Jane Interesting question. I presume you are asking whether the WIBs are public or private entities. I am more inclined to believe that a local WIB is a public board (like many other public boards in our state) or an instrumentality of a public agency (local unit of government under the authority of a chief elected official, etc). Consider the following: 1. 29 USCS § 2832(e) (WIA Sunshine provision) requires WIBs to have open meetings. I read this provision to also require compliance with state freedom of information (FOIA) laws. In Michigan, the FOIA applies to "public bodies." Public bodies includes a board or "any other body...primarily funded by or through state or local authority." MCL 15.242(b). 2. Although local public officials in Michigan may have a seat on the board of a private non-profit corporation (provided that there is no conflict of interest), public bodies and public officials in their official capacity (including those who serve on WIBs), do not have state statutory or constitutional authority to join in the formation of a private corporation, nor delegate/share their public functions to/with a private entity. OAG, 1989-90, No 6563, p 28 (January 26, 1989). 3. Private entities can lend their credit; public entities in Michigan cannot except as authorized by law, Mich Const 1963, art 9 Section 18. If a WIB were viewed as a private entity, it would be free to contract for debt obligations. Because WIA provides that local CEOs are liable for misspent funds, and because CEOs and the government instrumentalities that they represent can only contract for statutorily or constitutionally authorized debt, an incorporated WIB could not oblige the CEO beyond that permitted by law. I am not clear how an incorporated WIB would be able to separate its public vs private functions, and, account for those functions (Note: I believe there are different OMB fiscal standards applicable to public entities vs private corporations). 4. Receipt of WIA funding is conditioned on on the creation of WIBs. However, I don't see anything in WIA that requires local CEOs to outsource the function of a WIB to a private entity, or, more significantly, to create a private entity to act as the WIB. On the contrary, CEOs select members of the WIB within WIA parameters, and WIBs can only operate within the parameters of the local plan. The fact that a majority of WIB members must be from the private sector does not transform the board into a private sector entity. By law, we have many boards in Michigan that have private sector members on them (i.e. are not employees of a public agency). They are still public boards. 5. If a WIB were to be sued for negligence in Michigan, at this point I believe our state governmental immunity protections would extend to the WIB board members serving on a "public board." Governmental immunity in Michigan is not extended to a private entity or its staff. (On the contrary, Texas has extended immunity to an incorporated JTPA workforce investment board employee. See Alamo Workforce Development, Inc et al v Van, 21 SW 3d 428 (March 15, 2000)). 6. WIBs can become decertified by the governor for failure to comply with WIA requirements. However, whether the governor (or the attorney general) could revoke the charter of a private nonprofit corporation for failure to meet WIA requirements is a wholly different question. 7. We have numerous state AG opinions that indicate that, in the absence of staturoy authorization, a county may not join with another county to form a private, non-profit corporation. Rather, public entities that desire to jointly engage in performing a statutorily permitted function can do so through what we call our Urban Cooperation Act, MCL 124.531 et seq. OAG, 1979-1980, No. 5750, p. 899 (July 29,1980), provides: "Nonprofit corporations are private legal entities which operate in the non-governmental, private sector. While nonprofit corporations often provide a variety of servies to government and the public, the rendering of such services does not convert a nonprofit corporation into a public entity....The legislature has authorized the formation of certain public legal entitiies and the utilization of various intergovernmental contracts to facilitate joint governmental efforts for the furnishing of various services....The enumeration of powers to counties to enter into interlocal agreements [under the Urban Cooperation Act] must be deemed to exclude all others of a similar nature in that same field. Thus the legislature did not intend to authorize such intergovernmental undertakings through nonprofit corporations." Notwithstanding, I believe that the WIBs and CEOs could contract with a private entity to provide administrative services in accord with the WIB's policy decisions and the approved local plan. This email is, of course, not the formal opinion of the Attorney General in Michigan. Sante Perrelli Assistant Attorney General State Operations Division >>> "Pomerantz, Jane C. (GC-LI)" <jpomerantz@xxxxxxxxxxx> 6/21/2005 1:18:07 PM >>> >>> Has anyone reviewed the issue of whether the local WIBs are public instrumentalities? I don't think they are but I wondered if anyone has explored the issue. Thanks JP Jane C. Pomerantz Deputy Chief Counsel Department of Labor & Industry Phone: 717-787-4186 Fax: 717-787-1303 Wisdom is knowing the right road to take. Integrity is taking it.