CHAPTER 286

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 100

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AND SENATE AMENDMENTS NOS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 AND 6

AN ACT TO AMEND PART VI, TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO STATE GOVERNMENT; AND PROVIDING FOR THE GRANTING OF MONETARY AWARDS FOR SUGGESTIONS THAT RESULT IN FINANCIAL OR ECONOMIC BENEFIT TO THE STATE OF DELAWARE.

WHEREAS, the demand is great to adopt sound fiscal management suggestions in support of managing State Government; and

WHEREAS, significant savings are to be realized through suggestions of State employees; and

WHEREAS, failure to capitalize on the wealth of ideas among our employees would shortchange State Government; and

WHEREAS, the critical nature of the economy of such rapid escalation of State Government costs points out the need to adopt and implement the useful suggestions of our State employees.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Part VI, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new chapter, designated as Chapter 67, which new chapter shall read as follows:

"CHAFFER 67. SUGGESTIONS OF FINANCIAL BENEFIT TO THE STATE

§6701. State Employee Suggestion Awards Committee and Program

The State Employee Suggestion Awards Committee, hereinafter referred to as the "Committee", shall be the official recipient of suggestions by State employees that relate to potential financial or economic benefit to the State. The Committee shall have the following members: the Budget Director, the Secretary of Finance, the State Auditor, the Comptroller General, and the State Treasurer. The Chairman of the Committee shall be selected from its members by the Governor. Additional members may be added at the discretion of the Governor.

The Committee shall establish an Employee Suggestion Program, hereinafter referred to as the "Program", whose objective it shall be to cause the adoption of suggestions which result in management improvements and dollar savings in State government.

§6702. Responsibilities of the Committee

The Committee shall execute, to the best of its ability, the responsibilities assigned to it by law including but not limited to: establishment of operating procedures, promotion, implementation including forms and their distribution, and the review of the effectiveness of the program.

The Committee shall screen suggestions and determine those which will result in actual financial savings or economic benefit to the State.

The Committee may also select for recognition by non-monetary means any other suggestions which do not result in direct savings but do contribute to improvement of government processes.

The Committee shall review periodically the statutory maximum and minimums imposed by this Act and propose to the General Assembly such changes in those limits as may be necessary or desirable.

The Committee with the assistance of the Division of Accounting and State Auditor's Office shall keep or cause to be kept such records as will provide a complete and full accounting of the program's activities including the preparation of an annual report with appropriate statistics.

For purposes of carrying out the responsibilities of this Act, the Committee may select from within their respective offices staff necessary to carry out these provisions. This may include, but not be limited to, a designation of one of these currently employed staff persons as Executive Director of the Committee. Assignment to the Committee shall not be cause for additional compensation.

§8703. Persons Eligible to Receive Monetary Awards

All State employees shall be eligible for monetary awards except an elected officer, a person who was appointed to his present office or employment by the Governor, and any person above paygrade 25 who occupies a supervisory position involving responsibilities for management of State program(s). The Committee may exclude additional employees when in the opinion of the State Personnel Office the primary duties of such person(s) is to recommend management improvements.

State employees eligible for this program shall submit their suggestions in writing either to their supervisor, who shall cause it to be forwarded to the Committee as quickly as practical, or to the Committee directly. The Committee, upon request, shall protect the anonymity of the suggestor. In addition, any state employee eligible for this program may submit suggestions to any member of the General Assembly, which submission shall not be hindered or prohibited by any state employee or officer. Any state employee or officer taking disciplinary action, including termination of employment, against a state employee for submitting suggestions to any member of the General Assembly pursuant to this section shall be terminated immediately from State employment.

The Committee shall investigate and confirm actual savings with the assistance of the State Auditor's Office. The Committee's determination as to actual savings and the method of determination of such savings shall be public records.

§8704. Adoption of Suggestions

When a suggestion is adopted and implemented, the Budget Director shall order such awards to be paid from the actual savings and shall cause such budgets in which savings have occurred to be reduced in like amounts for those purposes for which savings were affected in the ensuing fiscal year. The amount to be awarded for a suggestion shall be determined in the following manner:

(a) 15% of the actual savings earned in the fiscal year the suggestion was made with a maximum of $2,000 and a minimum of $25; provided, however, that if savings are higher for the second fiscal year, that year may be used The Budget Director may establish a fund in which actual savings may be escrowed in anticipation of fulfilling the purposes of this section.

(a) The Committee may make recognition of suggestions and the person(s) responsible for such suggestions which do not have a monetary impact. Such recognition shall not take the form of monetary reward but may take the form of any non-monetary method the Committee may devise.

(a) In all cases the Committee shall advise the affected agency(s) and afford the agency(s) an opportunity to comment relative to the value of the suggestion and the practicality of implementing same.

(a) The Governor, as Chief Executive Officer of the Executive Branch, shall be the final arbiter for the adoption of any suggestion in which the Committee and agency(s) cannot agree unless such adoption is statutorily prohibited. In such cases appropriate legislative relief may be sought if deemed advisable by the Governor.

Section 2. The provisions of this Act shall terminate on June 30, 1984 and, the same shall be subject to review pursuant to Chapter 102 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code.

Approved June 29, 1982.