Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 91st General Assembly
July 19th, 2018 • News

July 19, 2018

  • State government spends a lot of money, and as a state senator, I always keep in mind that it’s actually your money being spent.
  • Earlier this summer I reported on the work of legislative auditors, who make sure that every tax dollar is accounted for.
  • Also underway this summer is an update to the operations of the Office of State Procurement. It’s in charge of large purchases and long-term contracts with private companies.
  • The Legislative Council is finalizing a comprehensive list of reforms in how the state procures goods and services, which we’ll consider next session.
  • It’s not as simple as taking bids and getting the best price per unit on basic commodities, such as concrete and asphalt.
  • The complicated cases, which cause most of the complaints by legislators, are when government agencies contract with firms that install and maintain enormous computer systems. The contracts are extremely technical, and often the state is dealing with multiple firms that have joined to bid on a single project.
  • One of the first steps we’ll take is to improve the training of evaluators – the government officials responsible for making sure that computer companies are capable of keeping their promises.
  • A performance contract is of little use if you spend a lot of money on lawyers trying to enforce it.
  • Legislators are using the results of a thorough study of the state’s procurement system, done by a private consultant.
  • The good news is that for the most part, Arkansas falls in line with established practices used by other states and private corporations.
  • So when your tax dollars are spent on concrete and asphalt, or the latest in telecommunications systems, you’re getting what you paid for.
  • From the Capitol, it is always my great honor and sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.
  •       Click to Listen - Audio Recording from July 19, 2018