The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 6, 2011
Bill would curtail state services contracts

Thumbnail image for assembly seal.gifA state Assembly committee has unanimously approved a measure that requires state agencies and departments immediately sever contracts that the State Personnel Board disapproves. Departments that ignore the SPB's decisions would risk the rejection of future contracts for same or similar services.

The Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection on Tuesday voted 8-0 on Assembly Bill 740 by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D-Woodland Hills. the measure now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Blumfield's office cites SEIU Local 1000 research (the union is sponsoring the bill) that says in 2009 the state paid $34 billion for 13,600 personal services and consulting contracts. For context, that's about $4 billion more than twice the total cost, pay and benefits, for the the projected 223,000 executive branch employees for the coming fiscal year.

The state has said the contracts came to about $14 billion.

Curbing outside consulting and services contracts that cut into state jobs is a prime focus for state employee unions. Local 1000 has won 17 of 23 information technology contract challenges it brought before the personnel board by citing violations of Government Code 19130, which sets the standards for personal services contracts.

But many of SPB's decisions were moot because the contracts had already expired before SPB rendered its decisions. The state auditor has looked at outside contracting and recommended that the Legislature clearly define the repercussions of ignoring an SPB ruling and set deadlines and reporting rules for terminating contracts found in violation.

IMAGE: arc.asm.ca.gov

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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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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