Rep. Lightner: More transparency needed in state’s procurement process

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House overwhelmingly approves plan holding state government accountable

The Michigan House today overwhelmingly approved state Rep. Sarah Lightner’s plan holding state government accountable by providing more transparency and oversight to the procurement process.

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) is responsible for contracts and purchasing decisions for all of the agencies under the state government umbrella. When a state agency has purchasing needs, it works with DTMB to enter into procurement contracts.

Lightner said it was revealed during the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget that state agencies were extending procurement contracts without input from DTMB, causing great concern that certain extended contracts could be unfavorable for state operations.

“Without input from DTMB, a state agency could very well extend a procurement contract that is not in the best interest of the state or the hard-working taxpayers of Michigan,” said Lightner, of Springport. “We need to make sure there’s proper oversight and transparency in the procurement process to make sure state government is spending responsibly and within its means.”

Lightner’s plan would ensure more transparency and oversight when state agencies are exercising the option to extend a contract by requiring DTMB to provide written consent.

“This is about respecting Michigan taxpayers and making sure the department charged with overseeing purchasing decisions of state government has the means to effectively do so,” Lightner said.

House Bill 4831 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.