Governor Bryant Orders State Contracting Reforms

JACKSON—Gov. Phil Bryant has issued two executive orders to reform the public contracting process in Mississippi. The actions are based on recommendations from the Task Force on Contracting and Procurement that Gov. Bryant established in November 2014.

Executive Order 1361 requires the Mississippi Department of Corrections to become a Certified Purchasing Office as determined by the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration.

Achieving the certification requires at least 50 percent of the purchasing agents at MDOC to earn a national purchasing certification from the Universal Public Purchasing Certification Council or other nationally recognized purchasing organization. All MDOC purchasing agents must also hold a certification from Mississippi’s Basic or Advanced Purchasing Certification Program.

“This training will benefit MDOC employees by equipping them with additional skills and will protect taxpayers by ensuring that the people who oversee public contracts are certified to high standards,” Gov. Bryant said.

Building on the Mississippi Transparency Act of 2008 and on contracting reforms passed in the 2015 legislative session, Executive Order 1362 requires agencies posting contracts online to also post an analysis describing why a personal or professional services contract was awarded, renewed, or amended.

The order also requires agencies to provide all employees with information about the fraud and abuse hotline maintained by the Office of the State Auditor.

“This order brings additional transparency to the contracting process and provides hardworking taxpayers with additional information about how their dollars are spent,” Gov. Bryant said. “We will continue to reform and improve Mississippi’s contracting processes.

Additional recommendations from the Task Force on Contracting and Procurement will be considered for legislative action.