The procedures for the appointment of a Director of Community Services are related to the following:
- Section 41.05 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) which requires that, in order to be eligible for state aid, a county or the City of New York shall establish a local governmental unit (LGU) with a Director of Community Services (DCS) as its chief. (Local governments use a variety of titles for this position such as Director or Commissioner of Mental Health.)
- Section 41.09 of the MHL which addresses appointment of a DCS and requires that each DCS meets standards set by the IOCC.
- Part 102 of Title 14 of the Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York which sets forth standards regarding the qualifications of a DCS and waivers of the requirement for a full-time DCS.
- These procedures, required by Section 102.5(a), are intended as a guide for local governments regarding resignations and acting appointments of DCS, as well as reviews of candidates qualifications for permanent appointment. They replace the procedures issued August 1994.
Resignations and Acting Appointments
Section 102.5 of Title 14 of the New York Code, Rules and Regulations provides that the Inter-Office Coordinating Council set forth procedures regarding DCS appointments. Local governmental unit appointment requests may be for an Acting Appointment or for a Permanent Appointment. In the case of a resignation or acting appointment of a DCS, the local governmental unit shall notify the Inter-Office Coordinating Council, in a timely manner, regarding these events. Accurate identification of these changes is necessary in order to maintain continuous communication between the state and the LGU during the period between resignation and permanent appointment of a new DCS. Notifications of resignations and acting appointments should be sent to the Chairperson of the Inter-Office Coordinating Council, as noted on page 3.
An Acting Appointment is intended to provide appropriate management of the LGU while a recruitment process for a permanent DCS is underway. There is no requirement that an Acting DCS meet the qualifications required under Part 102 for a permanent DCS. In situations where an individual with an Acting Appointment does not meet the DCS qualifications, the Acting Appointment shall not exceed six months without the prior written approval of the Inter-Office Coordinating Council. However, in all cases in which an Acting Appointment is made, and the individual designated is not a physician; an "examining physician" shall be designated in accordance with Section 41.09(b) of the Mental Hygiene Law.
The process for review of permanent appointments is, as follows:
- Each local governmental unit should forward the following material to the Chairperson of the Inter-Office Coordinating Council for review of the credentials of a candidate to be appointed as County DCS:
- Statement that the individual is a candidate for permanent appointment.
- Resume indicating education and experience necessary to meet the standards in Part
102 of Title 14 Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations.
- Copy of New York State professional licensure or certification, if applicable.
- If candidate has an administrative, rather than a clinical background, the regulation
requires that a clinical supervisor also be designated and the county should provide
information showing that this has been addressed.
- The Chairperson of the Inter-Office Coordinating Council acknowledges receipt and forwards request for review of candidate's credentials, with attachments, to the IOCC members.
- All Inter-Office Coordinating Council members will have 30 days to review the candidate's credentials against the regulation's requirements.
- All Inter-Office Coordinating Council agencies, upon the conclusion of their review, should submit confirmation of their recommendation to Chairperson.
- If Inter-Office Coordinating Council agencies disagree, the Chairperson calls a meeting of IOCC agencies to review recommendations and conclude review process.
- Whether the Inter-Office Coordinating Council approves or disapproves a candidate's credentials, the Chairperson must notify the local governmental unit in writing of the decision.
- Upon receipt of letter of disapproval, the local government can, within 30 days of the date of the letter, appeal in writing to Chairperson of Inter-Office Coordinating Council by submitting additional material to support the credentials of candidate. If the local governmental unit does not appeal, the findings of the IOCC are final.
- If local governmental unit appeals the disapproval by submitting additional material supporting the candidate's credentials, the Chairperson of the Inter-Office Coordinating Council will implement the process for review of the appeal following the same procedure used for the initial review.
- The Inter-Office Coordinating Council agencies may approve or disapprove the candidate's credentials upon review of additional material, and the finding is final and with no additional administrative appeal.
Waiver of Full-Time Status
Section 41.09 of the MHL requires that a DCS be a full-time employee except in a case of express waiver by the Inter-Office Coordinating Council. The local governmental unit may request that the IOCC waive the requirement that the DCS be a full-time position. The process for such requests is addressed, in detail, in Section 102.8 of Title 14 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.
In reviewing requests for waivers, the Inter-Office Coordinating Council will consider, among other issues required by the regulation, potential conflicts of interest. Consideration of potential conflicts of interest includes instances when a local governmental unit proposes that a DCS candidate serves in more than one local governmental capacity.
In cases where the holding of a dual-position may create the potential conflict of interest issues before a waiver is approved, the Inter-Office Coordinating Council may require:
- The establishment of a local administrative structure which clearly separates the functions of the county's mental hygiene and other human/social services departments whereby local county departments will not be in conflict; and/or
- That an administrative structure and/or policy be developed whereby the holder of a dual-position would be required to recuse him or her from mental hygiene issues which potentially could be in conflict with other local administrative needs or requirements under his or her jurisdiction; and/or
- The imposition of any other conditions deemed necessary to address potential conflicts of interest.
Notifications of resignations and acting appointments, as well as requests for review of credentials, should be directed to:
Arlene González-Sánchez, Chairperson
Inter-Office Coordinating Council
1450 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12203
For questions or assistance, please contact:
Jennifer Farrell, OASAS Inter-Office Coordinating Council Liaison