143B-168.12. North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc.; conditions.

(a) In order to receive State funds, the following conditions shall be met:

(1) The North Carolina Partnership shall have a Board of Directors consisting of the following 26 members:

a. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, ex officio, or the Secretary's designee.

b. Repealed by Session Laws 1997, c. 443, s. 11A.105.

c. The Superintendent of Public Instruction, ex officio, or the Superintendent's designee.

d. The President of the Community Colleges System, ex officio, or the President's designee.

e. Three members of the public, including one child care provider, one other who is a parent, and one other who is a board chair of a local partnership serving on the North Carolina Partnership local partnership advisory committee, appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

f. Three members of the public, including one who is a parent, one other who is a representative of the faith community, and one other who is a board chair or designee of the board chair of a local partnership serving on the North Carolina Partnership local partnership advisory committee, appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

g. Twelve members, appointed by the Governor. Three of these 12 members shall be members of the party other than the Governor's party, appointed by the Governor. Seven of these 12 members shall be appointed as follows: one who is a child care provider, one other who is a pediatrician, one other who is a health care provider, one other who is a parent, one other who is a member of the business community, one other who is a member representing a philanthropic agency, and one other who is an early childhood educator.

h. Repealed by Session Laws 1998-212, s. 12.37B(a), effective October 30, 1998.

h1. The Chair of the North Carolina Partnership Board shall be appointed by the Governor.

i. Repealed by Session Laws 1998-212, s. 12.37B(a), effective October 30, 1998.

j. One member of the public appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Majority Leader of the Senate.

k. One member of the public appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.

l. One member of the public appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Minority Leader of the Senate.

m. One member of the public appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

n. The Director of the NC Pre-K Program, or the Director's designee.

All members appointed to succeed the initial members and members appointed thereafter shall be appointed for three-year terms. Members may succeed themselves.

All appointed board members shall avoid conflicts of interests and the appearance of impropriety. Should instances arise when a conflict may be perceived, any individual who may benefit directly or indirectly from the North Carolina Partnership's disbursement of funds shall abstain from participating in any decision or deliberations by the North Carolina Partnership regarding the disbursement of funds.

All ex officio members are voting members. Each ex officio member may be represented by a designee. These designees shall be voting members. No members of the General Assembly shall serve as members.

The North Carolina Partnership may establish a nominating committee and, in making their recommendations of members to be appointed by the General Assembly or by the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Majority Leader of the Senate, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, and the Governor shall consult with and consider the recommendations of this nominating committee.

The North Carolina Partnership may establish a policy on members' attendance, which policy shall include provisions for reporting absences of at least three meetings immediately to the appropriate appointing authority.

Members who miss more than three consecutive meetings without excuse or members who vacate their membership shall be replaced by the appropriate appointing authority, and the replacing member shall serve either until the General Assembly and the Governor can appoint a successor or until the replaced member's term expires, whichever is earlier.

The North Carolina Partnership shall establish a policy on membership of the local boards. No member of the General Assembly shall serve as a member of a local board. Within these requirements for local board membership, the North Carolina Partnership shall allow local partnerships that are regional to have flexibility in the composition of their boards so that all counties in the region have adequate representation.

All appointed local board members shall avoid conflicts of interests and the appearance of impropriety. Should instances arise when a conflict may be perceived, any individual who may benefit directly or indirectly from the partnership's disbursement of funds shall abstain from participating in any decision or deliberations by the partnership regarding the disbursement of funds.

(2) The North Carolina Partnership and the local partnerships shall agree to adopt procedures for its operations that are comparable to those of Article 33C of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes, the Open Meetings Law, and Chapter 132 of the General Statutes, the Public Records Law, and provide for enforcement by the Department. The procedures may provide for the confidentiality of personnel files comparable to Article 7 of Chapter 126 of the General Statutes.

(3) The North Carolina Partnership shall oversee the development and implementation of the local demonstration projects as they are selected and shall approve the ongoing plans, programs, and services developed and implemented by the local partnerships and hold the local partnerships accountable for the financial and programmatic integrity of the programs and services. The North Carolina Partnership may contract at the State level to obtain services or resources when the North Carolina Partnership determines it would be more efficient to do so.

In the event that the North Carolina Partnership determines that a local partnership is not fulfilling its mandate to provide programs and services designed to meet the developmental needs of children in order to prepare them to begin school healthy and ready to succeed and is not being accountable for the programmatic and fiscal integrity of its programs and services, the North Carolina Partnership may suspend all funds to the partnership until the partnership demonstrates that these defects are corrected. Further, at its discretion, the North Carolina Partnership may assume the managerial responsibilities for the partnership's programs and services until the North Carolina Partnership determines that it is appropriate to return the programs and services to the local partnership.

(4) The North Carolina Partnership shall develop and implement a comprehensive standard fiscal accountability plan to ensure the fiscal integrity and accountability of State funds appropriated to it and to the local partnerships. The standard fiscal accountability plan shall, at a minimum, include a uniform, standardized system of accounting, internal controls, payroll, fidelity bonding, chart of accounts, and contract management and monitoring. The North Carolina Partnership may contract with outside firms to develop and implement the standard fiscal accountability plan. All local partnerships shall be required to participate in the standard fiscal accountability plan developed and adopted by the North Carolina Partnership pursuant to this subdivision.

(5) Repealed by Session Laws 2011-145, s. 10.5(b), effective July 1, 2011.

(6) The North Carolina Partnership shall develop a formula for allocating direct services funds appropriated for this purpose to local partnerships.

(7) The North Carolina Partnership may adjust its allocations by up to ten percent (10%) on the basis of local partnerships' performance assessments. In determining whether to adjust its allocations to local partnerships, the North Carolina Partnership shall consider whether the local partnerships are meeting the outcome goals and objectives of the North Carolina Partnership and the goals and objectives set forth by the local partnerships in their approved annual program plans.

The North Carolina Partnership may use additional factors to determine whether to adjust the local partnerships' allocations. These additional factors shall be developed with input from the local partnerships and shall be communicated to the local partnerships when the additional factors are selected. These additional factors may include board involvement, family and community outreach, collaboration among public and private service agencies, and family involvement.

On the basis of performance assessments, local partnerships annually shall be rated "superior", "satisfactory", or "needs improvement".

The North Carolina Partnership may contract with outside firms to conduct the performance assessments of local partnerships.

(8) The North Carolina Partnership shall establish a local partnership advisory committee comprised of 15 members. Eight of the members shall be chosen from past board chairs or duly elected officers currently serving on local partnerships' board of directors at the time of appointment and shall serve three-year terms. Seven of the members shall be staff of local partnerships. Members shall be chosen by the Chair of the North Carolina Partnership from a pool of candidates nominated by their respective boards of directors. The local partnership advisory committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the North Carolina Partnership and shall establish a schedule of regular meetings. Members shall be chosen from local partnerships on a rotating basis. The advisory committee shall annually elect a chair from among its members.

(9) Repealed by Session Laws 2001-424, s. 21.75(h), effective July 1, 2001.

(b) The North Carolina Partnership shall be subject to audit and review by the State Auditor under Article 5A of Chapter 147 of the General Statutes. The State Auditor shall conduct annual financial and compliance audits of the North Carolina Partnership.

(c) The North Carolina Partnership shall require each local partnership to place in each of its contracts a statement that the contract is subject to monitoring by the local partnership and North Carolina Partnership, that contractors and subcontractors shall be fidelity bonded, unless the contractors or subcontractors receive less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or unless the contract is for child care subsidy services, that contractors and subcontractors are subject to audit oversight by the State Auditor, and that contractors and subcontractors shall be subject to the requirements of G.S. 143C-6-22. Organizations subject to G.S. 159-34 shall be exempt from this requirement.

(d) The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., shall make a report no later than December 1 of each year to the General Assembly that shall include the following:

(1) A description of the program and significant services and initiatives.

(2) A history of Smart Start funding and the previous fiscal year's expenditures.

(3) The number of children served by type of service.

(4) The type and quantity of services provided.

(5) The results of the previous year's evaluations of the Initiatives or related programs and services.

(6) A description of significant policy and program changes.

(7) Any recommendations for legislative action.

(e) The North Carolina Partnership shall develop guidelines for local partnerships to follow in selecting capital projects to fund. The guidelines shall include assessing the community needs in relation to the quantity of child care centers, assessing the cost of purchasing or constructing new facilities as opposed to renovating existing facilities, and prioritizing capital needs such as construction, renovations, and playground equipment and other amenities.

(f) The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., shall establish uniform guidelines and a reporting format for local partnerships to document the qualifying expenses occurring at the contractor level. Local partnerships shall monitor qualifying expenses to ensure they have occurred and meet the requirements prescribed in this subsection. (1993, c. 321, s. 254(a); 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 766, s. 1; 1995, c. 324, s. 27A.1; 1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 18, s. 24.29(b); 1997-443, ss. 11.55(l), 11A.105; 1998-212, s. 12.37B(a), (b); 1999-84, s. 24; 1999-237, s. 11.48(a); 2000-67, s. 11.28(a); 2001-424, ss. 21.75(h), 21.75(i); 2002-126, s. 10.55(d); 2003-284, ss. 10.38(l), 10.38(m), 10.38(n); 2004-124, s. 10.37; 2006-203, s. 104; 2006-264, s. 1(b); 2007-323, s. 10.19B(a); 2009-451, s. 20C.1(a); 2011-145, s. 10.5(b); 2015-264, s. 78; 2016-30, s. 2.)