§ 122C-117.  Powers and duties of the area authority.

(a)        The area authority shall do all of the following:

(1)        Engage in comprehensive planning, budgeting, implementing, and monitoring of community-based mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services.

(2)        Ensure the provision of services to clients in the catchment area, including clients committed to the custody of the Division of Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety.

(3)        Determine the needs of the area authority's clients and coordinate with the Secretary and with the Division of Juvenile Justice  of the Department of Public Safety the provision of services to clients through area and State facilities.

(4)        Develop plans and budgets for the area authority subject to the approval of the Secretary. The area authority shall submit the approved budget to the board of county commissioners and the county manager and provide quarterly reports on the financial status of the program in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(5)        Assure that the services provided by the county through the area authority meet the rules of the Commission and Secretary.

(6)        Comply with federal requirements as a condition of receipt of federal grants.

(7)        Appoint an area director in accordance with G.S. 122C-121(d).

(8)        Develop and submit to the board of county commissioners for approval the business plan required under G.S. 122C-115.2. A multicounty area authority shall submit the business plan to each participating board of county commissioners for its approval. The boards of county commissioners of a multicounty area authority shall jointly submit one approved business plan to the Secretary for approval and certification.

(9)        Perform public relations and community advocacy functions.

(10)      Recommend to the board of county commissioners the creation of local program services.

(11)      Submit to the Secretary and the board of county commissioners service delivery reports, on a quarterly basis, that assess the quality and availability of public services within the area authority's catchment area. The service delivery reports shall include the types of services delivered, number of recipients served, and services requested but not delivered due to staffing, financial, or other constraints. In addition, at least annually, a progress report shall be submitted to the Secretary and the board of county commissioners. The progress report shall include an assessment of the progress in implementing local service plans, goals, and outcomes. All reports shall be in a format and shall contain any additional information required by the Secretary or board of county commissioners.

(12)      Comply with this Article and rules adopted by the Secretary for the development and submission of and compliance with the area authority business plan.

(13)      Coordinate with Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities for the provision of services to criminal justice clients.

(14)      Maintain a 24-hour a day, seven day a week crisis response service. Crisis response shall include telephone and face-to-face capabilities. Crisis phone response shall include triage and referral to appropriate face-to-face crisis providers and shall be initiated within one hour of notification. Crisis services do not require prior authorization but shall be delivered in compliance with appropriate policies and procedures. Crisis services shall be designed for prevention, intervention, and resolution, not merely triage and transfer, and shall be provided in the least restrictive setting possible, consistent with individual and family need and community safety.

(15)      An LME that utilizes single stream funding shall, on a biannual basis, report on the allocation of service dollars and allow for public comment at a regularly scheduled LME board of directors meeting.

(16)      Before an LME proposes to reduce State funding to HUD group homes and HUD apartments below the original appropriation of State funds, the LME must:

a.         Receive approval of the reduction in funding from the Department, and

b.         Hold a public hearing at an open LME board meeting to receive comment on the reduction in funding.

(17)      Have the authority to borrow money with the approval of the Local Government Commission.

(18)      Develop and adopt community crisis services plans in accordance with G.S. 122C-202.2.

(a1)      The area authority may contract to provide services to governmental or private entities, including Employee Assistance Programs.

(b)        The governing unit of the area authority is the area board. All powers, duties, functions, rights, privileges, or immunities conferred on the area authority may be exercised by the area board.

(c)        Within 30 days of the end of each quarter of the fiscal year, the area director and finance officer of the area authority shall provide the quarterly report of the area authority to the county finance officer. The county finance officer shall provide the quarterly report to the board of county commissioners at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the board. The clerk of the board of commissioners shall notify the area director and the county finance officer if the quarterly report required by this subsection has not been submitted within the required period of time. This information shall be delivered to the county and, at the request of the board of county commissioners, may be presented in person by the area director or the director's designee.

(d)       A multicounty area authority shall provide to each board of county commissioners of participating counties a copy of the area authority's annual audit. The audit findings shall be presented in a format prescribed by the county and shall be read into the minutes of the meeting at which the audit findings are presented.  (1971, c. 470, s. 1; 1973, c. 476, s. 133; c. 661; 1977, c. 568, s. 1; c. 679, s. 7; 1979, c. 358, ss. 1, 3, 14, 23; 1981, c. 51, s. 3; 1983, c. 383, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1987, c. 830, s. 47(d); 1989, c. 625, s. 14; 1991, c. 215, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 749, s. 2; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 1998-202, s. 4(t); 2000-137, s. 4(w); 2001-437, s. 1.10; 2001-487, s. 79.5; 2005-371, s. 2; 2006-142, s. 3(a); 2009-191, s. 1; 2011-145, s. 19.1(l); 2012-151, s. 9(a); 2017-186, s. 2(ooooo); 2018-33, s. 7; 2021-180, s. 19C.9(z).)