FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2007
Austin, TX -- The Texas Senate today (Tuesday) passed Senate Bill 769 by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, which significantly would improve the processes by which state agencies solicit, negotiate, enter into and manage contracts with vendors.
"Controversies regarding high-profile state contracts during the last several years have underscored the state's need for greater oversight and accountability in its contracting procedures," Senator Zaffirini said. "I am grateful to Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for highlighting the need for legislation to improve accountability in state contracting."
SB 769 would subject major state contracts to a rigorous review process prior to its approval by using Governmental in Nature (GIN) analyses. What's more, the bill would expand the training processes for employees involved in contracting, improve contract reporting mechanisms for state agencies, require needed provisions to address amendments and address ethical issues specific to contracting.
SB 769 also would establish stronger review processes and safeguards prior to a state contract's approval and ensure that contractors perform outsourced duties and activities at the highest and most efficient quality levels.
In 2004 Lt. Governor Dewhurst directed Senate committee chairs to improve the accountability and provide stricter oversight of state outsourcing. Senator Zaffirini served as chair of the Senate Finance Committee's Interim Subcommittee on State Contracting Practices and authored SB 12 (2005) based on the committee's findings.
SB 769 builds on SB 12 and includes additional reforms recommended by the Legislative Budget Board, various state agencies and the vendor community.
This bill must be passed by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to Governor Rick Perry for final approval. The continued progress of this and all bills authored by Senator Zaffirini can be monitored via the internet at www.zaffirini.senate.state.tx.us or by contacting the Texas Legislative Reference Library's toll free in-state hotline, 1-877-824-7038.