f t hi s o ffice can b e of fu rther a ssi stan ce, pl ease contact Carol J ean S mith o f my staff. Sincerel y, BILL PRYOR Attor ney General By:

CAROL JE AN SMIT H Chief, O pi nio n s Divi sio n BP/DEL/ss 3 01 7 v1


				
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