Q Under the Local Government Debt Collection Setoff Act (“the Act”)(HB 991, 2019), which was codified as Sections 27-7-801 et seq, may the county appoint or employ an entity, not a county employee, as its point of contact with the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, i.e., the local Planning and Development District (PDD)? May the county employ the PDD as its agent to provide written notice to the debtor? May the county designate the PDD to hold the hearing?

A The Act provides for the local government to submit a debt owed for collection, as well as provide the required notice. The Act does not authorize the county to delegate its statutory duties assigned under the Act except to the member organization and as specifically described in the Act. As to the hearing, the Act specifically states that the governing body “or a person designated by the governing body shall hold the hearing.” The board may designate someone to conduct the hearing and make a recommendation to the board for a final determination. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Tutor, January 8, 2020)