Progress on transparency in outsourcing

Source: WFSE, Hotline, April 16, 2015

Federation members won a huge first step toward full transparency when the state wants to outsource state employees’ work.

The House on Wednesday (April 15) adopted an amendment to Sen. Mark Miloscia’s government transparency bill (SSB 5081) that embodies concepts from the Federation-initiated Taxpayer Protection Act proposal (HB 1915) that stalled in a House committee.

The amendment sponsored by Rep. Sam Hunt of the 22nd Dist. helps corral the abuses on work orders and change orders by private contractors. The Hunt Amendment would post on the Department of Enterprise Services website any increase in the cost or scope of an existing outsourcing contract. The Hunt Amendment also calls for information on the DES website on any cost savings or efficiency information that agencies use to outsource state employees’ work under the competitive contracting statute.

A previous amendment adopted by the House State Government Committee that would have put most of the Federation-initiated Taxpayer Protection Act language into the Miloscia bill was ruled out of order because it went beyond the Miloscia bill’s original subject matter.

The House also tacked on another amendment to help our Higher Education members’ efforts for budget transparency at their respective colleges and universities. The amendment sponsored by Rep. Larry Haler of the 8th Dist. requires the education data center to post on its data dashboard actual expenditure records of each institution of higher education. The Haler Amendment also requires each institution of higher education to submit to the education data center its actual expenditure records within 90 days of the adoption of its annual fiscal year budget.

With those amendments, SSB 5081 passed the House 97-1. It now goes back to the Senate for acceptance or rejection of the House amendments.
Bipartisan outsourcing accountability bill introduced
Source: WFSE, Hotline, February 2, 2015

A Federation-initiated bill to open proposed outsourcing of state jobs to more public scrutiny has been introduced in the Legislature. House Bill 1915, the Taxpayer Protection Act, would increase cost-effectiveness, transparency and accountability in outsourcing of state work. It’s similar to 2014 legislation that gained national attention, passed the state House and was the focus of a special Senate committee hearing.