BILL CRAWFORD — Gov. Bryant serious about public contracting reforms

Representative Jerry Turner of Baldwyn incorporated many recommendations into tough legislation to revamp state contracting and procurement laws. Senator Nancy Collins of Tupelo and her colleagues weakened Turner’s bill, but still adopted significant reforms.

One key task force recommendation and reform adopted by the Legislature was to revamp the membership of the Personal Service Contract Review Board (PSCRB). The intent was to take review of contracts like those abused by Epps away from active state bureaucrats and put oversight under individuals with professional private sector contracting experience or with equivalent public sector experience but no longer active in state government.

Turner’s bill called for the Governor and the Lt. Governor to appoint two members each. The revamped PSCRB was to take charge July 1, 2014.

In June, Gov. Bryant appointed Bill Moran, a retired FMC Technologies site manager, and Rita Wray, a health care consultant and former deputy director of the Department of Finance and Administration.

Lt. Gov. Reeves has not made his appointments. In early July his office said he was “carefully considering his appointments….This is an important board that needs quality individuals to oversee how taxpayers’ money is spent.” Friday his office said he would make appointments by the end of August.