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RULE §442.102Complaints and Investigations

(a) A person alleging that a provider or licensee has violated Commission statute or rules may file a complaint with the Commission. All complaints shall be in writing. Complaints about licensed counselors must be submitted in writing and under oath.

(b) The Commission accepts oral or written reports concerning acts of abuse or neglect of children, the elderly, or the disabled relating to persons funded or licensed by the Commission.

  (1) When it receives a report of abuse or neglect of a child, the Commission also notifies the appropriate State or local law enforcement agency.

  (2) When it receives such a report, the Commission notifies any other known agencies which license or fund the alleged perpetrator if permitted by law.

(c) The Commission may initiate an investigation or disciplinary action against a provider if it receives information that a violation has or may have occurred.

(d) The Commission documents, evaluates, and prioritizes complaints based on the seriousness of the alleged violation and the level of client or participant risk.

(e) The Commission will refer complaints outside its jurisdiction to the appropriate agency for action as needed.

(f) The Commission will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of all complaints that pose a threat of harm to the health and safety of clients or participants, including all allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation or allegations of fraud and misuse of State funds.

(g) The Commission will evaluate complaints that do not pose a risk of harm to clients or participants. Based on the nature and severity of the alleged incident, the Commission will determine whether to investigate the complaint directly or require the provider to conduct an internal investigation and submit its findings to the Commission. The results of a provider's internal investigation will be reviewed and may result in additional investigation by the Commission.

(h) The Commission shall inform the person in writing of the nature of the complaint unless it would jeopardize the investigation.

(i) The person under investigation shall provide Commission staff access to all documents, evidence, and individuals related to the alleged violation, including the results of any internal investigations.

(j) Until the case is resolved, the Commission shall send quarterly written status reports to all parties and the complainant.

(k) The Commission shall prepare a complete written report of its investigative findings and conclusions.

(l) The Commission shall inform the person under investigation and the complainant of the results of the investigation.

  (1) If the Commission has found evidence that a child may have been abused or neglected, it shall report the evidence to the appropriate State or local law enforcement agency.

  (2) If the investigation reveals that an elderly or disabled person has been abused, neglected or exploited by another person in a manner that constitutes a criminal offense under any law, including TEX. PEN. CODE ANN. §22.04 (Vernon 2003 & Supp. 2004), the Commission shall submit a copy of the investigative report to the appropriate State or local law enforcement agency as permitted by law.

Source Note: The provisions of this §442.102 adopted to be effective February 1, 2004, 29 TexReg 221; transferred effective September 1, 2004, as published in the Texas Register September 10, 2004, 29 TexReg 8842

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