|Case Date:||August 31, 1984|
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1984. AGO 84-16. August 31, 1984Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 84-16 AG Alpha No. IN ED AGANI Frank A. Traylor, M.D. Executive Director Department of Institutions 3550 West Oxford Avenue Denver, CO 80236 RE: Self-insurance of workmen's compensation by the Colorado Department of InstitutionsDear Dr. Traylor: I write in response to your questions about the ability of the Department of Institutions to become a self-insured employer under the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act of Colorado, articles 40 to 54 of title 8, C.R.S. (1973 & 1983 Supp.). QUESTIONS PRESENTED AND CONCLUSIONS Does the Workmen's Compensation Act of Colorado clearly confer upon the Department of Institutions and its executive director the power and authority to elect the method of insuring the payment of workmen's compensation, either: As an "employer" as the term is used in section 8-44-101(1), C.R.S. (1973 & 1983 Supp.)? No. As a "public entity" as the term is used in section 8-44-101(3), C.R.S. (1983 Supp.)? No. ANALYSIS The powers and authority of public officers are determined and circumscribed by law. Public officers "have only such power and authority as are clearly conferred or necessarily implied from the powers granted" (emphasis added). 67 C.J.S. Officers and Public Employees sec. 190 (1978); 63A Am. Jur. 2d Public Officers and Employees sec. 300 (1984); see Douglass v. Kelton, 199 Colo. 446, 610 P.2d 1067 (1980); see also Skidmore v. O'Rourke, 152 Colo. 470, 383 P.2d 473 (1963). "Statutes delegating powers to public officers must be strictly construed." 67 C.J.S. Officers and Public Employees sec. 190. These principles control my analysis of the questions presented, which pertain to the power and authority of the Department of Institutions and its executive director. After reviewing the relevant provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act of Colorado, I conclude with respect to section 8-44-101, C.R.S. (1973 & 1983 Supp.), that neither subsection (1) nor subsection (3) of that section clearly confers upon the Department of Institutions or its executive director the power and authority to elect the method of insurance for workmen's compensation. a. Section 8-44-101(1), C.R.S. (1973 & 1983 Supp.) The Workmen's...
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