Senate and House Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Chairmen John Polk and Jerry Turner are taking another crack at state contract reform.
In 2015, in large part a response to the massive federal corruption case against former state Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps who steered hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts in exchange for bribes, lawmakers passed a reform measure. But it was weakened during the legislative process and, Polk says, agencies have “found ways around the intended controls.”
The reforms have been quite unpopular with many agencies and officials, and not exactly met with open arms, from everything I’ve heard (and seen in contract review board meetings) over the last year or so. Some agency officials have complained the regulations on how contracts are awarded and enacted are too onerous and time consuming.