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Summary of Legislation: This legislation would continue the Department of Information Resources (DIR) existence for 8 years. In addition, the comptroller's procurement functions would be subject to Sunset review, and its contract procurement functions will be transferred to the Facilities Commission. This bill would require that the Sunset Advisory Commission review the State's entire procurement system and report back to the legislature by 2021. This legislation establishes stricter conflict of interest provisions. This bill establishes formalized contract governance structures for major contracts, and establishes an Internal Audit Division. The DIR is required to improve its reporting requirements. This legislation directs the comptroller and DIR to formalize and coordinate practices of reporting and procurement functions. The LBB notes The Sunset Advisory Commission, DIR and the Comptroller indicate that costs associated with implementing provisions of the bill could be absorbed within existing resources.
Analysis: The DIR provides technology leadership in education and government. It promotes innovation and technological solutions to meet its obligations of protecting and making available public information through Texas.gov. It manages and improves data centers, and communication technology and infrastructure by securing competitive contracts, saving tax payer money. Passage of this bill will promote responsiveness to the public with legislative oversight. This bill also statutorily obligates stricter "conflict of interest rules" thereby further protecting the people from possible abuse of contract negotiation fraud. Passage of this legislation will result in less costly internal and external dispute resolutions under the department’s jurisdiction.
We recommend that legislators vote in favor of HB 2472 in the interest of increasing government efficiency and transparency.