By West                                         S.B. No. 1240

      75R3769 JRD-D                           

                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-1                                   AN ACT

 1-2     relating to the state's purchasing of services for state agency

 1-3     clients.


 1-5           SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 531, Government Code, is

 1-6     amended by adding Section 531.0275 to read as follows:

 1-7           Sec. 531.0275.  PURCHASING CLIENT SERVICES.  (a)  The

 1-8     commission shall coordinate and adopt rules to govern the

 1-9     purchasing by state agencies of services for their clients,

1-10     including agencies that are not health and human services agencies.

1-11     The commission's rules adopted under this section apply directly to

1-12     health and human services agencies. Other state agencies shall

1-13     adopt rules governing purchases of services for their clients that

1-14     are consistent with the commission's rules.

1-15           (b)  The commission's rules must ensure consistent practices

1-16     in the procurement of services for clients, efficient and effective

1-17     monitoring of contract providers, and improved accountability for

1-18     contract providers. The rules must:

1-19                 (1)  describe various contracting arrangements and

1-20     provide information to guide agencies in determining which

1-21     arrangements are most advantageous in particular situations;

1-22                 (2)  provide clear definitions of contracting terms;

1-23                 (3)  list minimum requirements and standard language

1-24     for the contracts;

 2-1                 (4)  prescribe mandatory or describe sample performance

 2-2     and outcome measures for the contracts; and

 2-3                 (5)  prescribe procedures for efficiently coordinating

 2-4     audits of contractors who contract with more than one agency or

 2-5     more than one division within an agency.

 2-6           SECTION 2.  Subchapter C, Chapter 2101, Government Code, is

 2-7     amended by adding Section 2101.040 to read as follows:


 2-9     CLIENTS.  To the extent feasible, the comptroller shall use the

2-10     uniform statewide accounting system to compile and make available

2-11     to the Health and Human Services Commission useful information

2-12     about state agencies' purchases of services for their clients. The

2-13     commission shall indicate to the comptroller the information that

2-14     the commission needs to monitor, improve, and coordinate those

2-15     purchases.

2-16           SECTION 3.  The Health and Human Services Commission shall

2-17     preside over a working group to research the laws that govern the

2-18     purchasing of services by state agencies for their clients and to

2-19     develop recommendations on the feasibility and advisability of

2-20     merging those laws into a single comprehensive statute or otherwise

2-21     clarifying the law that governs those purchases. The working group

2-22     is composed of representatives of the commission, the governor's

2-23     office, the General Services Commission, the comptroller, the state

2-24     auditor, the Texas Legislative Council, and each agency that in the

2-25     opinion of the Health and Human Services Commission spends a

2-26     significant amount of money purchasing services for its clients.

2-27     The working group shall report its findings and recommendations to

 3-1     the legislature not later than November 1, 1998. The working group

 3-2     is abolished June 1, 1999.

 3-3           SECTION 4.  The comptroller with the assistance of the Health

 3-4     and Human Services Commission shall study the costs and benefits of

 3-5     developing a statewide contract management information system for

 3-6     managing the purchasing of services by state agencies for their

 3-7     clients. As part of the study, the comptroller and the commission

 3-8     shall examine the extent to which the uniform statewide accounting

 3-9     system could feasibly be modified to serve as the contract

3-10     management information system, whether it is feasible to use the

3-11     information in the uniform statewide accounting system to create a

3-12     separate contract management information system, and whether it

3-13     would be cost-effective to request proposals from private vendors

3-14     to create an entirely new contract management information system.

3-15     The comptroller shall report the findings and conclusions of the

3-16     study to the legislature not later than October 1, 1998.

3-17           SECTION 5.  The importance of this legislation and the

3-18     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

3-19     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

3-20     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

3-21     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,

3-22     and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its

3-23     passage, and it is so enacted.