BillTracker

Protecting taxpayers by providing for accountability and transparency in government contracting (Dolan, Harris, Hudgins)

Establishes the taxpayer protection act. Requires agencies to conduct a comprehensive impact assessment before issuing a request for a proposal, to contract out to purchase from a private sector entity or nonprofit organization, services that have been customarily and historically provided by public employees.
Expands the duties of the department of enterprise services, the office of financial management, and the joint legislative audit and review committee with regard to accountability and transparency in government contracting.

1ST SUBSTITUTE COMPARED TO ORIGINAL:
References in the substitute bill to "services" are changed to "goods and services."
The requirement to conduct a comprehensive impact assessment is limited to those instances where a request-for-proposal (RFP) will be issued under the authorities that govern the procurement of goods and services, for goods and services that have been customarily and historically provided by public employees, and where the estimated cost of performance is at least $20,000, rather than instances where an RFP will be issued for any sort of service at any price that has been customarily and historically provided by public employees. The comprehensive impact assessment may consider whether contracts with a private sector entity may result in a gain or loss in public sector employment, rather than just a loss in public sector employment. Following the comprehensive assessment, a written record must be prepared that requires the agency to show the basis for the decision, for either contracting out for goods and services or for performing and procuring the goods and services using
public sector employees.
In addition to the requirement for the agency to file with the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) every five years or upon completion of the contract a report of the performance under the contract, the agency must also report similarly regarding work completed by public sector employees. The additional terms that govern the performance of a service that is contracted out is modified to apply to such performance by an agency.
The requirements governing uniform policies and procedures in the management of contracts are applied to the management of agency project plans, as well. The departmental review of performance-based work is required at least semiannually, instead of periodically.
If directed to do so in the omnibus operating budget, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) or the State Auditor may conduct the review that is otherwise required of the Office of Financial Management (OFM) at the beginning of each fiscal biennium
through the 2017-19 biennium, to determine whether agency work may be conducted more effectively and cost-efficiently under contract. After the OFM, JLARC, or State Auditor has reviewed the agency work to determine whether it may be more cost effective to contract the work out privately, the agency is required to post the OFM report to the agency website.

EFFECT OF STRIKER AMENDMENT:
Adds language specifying that work performed by private entities and nonprofit organizations is pursuant to contracts, and that work performed by public employees is pursuant to project plans. Clarifies that various provisions apply to both goods and services, and also to both private contracts and project plans (e.g., comprehensive impact assessments and statements of performance objectives). Specifies that, before contracting out for goods and services customarily and historically provided by public employees, agencies must meet the criteria for competitive contracting in the Personnel Services Reform Act (PSRA). Requires the Office of Financial Management, in reviews conducted until June 30, 2019, to determine whether work by the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) may be performed by an employee business unit or another agency in a more cost-efficient and effective manner. Makes the competitive contracting provisions of the PSRA applicable to contracting for certain services and activities by DES and the Consolidated Technology Services Agency. Exempts the Department of Transportation from comprehensive impact assessment and reporting requirements when contracting for goods and services. Clarifies that contracts and project plans must include terms requiring that either the contractor reimburse the agency or the agency absorb certain additional costs required to achieve full performance. Prohibits agencies, when there are such additional costs, from using funds intended for other purposes to supplement or supplant funds for the good or service. Makes provisions applicable to private contracts also applicable to contracts with employee business units and interlocal agreements with other agencies. Makes a technical correction to a cross-referenced statute.

SUMMARY OF CHANGES MADE BY 2ND SUBSTITUTE (State Government, Elections & Information Technology)
The second substitute bill: (1) makes the comprehensive impact assessment, written record requirement, and requirement for certain contract terms applicable to only purchasing services customarily and historically provided by employees in the classified service and employees included in the WMS; (2) removes the requirement for conducting a comprehensive assessment for contracts to purchase goods, leaving the requirement only applicable to contracts for services; (3) removes the exemption for contracts with an estimated cost of $20,000 or less, and contracts awarded under alternate procurement statutes; (4) makes certain agencies and contracts that are already exempt from civil service contracting out provisions also exempt from the requirement to conduct a comprehensive impact assessment, prepare and submit a written record, file a report every five years, and include the additional contract terms; (5) requires the written record to be submitted by the agency only if it decides to contract out for services; (6) removes provisions pertaining to the OFM's review of the DES programs and requirements that the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee's report of the OFM's program review contain certain analysis; and (7) restores current law that exempts certain contracting activities by Consolidated Technology Services from contracting out requirements.


EFFECT OF HOUSE FLOOR AMENDMENTS
(1) Exempts contracts with an estimated cost of contract performance of $20,000 or less from the requirement to complete a comprehensive impact assessment, submit a written record and a 5- year report, and include certain contract terms in agreements. (2) Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee to conduct a review of, and prepare a report on, the new contracting out processes and provisions during the 2022 calendar year. (3) Clarifies that contracts for fire suppression are contracts for services expressly mandated by the legislature, and therefore exempt from the requirements relating to the comprehensive impact assessment, written record and 5-year report, required terms of agreements, and competitive contracting.

SENATE COMMITTEE (State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections) STRIKER AMENDMENT
Provides an exemption for contracts awarded on major projects, as defined by the Office of Financial Management, for services related to construction, architecture, engineering, and land surveying.

Hearing Date: Monday, February 19, 2018 -- 6:00 pm

WA State Legislature Link:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1851&Year=2017    (opens a new browser tab)