Christopher Henderson, Executive Director, and Ashley Chase, Staff Attorney appeared before the committee about OCR in accordance with SMART Act and Joint Rule 25. Mr. Henderson introduced himself as the new executive director and explained the duties of the office. He noted the cases where guardians ad litem are appointed and the increase for ones involving juvenile delinquency. He presented the office's SMART goals and the annual report (Attachment L). These goals aim to provide childen a voice in the legal system, optimize efficiences in attorney practice and billing, and remain current in state and federal law and regulations, research, and evidence-based practices. He also walked the committee through their budget request, which is driven by caseload and mandated costs.
Committee members asked quesitons about a recent audit which found that attorney contracts were not being adequately monitored. Mr. Henderson responded that the office is starting to implement the audit recommendations, including a new system to run reports that track attorney and child contacts. Committee members encouraged the OCR to implement audit recommendations.