The legislative oversight in connection with any telecommunications coordination within state government is moved from the joint technology committee of the general assembly to the department of public safety's legislative oversight committee pursuant to the "State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act".
On July 1, 2023, the powers, duties, and functions related to public safety telecommunications coordination within state government (public safety communications) are transferred from the chief information officer in the office of information technology to the department of public safety (department). The transferred powers, duties, and functions are allocated to the division of homeland security and emergency management (division) in the department. In addition, employees, property, and policies of the office of information technology related to public safety communications are transferred to the division on July 1, 2023.
The office of public safety communications (office) and the director of the office are created in the division. The public safety communications revolving fund (revolving fund) is also created. The money in the revolving fund is continuously appropriated to the office to pay the direct and indirect costs, including personal services and operating costs, associated with administering public safety communications.
The office is required to develop a method for billing users of the office's services the full cost of the services. The billing method is required to be implemented on or before July 1, 2023. Revenue generated from such billing is credited to the revolving fund. The office is authorized to seek, accept, and expend gifts, grants, donations, and bequests from private or public sources for the direct and indirect costs associated with administering public safety communications.
The existing state public safety communications network is relocated to the office. The act specifies the duties and responsibilities of the director of the office that were formerly the duties and responsibilities of the chief information officer of the office of information technology. The duties and responsibilities include:
- Formulating recommendations for a current and long-range public safety communications plan and administering the plan;
- Reviewing all existing and future state-owned public safety communications applications, planning, networks, systems, programs, equipment, and facilities and establishing priorities for those applications;
- Approving or disapproving the acquisition of public safety communications equipment by any state entity;
- Establishing and enforcing public safety communications policies, procedures, standards, and records for management of public safety communications networks and facilities for all state entities;
- Reviewing, assessing, and ensuring compliance with federal and state public safety communications regulations pertaining to the needs and functions of state entities;
- Advising the governor and general assembly on public safety communications matters;
- Administering the public safety communications trust fund;
- Adopting recommended standards for the replacement of analog-based radio equipment with digital-based radio equipment for purposes of dispatching and related functions within the department of public safety; and
- For purposes of serving the radio communications needs of state departments, adopting standards and policies and setting a recommended timetable for the replacement of existing radio public safety communications equipment with a system that satisfies the requirements of the federal communications commission public safety national plan.
The director of the office may enter into contracts, formerly entered into by the chief information officer, with specified public entities and may act as a public safety communications network provider to provide public safety radio communications between or among 2 or more counties or state agencies.
The act specifies when users of public safety radio systems, including public entities and privately owned businesses, will be charged fees for the service, including the cost of material, labor, and overhead.
The executive director of the department is required to exercise the powers, duties, and functions regarding the existing tactical and long-term interoperable communications plan to improve the ability of the public safety agencies of state government to communicate with public safety agencies of the federal government, regions, local governments, and other states. The director of the office is required to update and revise the tactical and long-term interoperable communications plan at least once every 3 years.
The act relocates the existing public safety communications trust fund, specifies the sources of money in the trust fund, specifies the purposes for which money in the trust fund must be used, and requires $7,250,000 to be transferred from the general fund or any other fund to the trust fund during state fiscal years 2023-24 and 2024-25.
The chief information officer is required to begin the transfer of the public safety telecommunications program to the department of public safety on July 1, 2022.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)