Folmer's Contract Transparency Bill Passes Senate
HARRISBURG – Senator Mike Folmer's
Senate Bill 1200, legislation to increase transparency of state contracts,
today unanimously passed the full Senate. The bill would require state agency
purchasing agents to provide written documentation for all sole-source, no-bid,
and emergency contracts over $250,000. The legislation would also require state
agencies making such purchases to post contract information on their respective
website, allow for public comment prior to the signing of the contract, and have
it remain on the website for 30 days after it is signed.
"Lack of openness, transparency, and accountability has too
often raised suspicion of the state's procurement process, and if we want
citizens to trust their government, we need to show how – and where – their
dollars are spent. Written documentation and online-posting of state contracts
is a way for government to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars – especially
in these tight economic times," said Folmer.
The legislation stems from concerns about the number and
frequency of no-bid, sole-source, and emergency contracts. In addition, a 2009
audit by the Auditor General relating to various technology contracts, found
weaknesses in the state's procurement process for services as well as careless
monitoring and record-keeping and refusal to provide public documentation.