JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from House Democratic Caucus
The Mississippi House Democratic Caucus has requested legislation to address the award of single or sole source contracts by government agencies at the state and local level. The legislation comes on the heels of the announcement of an ongoing investigation of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the indictment of its director. Under current law, state and local agencies may award contracts without a bid process effectively limiting the public from reviewing or otherwise participating in the bid process.
Mississippi House Democratic Caucus Leader Rep. Bobby Moak (D-Bogue Chitto) said, "We are calling on our colleagues across the aisle to join us in helping change the way contracts are awarded at all levels of Mississippi government. We have requested legislation proposing that all government sole-source contracts, of any character and at any level of Mississippi government, be immediately declared illegal within the state."
In addition to proposing legislation, the Democratic Caucus intends to seek a comprehensive list of all sole-source contracts currently in effect including the names of the vendors, contractors, sub-contractors, and costs associated with each contract.
Moak added, "While we appreciate the Governor's decision to form a committee to study this issue, we believe action must be taken in the short term to prevent further abuse. Because we know that the current system is a breeding ground for fraud and abuse, we are asking that our legislation be acted during the opening days of the upcoming session. Now is the time for a full sweep of government contracts and thorough examination of the way tax dollars are being spent by our agencies."