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Georgia State Code
Title      50
Chapter       8  
Section Navigation     1 ... 7.3         8 ... 17    
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   170 ... 192       193 ... 216   
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Section<<< 30 31 32 33 34 34.1 35 36 37 38 >>>  
Title 50, Chapter 8, Section 35 (50-8-35)

(a) Each regional development center, as authorized by the board of such regional development center and consistent with federal and state law, shall perform the duties, responsibilities, and functions and may exercise the power and authority described in this Code section. Each center may exercise the following power and authority:

(1) Each center may adopt bylaws and make rules and regulations for the conduct of its affairs;

(2) Each center may make and enter into all contracts necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and functions. Neither a center, nor any nonprofit corporation established or controlled by that center, may enter into any contract obligating that center or nonprofit corporation to perform services for any political subdivision, individual, or business entity located wholly outside the boundaries of that center's region, except that one center, on its own behalf and not on behalf or for the direct benefit of any political subdivision, individual, or business entity within that center's boundaries, may contract with another center to provide services for the benefit of one or both centers;

(3) Each center may acquire and dispose of real and personal property;

(4) Each center may utilize the services of the Department of Administrative Services;

(5) Each center may prepare studies of the area's resources as they affect existing and emerging problems of industry, commerce, transportation, population, housing, agriculture, public services, local governments, and any other matters relating to area planning and development;

(6) Each center may collect, process, and analyze, at regular intervals, the social and economic statistics for the region, which statistics are necessary to planning studies, and make the results available to the general public;

(7) Each center may participate with local, state, or federal governmental agencies, educational institutions, and public and private organizations in the coordination and implementation of research and development activities;

(8) Each center may cooperate with all units of local government and planning and development agencies within the center's region and coordinate area planning and development activities with those of the state and of the units of local government within the center's region as well as neighboring regions and with the programs of federal departments, agencies, and regional commissions; and provide such technical assistance, including data processing and grant administration services for local governments, as may be requested of it by a unit or units of local government within the center's region; and such technical assistance shall not be limited to planning and development activities but may include technical assistance of any nature requested by a unit or units of local government within the center's region; (9) Each center may carry out such other programs as its board or the department shall require from time to time;

(10) Each center may, when appropriate, administer funds involving more than one political subdivision;

(11) Each center may, upon the signed resolution of its board and written approval by each unit of local government affected, initiate, continue, or renew arrangements with the United States government, an adjoining state, this state, a unit of local government, any agency or instrumentality of the foregoing, or a public or private organization for the management, administration, or operation of human service programs by such regional development center; but, in the conduct of any such human service programs, a center shall not engage in the direct delivery of goods or services to individual consumers but may enter into contracts with other authorized entities, including units of local government, for the delivery of such goods or services by and in the name of such entities; and

(12) Each center may provide the following benefits to its employees, their dependents, and survivors, in addition to any compensation or other benefits provided to such persons:

(A) Retirement, pension, disability, medical, and hospitalization benefits, through the purchase of insurance or otherwise;

(B) Life insurance coverage and coverage under federal old age and survivors' insurance programs;

(C) Sick leave, annual leave, and holiday leave; and

(D) Any other similar benefits including, but not limited to, death benefits.

(b) Each center shall adopt personnel policies and practices with specific reference to job descriptions and qualifications. Minimum qualifications for the professional personnel of each regional development center shall be established by the board of the regional development center and the Board of Community Affairs.

(c) Each center shall undertake and carry out such planning and technical assistance activities as its board or the department may deem necessary for the development, preparation, and implementation of comprehensive plans for the center's region and for municipalities and counties within the center's region and such planning and technical assistance activities as its board or the department may deem necessary for coordinated and comprehensive planning within the center's region. Such planning and technical assistance activities may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

(1) A center may coordinate and assist local governments in preparing local plans for submission to the center;

(2) A center may provide technical planning assistance to local governments;

(3) A center may develop and prepare a local plan for a county or municipality if the county or municipality enters into a contract with a center for that purpose;

(4) A center may require that comprehensive plans within its region include elements in addition to those established by the department as minimum standards and procedures but, before imposing any such requirement, the center shall have received the department's approval of any additional elements to be included in such comprehensive plans;

(5) A center may establish goals and objectives, consistent with those established by the Governor's Development Council or by the department, for its region; and

(6) Each center shall prepare and adopt a regional plan and submit the regional plan to the department. The regional plan shall take into consideration local plans within the region. The regional plan may be prepared but shall not be adopted by the board until after a proposed regional plan has been made public and after the board has held, or caused to be held by a designated hearing officer, a public hearing on the regional plan, in accordance with such procedures as the department may establish.

(d) Each center shall participate in compiling a Georgia data base and network, coordinated by the department, to serve as a comprehensive source of information available, in an accessible form, to local governments, state agencies, and members of the General Assembly.

(e) A center shall serve as liaison with other governments, including federal government agencies and state agencies. In this capacity, a center may administer programs within the state upon the request of local governments and may administer federal or state government programs upon designation by the federal or state government. Each center shall be designated as the official planning agency for all state and federal programs to be carried out in the region if such designation is required and if the department concurs in such designation. A center may take all action and shall have all power and authority necessary to carry out its responsibilities, duties, and functions under any such state or federal programs.

(f)(1)(A) In order to accomplish the intent of subsection (e) of this Code section, each center is authorized to create nonprofit corporations to administer federal or state revolving loan programs or loan packaging programs, and to administer federal or state housing and development programs and funds available only to nonprofit corporations. Each such nonprofit corporation must be authorized by the center's board and each unit of local government affected.

(B) Any nonprofit corporation which, prior to April 1, 1994, has been created by a center and has had articles of incorporation which are regular on their face accepted for filing by the Secretary of State shall be recognized as and have legal status as a validly created nonprofit corporation under the laws of this state for all purposes, notwithstanding the requirements of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and notwithstanding any lack of express statutory authority on the part of the center to carry out such incorporation at the time of filing of the articles of incorporation. Nothing in this subparagraph, however, shall excuse such a nonprofit corporation from complying on and after April 1, 1994, with any and all requirements imposed by law for continuation of its corporate existence in the same manner as other nonprofit corporations created under this paragraph are required to comply with legal requirements for their continued existence.

(2) Employees and any other authorized representatives of a nonprofit corporation created pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection are authorized to expend nonpublic funds of such corporation for the business meals and incidental expenses of bona fide industrial prospects and other persons who attend any meeting at the request of the nonprofit corporation to discuss the location or development of new business, industry, or tourism within the center's region. All such expenditures shall be verified by vouchers showing date, place, purpose, and persons for whom such expenditures were made. All receipts of nonpublic funds shall be evidenced by vouchers showing the date, amount, and source of each receipt. A schedule shall be included in each annual audit which reports the beginning balance of unexpended nonpublic funds; the date, amount, and source of all receipts of nonpublic funds; the date, place, purpose, and persons for whom expenditures were made for all such expenditures of nonpublic funds; and the ending balance of unexpended nonpublic funds. The auditor shall verify and test such beginning balances, receipts, expenditures, and ending balances sufficient to express an opinion thereon in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

(3) A nonprofit corporation shall keep books of account reflecting all funds received, expended, and administered by the nonprofit corporation which shall be independently audited at least once in each fiscal year during which a nonprofit corporation functions. Such audit shall be conducted in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. The state auditor shall promulgate policies and procedures for procurement of such audit of the financial affairs of a nonprofit corporation and shall annually review the audit procurement process to determine compliance with established policies and procedures. The nonprofit corporation shall be responsible for the costs associated with such audit. The auditor's report shall be presented to the commissioner, who shall make such report available to each board member within the region and to the Board of Community Affairs. The books of account shall be kept in a standard, uniform format to be determined by the state auditor and the commissioner. Each nonprofit corporation shall update its books of account on a quarterly basis and shall present the quarterly update to the commissioner. The department with the assistance of the commissioner of banking and finance shall conduct at least biennially a performance audit of each nonprofit corporation. The department shall provide copies of each such performance audit to the respective chief elected official of each county and municipality within the center's region.

(4) Each nonprofit corporation shall submit to the department copies of all filings made to federal, state, or local taxing authorities, including filings related to tax exemptions simultaneous with such filings. (5)(A) Each annual audit report of a nonprofit corporation shall be completed and a copy of the report forwarded to the state auditor within 180 days after the close of the nonprofit corporation's fiscal year. In addition to the audit report, the nonprofit corporation shall forward to the state auditor, within 30 days after the audit report due date, written comments on the findings and recommendations in the report, including a plan for corrective action taken or planned and comments on the status of corrective action taken on prior findings. If corrective action is not necessary, the written comments should include a statement describing the reason it is not.

(B) The state auditor shall review the audit report and written comments submitted to his or her office to ensure that they meet the requirements for audits provided for in paragraph (3) of this subsection. If the state auditor finds the requirements for audits have not been complied with, the state auditor shall, within 60 days of his or her receipt of the audit or written comments, notify the nonprofit corporation and the auditor who performed the audit and shall submit to them a list of the deficiencies to be corrected. A copy of this notification shall also be sent by the state auditor to the center related to the nonprofit corporation, the chief elected official of each county and municipality within the center's region, and to each member of the General Assembly whose senatorial or representative district includes any part of the center's region.

(C) If the state auditor has not received any required audit or written comments by the date specified in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the state auditor shall within 30 days of such date notify the nonprofit corporation that the audit has not been received as required by law. A copy of this notification shall also be sent by the state auditor to the center related to the nonprofit corporation, the chief elected official of each county and municipality within the related center's region, and to each member of the General Assembly whose senatorial or representative district includes any part of the related center's region.

(D) The state auditor, for good cause shown by those nonprofit corporations in which an audit is in the process of being conducted or will promptly be conducted, may waive the requirement for completion of the audit within 180 days. Such waiver shall be for an additional period of not more than 180 days and no such waiver shall be granted for more than two successive years to the same nonprofit corporation.

(6) A copy of the report and of any comments made by the state auditor pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of this subsection shall be maintained as a public record for public inspection during the regular working hours at the principal office of the nonprofit corporation and the related center.

(7) Upon a failure, refusal, or neglect to have an annual audit made or a failure to file a copy of the annual audit report with the state auditor or a failure to correct auditing deficiencies noted by the state auditor, the state auditor shall cause a prominent notice to be published in the legal organ of and any other newspapers of general circulation within each county and municipality within the related center's region. Such notice shall be a prominently displayed advertisement or news article and shall not be placed in that section of the newspaper where legal notices appear. Such notice shall be published once a week for two consecutive weeks and shall state that the nonprofit corporation has failed or refused to file an audit report or to correct auditing deficiencies, as the case may be, for the fiscal year or years in question. Such notice shall further state that such failure or refusal is in violation of state law.

(8) The state auditor may waive the requirement of correction of auditing deficiencies for a period of one year from the required audit filing date, provided that evidence is presented that substantial progress is being made toward removing the cause of the need for the waiver. No such waiver for the same set of deficiencies shall be granted for more than two successive years to the same nonprofit corporation.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (8) of subsection (a) of this Code section, a center may contract with the department for coordinated and comprehensive planning covering areas not within the territorial boundary of the center, provided that any such contract is made with the approval of the regional development center's board of directors having jurisdiction in the area affected.

(h) A center shall be prohibited from either creating or controlling or causing to be created any nonprofit corporation, except as authorized in paragraph (1) of subsection (f) of this Code section.

(i) Neither a center nor a nonprofit corporation either created or controlled or caused to be created by the center shall administer any federal program which prohibits the department from conducting a performance audit relative to such program.

(j) In any case where a center contracts with a state agency, the contract shall include a provision requiring cancellation of the contract if the department determines that the center or a nonprofit corporation either created or controlled or caused to be created by the center is not fully cooperating with a performance audit conducted by the department.

(k) The department and the centers, jointly, shall develop a continuing education program for professional staff members of such centers.

Saturday May 23 18:03 EDT

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