The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 25, 2011
Lawmaker wants state to post outsourcing contracts on Web

110124 mike eng.jpgAssemblyman Mike Eng, D-Monterey Park, has brought back a bill that would force state agencies to list all personal services contracts, including those for information technology and engineering, on a user-friendly Website.

The measure, AB 172, aims to boost state government's business transparency. SEIU Local 1000 supports the measure as one way to expose costly outsourcing deals that cost the state more money than if the jobs were performed by state employees.

Eng's bill would require each state agency report its outside contracting for consulting and services to the Department of Finance, which would then pass it on to the Legislature. The measure includes a business "death penalty":

This bill would make contractors who fail to provide this information ineligible for any future personal services contracts or consulting services contracts and would cease payment for any ongoing contracts until the information is provided.

Eng has put up similar measures before. In 2009, the Legislature passed AB 756, but then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it with this rationale.

"While I am supportive of greater transparency in government, this legislation would be duplicative of current reporting practices and increases workload and costs to departments at a time when the state continues to experience a significant budget shortfall. My Administration is currently implementing many of the provisions of this legislation within the existing appropriation of the Department of General Services to increase transparency."

PHOTO: Assemblyman Mike Eng /

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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