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Deputy Chief of Staff, Programming and Planning Johnny Anderson, appointed by Louisiana Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards, at a press conference, Wednesday, December 16, 2015, at LSU's West Campus Apartments' Activity Building in Baton Rouge, La.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

Gov. John Bel Edwards named Friday the members of his task force investigating sexual harassment policies in state government.

The Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policy holds its first meeting Monday at 10:30 a.m.

The task force, which Edwards established last week by executive order, is to submit a report to the governor by March 1. All state agencies that fall under Edwards have also been directed to review their own policies and submit reports to his administration by Jan. 1.

“Sexual harassment and discrimination have no place in the workplace and this task force will provide critical feedback on the current policies and procedures in our state agencies that are working and what improvements are needed in order to provide safe work environments for our employees,” Edwards said in a press release.

It is at least the fourth probe that has been launched into how Louisiana government handles harassment allegations, amid a growing national focus on sexual misconduct and news that Edward's deputy chief of staff Johnny Anderson resigned facing harassment allegations. Anderson has denied wrongdoing.

Separately, the state legislative auditor, at the request of State Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, is looking into the issue, as well as various hiring practices.

The Senate Select Committee on Women and Children is scheduled to hold a hearing on Friday to examine the state House and Senate's handling of harassment allegations, among other topics on the issue.

The Louisiana Women’s Policy and Research Commission also has been looking into sexual harassment in state government.

“Every member of this task force brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, and I have confidence in their ability to meet the goals and objectives set before them,” Edwards said.

The Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policy members are:

• Terrence Ginn, deputy commissioner for finance & administration at the Louisiana Board of Regents

• Sandra Schober, deputy director of administrative services for the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office

• Makayla Weber-Harris, staffing assistant division administrator of the Louisiana State Civil Service

• Janice Lansing (Chairperson), chief financial officer of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

• Tina Vanichchagorn, deputy executive counsel, Office of the Governor

• Suzette Meiske (Vice Chair), human resources director for the Louisiana Community Technical College System

• Dr. Courtland Chaney, Ph.D., retired faculty, Louisiana State University School of Business

Their duties will include but are not limited to the following:

• Review the sexual harassment and discrimination policies of each state agency within the executive branch.

• Research and identify the most effective mode of training to prevent workplace sexual harassment and discrimination and evaluate the effectiveness of the existing video state employees are required to view each year.

• Develop a protocol for sexual harassment and discrimination policy orientation for new employees, those participating in any state sponsored training academy and employees promoted to supervisory positions.

• Research and identify the specific conduct that should be prohibited by sexual harassment and discrimination policies.

• Research and identify a clear reporting process when an allegation is made as well as the most appropriate action that should be taken once an investigation is completed.

The task force will make specific recommendations to ensure uniformity of sexual harassment and discrimination policies across the agencies and submit a report to the governor regarding its findings no later than March 1, 2018.

Follow Mark Ballard on Twitter, @MarkBallardCnb.