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Tell legislators: Pass Taxpayer Protection Act

WFSE-Pass-TPAOLYMPIA (Feb. 26, 2014) — Tax dollars should be spent in the most effective and efficient ways. The public deserves to know what the government is spending their tax dollars on. But right now, those basic rules that apply to state agencies don’t apply when Washington state outsources public services to private contractors.

Washington State agencies have strict reporting requirements in the delivery of public services, making information available for review and inspection by the taxpayer. But contractors delivering outsourced public services are not required to make information available for review and inspection by the taxpayer. Because Washington state outsources more public services than it provides in-house, this lack of comparable oversight leaves the state and taxpayers vulnerable to fraud and abuse.

The Taxpayer Protection Act (HB 2743), sponsored by Rep. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia), would improve cost-effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of any proposed outsourcing of public work.

TAKE A STAND –Urge your legislators to SUPPORT HB 2743. The Taxpayer Protection Act will bring accountability and transparency to outsourced public services. EMAIL this message and/or call 1-800-562-6000 to leave this message.

HB 2743 requires:

Cost analysis prior to contracting.  Agencies must conduct a cost analysis of any proposed outsourcing of work traditionally done by state employees before entering into a contract. The analysis will include estimated costs of work done by public employees and work done by contractors to demonstrate that the outsourcing will produce savings. This report must be filed with the Department of Enterprise Services.

Responsible agreements to contract.  Contracts must include terms that include a cancellation clause, performance objectives, employment and wage information, and a waiver of basic financial information of the contract. Contractors who have committed fraud or other crimes in the previous five years will be debarred from entering into agreements for work with the state.

Increased monitoring and oversight.  Agencies must monitor contracts to ensure they are meeting performance objectives and standards. If these terms are not being met, the state will have the ability to terminate the contract. Contractors, not taxpayers, will be liable for the costs of bringing the contract back into compliance.

HB 2743 passed the House of Representatives by a 53-44 vote on Feb. 14, and it’s scheduled for a public hearing on Thursday, Feb. 27 in the Senate Committee on Governmental Operations at 5:30 p.m. (Watch live on TVW.)

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