Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/17/1993 09:10 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE March 17, 1993 9:10 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Loren Leman, Chairman Senator Mike Miller, Vice Chairman Senator Robin Taylor Senator Jim Duncan MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Johnny Ellis ALSO PRESENT Senator Randy Phillips COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 128 "An Act relating to legislative audits." SENATE BILL NO. 129 "An Act relating to the state's chief procurement officer." SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 23 Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to the powers and duties of the legislative auditor. PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION SB 128 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/10/93. SB 129 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/3/93. SJR 23 - No previous action to record. WITNESS REGISTER Randy Welker, Legislative Auditor Legislative Affairs Agency P.O. Box 113300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-3300 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 128, SB 129, and SJR 23. Dugan Petty, Director Division of General Services Department of Administration P.O. Box 110210 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0210 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 129. Senator Randy Phillips State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99811-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 129 and SJR 23. Chris Christianson, Staff Counsel Judicial Branch 303 K Street Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2084 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SJR 23. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-20, SIDE A Number 001 Chairman Leman called the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting to order at 9:10 a.m. and announced SB 128 (LEGISLATIVE AUDITS) to be up for consideration. SENATOR MILLER moved to adopt CSSB 128(STA). There were no objections and it was so ordered. RANDY WELKER, Legislative Auditor, said the State Affairs CS makes one change on page 2, line 3 by inserting "executive branch" so it was clear the Office of Management and Budget had authority to direct implementation of audit recommendations to the judicial branch. SENATOR TAYLOR commented that he didn't see the reason for putting something into statute when it was the Executive branch's duty, anyhow. MR. WELKER explained SB 128 required Legislative Audit to report their progress to the Budget and Audit Committee. SENATOR TAYLOR moved to pass CSSB 128(STA) from committee with individual recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered. Number 92 SENATOR LEMAN announced SB 129 (POWERS OF CHIEF PROCUREMENT OFFICER) to be up for consideration. SENATOR MILLER moved to adopt CSSB 129(STA). There were no objections and it was so ordered. MR. WELKER again testified. He said the committee substitute deletes a blanket reference saying the responsibilities of the chief procurement officer may not be delegated, because there are certain responsibilities that are appropriate to delegate. Section 3 provides for some professional services to fall under the small procurement statutes as do other types of purchases. Section 5 distinguishes emergency procurements from others. Sections 7, 8, 9, and 10 were recommended by the Administration. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS explained Section 4 allows for the delegation of authority for small procurements of professional services. Number 168 DUGAN PETTY, Director, Division of General Services, said currently the statute prohibits a cost plus a percentage of cost contract. They want that to continue, but he still had three areas of concern with this bill. First, the salary of the Chief Procurement Officer should be commensurate with the duties of his position. If the duties changed significantly, the range may very well increase. Second, in Section 5, the emergency procurements section, they propose language saying, "except when there is insufficient time for the Chief Procurement Officer's prior determination." An independent examination of material facts should be at the discretion of the Chief Procurement Officer was the last change MR. PETTY offered. MR. WELKER said setting the salary in statute would make the position more independent from political whim. The purpose behind requiring an independent determination was to add some accountability to the position of the Chief Procurement Officer. SENATOR TAYLOR moved to pass CSSB 129(STA) from committee with individual recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered. Number 265 SENATOR LEMAN announced SJR 23 (LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR'S POWERS) to be up for consideration. REPRESENTATIVE RANDY PHILLIPS, sponsor, said that Legislative Audit needed some authority to enforce the recommendations of the audits. Number 298 MR. WELKER said this resolution proposes some substantial changes to the constitution. He views this language as a tool of last resort in any kind of perceived action taken under the authority of this provision. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS added that should the auditor abuse his powers, he can be removed by the legislature as a full body or by the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee. Number 338 SENATOR DUNCAN said instead of putting this totally on the legislative auditor, the legislature wants to remain in control. You might allow the impoundment of funds after a recommendation made by the legislative auditor, approved by a majority of the legislative budget and audit committee. He noted the Budget and Audit Committee might not meet for several months, and a legislative auditor could decide in May and decide there should be an impoundment of funds and do it. One individual should not have that authority. Some check is needed on the auditor, also. Number 379 CHRIS CHRISTIANSON, Office of the Governor, said he wasn't here to oppose the bill. He said he was concerned that this might upset the delicate balance of power that currently exists. He anticipates when the auditor issues an order to the Governor for impoundment, if the the Governor doesn't like that, the Attorney General would write an opinion which says it doesn't apply in that case. Number 412 SENATOR DUNCAN pointed out an area he thought was inconsistent where an auditor can impound, but the release of that impoundment order by a vote of the legislature could cause some difficulty, because they only meet 4 months out of the year. He didn't want to turn veto power over to one individual who is not even an elected official. SENATOR LEMAN said they would discuss this resolution at a future time and adjourned the meeting at 9:40 a.m.