A. Established. The Governorís Office of Community Initiatives is hereby established. The Office shall be managed by an Executive Director, who shall be primarily responsible for directing and coordinating the Governorís Office on Service and Volunteerism, the Volunteer Maryland program, and community initiatives throughout the State, and will be the Stateís principal interface with local, regional, and federal counterpart organizations. The Executive Director shall advise the Governor on community and volunteer service issues, and shall represent the Governor on boards, forums, and councils as appropriate. The Executive Director shall serve at the will of the Governor.
B. Authority. The Executive Director will direct community initiatives across State government and coordinate with federal and local governments, private sector entities, academia, and community organizations to strengthen community and volunteer service programs and initiatives.
C. Staffing. The Governorís Office of Community Initiatives shall be comprised of limited professional staff appointed by the Governor and by professional staff liaisons from State agencies. The Office shall provide, if necessary, additional administrative support to the Governorís Office on Service and Volunteerism and Volunteer Maryland.
D. Duties. The Office shall be responsible for the following activities:
(1) Coordinating community and volunteer service activities within the State;
(2) Developing and coordinating the Governorís policy agenda affecting community programs and initiatives;
(3) Advising the Governor on policies and measures to enhance and improve the delivery of community and volunteerism services;
(4) Serving as the principal liaison to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives; serving as a liaison to the Governorís Commission on Service and Volunteerism; and, the Corporation for National and Community Service;
(5) Conducting public outreach on behalf of the Governor to encourage greater involvement and participation by community organizations and constituent groups;
(6) Reviewing State and federal legislation to ensure that community organizations are afforded the fullest opportunity permitted by law to ĎĎequallyíí participate in the competitive process for federal, State, and private funding;
(7) Coordinating State programs providing health, social, educational, or other community services within the restrictions created by the Maryland General Assembly through language in the fiscal year 2005 budget, which maintains the eligibility of faith-based organizations to receive monies under any program funded in the 2005 budget.
(8) Conducting a review of State programs in cooperation with appropriate State departments and agencies to identify legislative and regulatory barriers that impede the effectiveness of community organizations to deliver results based social services;
(9) Ensuring compliance with the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, as it appears in Volume 42 of the U.S. Code, Section 2000e-1;
(10) Coordinating efforts in cooperation with the Governorís Grants Office to provide technical assistance more effectively to community organizations as it relates to contracting and grant opportunities to relevant State departments and agencies;
(11) Monitoring community organizations receiving grants or other funds from or administered by the State of Maryland to ensure accountability and measurable outcomes consistent with existing federal and State policies;
(12) Directing and coordinating policy and actions relating to community and volunteer service initiatives across State government; emphasizing communication and cooperation with the federal and local governments on all community and volunteer service concerns; and, providing executive and legislative recommendations to enhance community and volunteerism efforts;
(13) Coordinating public activities designed to mobilize public support for community organizations, volunteer service, and civic participation by individuals, schools, and organizations, with the goal of promoting participation; and
(14) Organizing events to recognize outstanding volunteer service and showcase innovative grassroots community organizations.
E. All State departments, agencies, commissions, and boards are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Governorís Office of Community Initiatives in implementing the provisions of this Executive Order.
F. This Executive Order shall not be construed to alter existing authorities of any Executive department or agency, except that all Executive departments and agencies are directed to assist the Governorís Office of Community Initiatives in carrying out the purposes of this Executive Order.
G. Reports. The Governorís Office of Community Initiatives shall report to the Governor annually on the status of community and volunteerism initiatives in Maryland.