(1) The department shall meet the costs associated with the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program from funds appropriated to it.
(a) The department shall include the costs associated with support of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program when developing its budget requests for consideration by the Governor and submittal to the Legislature.
(b) The department may divert from the federal ombudsman appropriation an amount equal to the department’s administrative cost ratio to cover the costs associated with administering the program. The remaining allotment from the Older Americans Act program shall be expended on direct ombudsman activities.
(2) The department shall monitor the office, the state council, and the local councils to ensure that each is carrying out the duties delegated to it by state and federal law.
(3) The department is responsible for ensuring that the office:
(a) Has the objectivity and independence required to qualify it for funding under the federal Older Americans Act.
(b) Provides information to public and private agencies, legislators, and others.
(c) Provides appropriate training to representatives of the office or of the state or local councils.
(d) Coordinates ombudsman services with the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities and with providers of legal services to residents of long-term care facilities in compliance with state and federal laws.
(4) The department shall also:
(a) Receive and disburse state and federal funds for purposes that the ombudsman has formulated in accordance with the Older Americans Act.
(b) Whenever necessary, act as liaison between agencies and branches of the federal and state governments and the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.