(1) For purposes of sections 81-8,239.01 to 81-8,239.08 and 81-8,239.11, unless the context otherwise requires, the definition of state agencies found in section 81-8,210 shall apply, except that such term shall not include the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.
(2) There is hereby established a division within the Department of Administrative Services to be known as the risk management and state claims division. The division shall be headed by the Risk Manager who shall be appointed by the Director of Administrative Services. The division shall be responsible for the Risk Management Program, which program is hereby created. The program shall consist of the systematic identification of exposures to risk of loss as provided in sections 11-201 to 11-203, 13-911, 25-2165, 43-1320, 44-1615, 44-1616, 48-194, 48-197, 48-1,103, 48-1,104, 48-1,107, 48-1,109, 81-8,212, 81-8,220, 81-8,225, 81-8,226, 81-8,233, 81-8,239.01 to 81-8,239.08, 81-8,239.11, 81-8,300, and 81-1801.02 and shall include the appropriate methods for dealing with such exposures in relation to the state budget pursuant to such sections. Such program shall be administered by the Risk Manager and shall include the operations of the State Claims Board and other operations provided in such sections.
(3) Under the Risk Management Program, the Risk Manager shall have the authority and responsibility to:
(a) Employ any personnel necessary to administer the Risk Management Program;
(b) Develop and maintain loss and exposure data on all state property and liability risks;
(c) Develop and recommend risk reduction or elimination programs for the state and its agencies and establish, implement, and monitor a statewide safety program;
(d) Determine which risk exposures shall be insured and which risk exposures shall be self-insured or assumed by the state;
(e) Establish standards for the purchase of necessary insurance coverage or risk management services at the lowest costs, consistent with good underwriting practices and sound risk management techniques;
(f) Be the exclusive negotiating and contracting agency to purchase insurance or risk management services and, after consultation with the state agency for which the insurance or services are purchased, enter into such contracts on behalf of the state and its agencies, officials, and employees to the extent deemed necessary and in the best interest of the state, and authorize payment for such purchase out of the appropriate funds created by section 81-8,239.02;
(g) Determine whether the state suffered a loss for which self-insured property loss funds have been created and authorize and administer payments for such loss from the State Self-Insured Property Fund for the purpose of replacing or rebuilding state property;
(h) Perform all duties assigned to the Risk Manager under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act and sections 11-201 to 11-203, 81-8,239.05, 81-8,239.07, 81-8,239.11, and 84-1601 to 84-1615;
(i) Approve the use of risk management pools by any department, agency, board, bureau, commission, or council of the State of Nebraska; and
(j) Recommend to the Legislature such legislation as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Risk Management Program and make appropriation requests for the administration of the program and the funding of the separate funds administered by the Risk Manager.
(4) No official or employee of any entity created pursuant to the Interlocal Cooperation Act or the Joint Public Agency Act shall be considered a state official or employee for purposes of sections 81-8,239.01 to 81-8,239.06.