Sec. 712 OLDER AMERICANS ACT OF 1965 128

that pertain to the health, safety, welfare, and rights of the residents, with respect to the adequacy of long-term care facilities and services in the State;

(ii) recommend any changes in such laws, regulations, policies, and actions as the Office determines to be appropriate; and

(iii) facilitate public comment on the laws, regulations, policies, and actions;

(H)(i) provide for training representatives of the Office;

(ii) promote the development of citizen organizations, to participate in the program; and

(iii) provide technical support for the development of resident and family councils to protect the well-being and rights of residents; and

(I) carry out such other activities as the Commissioner determines to be appropriate.

(4) CONTRACTS AND ARRANGEMENTS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the State agency may establish and operate the Office, and carry out the program, directly, or by contract or other arrangement with any public agency or nonprofit private organization.

(B) LICENSING AND CERTIFICATION ORGANIZATIONS; ASSOCIATIONS.—The State agency may not enter into the contract or other arrangement described in subparagraph (A) with—

(i) an agency or organization that is responsible for licensing or certifying long-term care services in the State; or

(ii) an association (or an affiliate of such an association) of long-term care facilities, or of any other residential facilities for older individuals.

(5) DESIGNATION OF LOCAL OMBUDSMAN ENTITIES AND REPRESENTATIVES.—

(A) DESIGNATION.—In carrying out the duties of the Office, the Ombudsman may designate an entity as a local Ombudsman entity, and may designate an employee or volunteer to represent the entity.

(B) DUTIES.—An individual so designated shall, in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the Office and the State agency—

(i) provide services to protect the health, safety, welfare and rights of residents;

(ii) ensure that residents in the service area of the entity have regular, timely access to representatives of the program and timely responses to complaints and requests for assistance;

(iii) identify, investigate, and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents that relate to action, inaction, or decisions, that may adversely affect the health, safety, welfare, or rights of the residents;

(iv) represent the interests of residents before government agencies and seek administrative, legal, and



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