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Relating to procurement of a contingent fee contract for legal services by certain governmental entities.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 2826 would make the contingent fee contracting process for political subdivisions similar to the process used by state governmental entities. In selecting an attorney or law firm for the purposes of a contingency fee contract, this bill would require that the political subdivision select a well-qualified attorney or law firm on the basis of demonstrated competence, qualifications, and experience in the requested services, and attempt to negotiate a contract for a fair and reasonable price.
This bill would also require an open meeting for consideration of the contingent fee contract with written notice to the public stating certain specified information. The contract would be subject to disclosure for purposes of state public information law and would prohibit the contract from being withheld from a requestor under provisions of that law (barring any other exception from required disclosure). A political subdivision would be required to receive attorney general approval of such a contract before the contract is effective and enforceable.
This bill would exempt from these requirements contracts relating to suits to collect delinquent taxes or under provisions relating to authority of an issuer of public securities to contract for services.
Texas Action is supports HB 2826 because it advances the principles of limited government. This bill would increase government efficiency by requiring that the political subdivision pay a reasonable price for the best available service. In addition, the bill increases transparency by requiring the political subdivison to provide a written notice to the public with relevant information, and by requiring additional oversight from the attorney general's office.