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SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 9
INTRODUCED BY M. COLE, C. AHNER, S. BARTLETT, G. JERGESON, B. REHBEIN, M. TAYLOR
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA REQUESTING AN INTERIM STUDY OF THE STATE'S LAWS AND PROCEDURES THAT GOVERN THE DEVELOPMENT, ADMINISTRATION, AND ENFORCEMENT OF CONTRACTS WITH PRIVATE SECTOR VENDORS TO COMPLETE GOVERNMENT PROJECTS OR DELIVER GOVERNMENT SERVICES.
WHEREAS, a national trend toward privatization of government services has led many states to closely examine and refine their contracting laws and procedures; and
WHEREAS, the State of Montana is relying to an ever-greater degree on numerous types of services provided through contracts with private sector vendors; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Administration and other entities have indicated that there is a large body of new information deriving from other states' contract development and administration experiences that may be of great value to the Legislature and the State of Montana; and
WHEREAS, Montana's large-scale contracts with private sector vendors include a diverse range of services, such as prisons, managed care, and information technology; and
WHEREAS, the success or failure of government programs provided by private sector vendors hinges on the ability of the state to effectively develop, negotiate, and enforce contracts with the private sector; and
WHEREAS, risks to state resources are inherent in the contracting process; and
WHEREAS, both the Joint Oversight Committee on State Management Systems and the Legislative Finance Committee have expressed concerns about an absence of adequate protection of the state's interests throughout the contracting process; and
WHEREAS, it is a responsibility of the Legislature to examine whether adequate, consistent policies and procedures are in place to ensure that appropriate contracting practices are in use.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
(1) That the Legislative Council be requested to designate an appropriate interim committee to review the laws and practices associated with the state's contracting with private sector vendors.
(2) That the study include but not be limited to the following:
(a) a thorough review of current law governing contracting, procurement, and contract enforcement;
(b) a thorough review of current state agency contracting, procurement, and enforcement procedures;
(c) an examination of how other states have addressed increases in the scale and scope of contracts with private sector vendors, including other states' experiences with centralizing state procurement, contracting, and contract enforcement responsibilities in special review boards, commissions, and councils;
(d) a review of recent Montana experiences with contracting for services and contract enforcement, paying particular attention to large-scale contracts and the lessons learned from the experiences;
(e) an examination of the possibilities for providing agencywide consistency in the contracting process and enhancing protection of the state's interests in contract negotiation and enforcement; and
(f) an examination of the current level of review and technical support provided during the development of a contract.
(3) That the Legislative Services Division provide the primary staff support to the committee that is assigned this study, but that the committee be strongly encouraged to enlist staff assistance from the entire Legislative Branch.
(4) That the committee assigned this study report to the 57th Legislature and the Governor its findings and recommendations. The report may include but is not limited to the following:
(a) lessons learned as a result of the state's experiences with large-scale contracts;
(b) recommendations for improving and standardizing the state's contracting laws and procedures to provide adequate enforcement of contract provisions and ensure protection of state interests; and
(c) any legislation the committee requests to implement its recommendations.
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Latest Version of SJ 9 (SJ0009.ENR)
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