1997 Regular Session
To: Fees, Salaries and Administration
By: Senator(s) Gordon
Senate Bill 2958
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-9-115, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE PERSONNEL BOARD TO DELEGATE AUTHORITY TO THE STATE PERSONNEL DIRECTOR, TO CLARIFY THAT EMPLOYEE APPEALS HEARING OFFICERS ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SERVE BEYOND THEIR APPOINTED TERM UNLESS REAPPOINTED, TO CLARIFY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE PERSONNEL BOARD TO SET THE SALARIES OF CERTAIN EMPLOYEES WHO HOLD PROFESSIONAL LICENSES, TO PROVIDE THAT A PROPOSED REDUCTION-IN-FORCE AS A RESULT OF A CURTAILMENT IN GENERAL FUNDS SHALL BE CERTIFIED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION AND A PROPOSED REDUCTION-IN-FORCE AS A RESULT OF A CURTAILMENT IN SPECIAL FUNDS SHALL BE CERTIFIED BY THE AGENCY, TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE PERSONNEL BOARD TO PRECLUDE STATE SERVICE EMPLOYEES FROM RECEIVING AN ANNUAL SALARY GREATER THAN THE GOVERNOR AND ANY EMPLOYEE WITHIN AN AGENCY FROM RECEIVING AN ANNUAL SALARY GREATER THAN THE AGENCY HEAD AND TO EXTEND THE AUTOMATIC REPEALER ON THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE STATE PERSONNEL BOARD; TO AMEND SECTION 25-3-39, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; TO AMEND SECTIONS 25-9-120 AND 25-9-107, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CREATE A PERSONAL SERVICE CONTRACT REVIEW BOARD AND PROVIDE FOR ITS MEMBERSHIP, TO EMPOWER SAID BOARD TO APPROVE ALL PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONTRACTS BY STATE AGENCIES INVOLVING AN EXPENDITURE IN EXCESS OF $100,000.00 WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS, AND TO EMPOWER SAID BOARD TO PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS WITH RESPECT TO PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONTRACTS AND PROVIDE STANDARDS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS FOR CONTRACTUAL SERVICES; TO AMEND SECTION 25-53-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT PERSONAL SERVICE CONTRACTS EXECUTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PERSONAL SERVICE CONTRACT REVIEW BOARD; TO AMEND SECTION 7-7-211, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE AUDITOR TO CONDUCT PERFORMANCE AUDITS OF PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONTRACTS AT THE REQUEST OF THE BOARD; TO AMEND SECTION 7-7-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT PREAUDIT REVIEW BY THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION WILL VERIFY COMPLIANCE WITH PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONTRACT REGULATIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 31-7-57, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY INDIVIDUAL LIABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS FOR UNLAWFUL PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONTRACTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-9-115, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-9-115. It shall be the specific duty and function of the State Personnel Board to:
(a) Represent the public interest in the improvement of personnel administration in the state departments, agencies and institutions covered by the State Personnel System;
(b) Determine appropriate goals and objectives for the State Personnel System and prescribe policies for their accomplishment, with the assistance of the Mississippi Personnel Advisory Council;
(c) Adopt and amend policies, rules and regulations establishing and maintaining the State Personnel System. Such rules and regulations shall not be applicable to the emergency hiring of employees by the Public Employees' Retirement System pursuant to Section 25-11-15(7). The rules and regulations of the Mississippi Classification Commission and the Mississippi Coordinated Merit System Council serving federal grant-aided agencies in effect on February 1, 1981, shall remain in effect until amended, changed, modified or repealed by the board;
(d) Ensure uniformity in all functions of personnel administration in those agencies required to comply with the provisions of this chapter. The board may delegate authority to the State Personnel Director as deemed necessary for the timely, effective and efficient implementation of the State Personnel System;
(e) Appoint an employee appeals board, consisting of three (3) hearing officers, for the purpose of holding hearings, compiling evidence and rendering decisions on employee dismissals and other personnel matters as provided for in Sections 25-9-127 through 25-9-131. Hearing officers are not entitled to serve beyond their appointed term unless reappointed by the State Personnel Board;
(f) Assure uniformity in the administration of state and federal laws relating to merit administration;
(g) Establish an annual budget covering all the costs of board operations;
(h) With the assistance of the Mississippi Personnel Advisory Council, promote public understanding of the purposes, policies and practices of the State Personnel System and advise and assist the state departments, agencies and institutions in fostering sound principles of personnel management and securing the interest of institutions of learning and of civic, professional and other organizations in the improvement of personnel standards under the State Personnel System;
(i) Recommend policies and procedures for the establishment and abolishment of employment positions within state government and develop a system for the efficient use of personnel resources;
(j) Cooperate with state institutions of higher learning in implementing a career management program in state agencies for graduate students in public administration in order to provide state government with a steady flow of professional public managerial talent;
(k) Prescribe rules which shall provide that an employee in state service is not obliged, by reason of his employment, to contribute to a political fund or to render political service, and that he may not be removed or otherwise prejudiced for refusal to do so;
(l) Prescribe rules which shall provide that an employee in state service shall not use his official authority or influence to coerce the political action of a person or body;
(m) Annually report to the Governor and Legislature on the operation of the State Personnel System and the status of personnel administration in state government;
(n) Require submission and approve organization and staffing plans of departments and agencies in state and nonstate service on such forms and according to such regulations as the board may prescribe to control and limit the growth of subordinate executive and administrative units and positions and to provide for agency staff reorganization without prior board approval when authority to reorganize has been delegated to an agency as provided in paragraph (p);
(o) In coordination with appointing authorities, set the annual salaries of those appointed officials whose salaries are not otherwise set by statute who work on a full-time basis in the capacity of agency head, executive director or administrator of any state department, agency, institution, board or commission under the jurisdiction of the State Personnel Board as provided in Section 25-9-101 et seq., in conformity with the State Personnel Board's compensation plan. Salaries of incumbents required by law to serve in their professional capacity as a physician, dentist, veterinarian or attorney shall be set in accordance with Section 25-9-107(c)(xiii);
(p) Authorize the director to enter into formal agreements with department executive directors and agency directors in which employment positions within their agencies may be reallocated and organization charts amended without prior State Personnel Board approval; provided, however, that such agreements shall be revocable by the State Personnel Board and continuation shall be contingent upon the reallocations and reorganizations being conducted in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the State Personnel Board. In the event the State Personnel Board has delegated reallocation authority to an agency, this delegation does not remove the requirement that agencies submit personal services budget requests each fiscal year for the purpose of preparing personal services continuation budget projections. Such budget requests shall be prepared in accordance with the policies, rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Finance and Administration, the Legislative Budget Office and the State Personnel Board. Prior to making any reallocation or reorganization effective, each appointing authority who has entered into an agreement as provided in this paragraph (p) shall certify to the State Personnel Board that the total annualized cost of any reallocation or reorganization shall be equal to or less than the cost savings generated through downward reallocation or position abolishment of vacant positions.
The personnel board shall maintain a record of every personnel transaction executed under authority delegated pursuant to this paragraph (p) and shall annually report the total cost of these transactions, by agency, to the Legislative Budget Office and the Department of Finance and Administration.
The State Personnel Board shall prescribe rules requiring the State Personnel Director to perform a compliance audit and evaluation of personnel transactions executed under authority delegated pursuant to this paragraph (p) and to publish a report of the audit listing exceptions taken by the State Personnel Director not later than the first of October each year. In the event the State Personnel Board determines that an agency has misclassified an employee or position as a result of this delegated authority, the State Personnel Board shall be authorized to correct such misclassification regardless of the state service status of the employee holding such position. Authority to correct such misclassifications of filled positions shall be limited to one (1) year from the date which the State Personnel Board receives written notice of the reallocation;
(q) Require that if an employment position has been determined to be in need of reallocation from one occupational class to another, the employee occupying the position shall meet the minimum qualifications for the occupational class to which the position is being reallocated in order for the position to be eligible for the reallocation. However, when a reallocation is based upon an agency reorganization due to documented funds constraints, documented change in agency function, or legislative mandate, a position may be reallocated with prior approval of the State Personnel Board;
(r) Implement a reduction-in-force policy which shall apply uniformly to all state agencies and which shall require that the appointing authority develop an equitable and systematic plan for implementation of an agency-wide reduction-in-force. If a proposed reduction-in-force is the result of a curtailment of general funds, the State Personnel Board shall review the proposed reduction-in-force plan only upon written certification of a general funds shortage from the Department of Finance and Administration. If a proposed reduction-in-force is the result of a curtailment of special funds, the State Personnel Board shall review the proposed reduction-in-force plan only upon written certification of a special funds shortage from the agency. Further, the State Personnel Board shall ensure that any reduction-in-force plan complies with all applicable policies, rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board;
(s) Implement a furlough (involuntary leave without pay) policy which shall apply uniformly to all executive and subordinate employees within an agency, regardless of job class. The State Personnel Board shall review furlough plans only upon written certification of a general funds shortage from the Department of Finance and Administration or written certification of a special funds shortage from the agency. The State Personnel Board shall ensure that any furlough plan complies with all applicable policies, rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board;
(t) Establish policies which preclude any employee under the salary setting authority of the State Personnel Board from receiving an annual salary greater than the Governor,
and any employee within an agency from receiving an annual salary greater than the agency head. Employees currently receiving an annual salary exceeding the Governor or their agency head may retain their present salary but shall not receive an increase until such time as the provisions of this paragraph are met;
(u) This section shall stand repealed from and after June 30, 1999.
SECTION 2. Section 25-3-39, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-3-39. (1) No public officer, public employee, administrator, or executive head of any arm or agency of the state, in the executive branch of government, shall be paid a salary or compensation, directly or indirectly, in excess of the salary fixed in Section 25-3-31 for the Governor. All academic officials, members of the teaching staffs and employees of the state institutions of higher learning, the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, and community and junior colleges, and licensed physicians who are public employees, shall be exempt from this subsection.
(2) No public officer, employee or administrator shall be paid a salary or compensation, directly or indirectly, in excess of the salary of the executive head of the state agency or department in which he is employed. The State Personnel Board, based upon its findings of fact, may exempt physicians and actuaries from this subsection when the acquisition of such professional services is precluded based on the prevailing wage in the relevant labor market.
SECTION 3. Section 25-9-120, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-9-120. (1) Contract personnel, whether classified as contract workers or independent contractors shall not be deemed state service or nonstate service employees of the State of Mississippi, and shall not be eligible to participate in the Public Employees' Retirement System, or the state employee health plan, nor be allowed credit for personal and sick leave and other leave benefits as employees of the State of Mississippi, notwithstanding Sections 25-3-91 through 25-3-101; 25-9-101 through 25-9-151; 25-11-1 through 25-11-126; 25-11-128 through 25-11-131; 25-15-1 through 25-15-23 and for the purpose set forth herein. Contract workers, i.e., contract personnel who do not meet the criteria of independent contractors, shall be subject to the provisions of Section 25-11-127.
(2) There is hereby created the Personal Service Contract Review Board, which shall be composed of the State Personnel Director, the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration, or his designee, the Commissioner of Corrections, or his designee, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, or his designee, and the Executive Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, or his designee. The State Personnel Director shall be chairman and shall preside over the meetings of the board. The board shall annually elect a vice-chairman, who shall serve in the absence of the chairman. No business shall be transacted, including adoption of rules of procedure, without the presence of a quorum of the board. Three (3) members shall be a quorum. No action shall be valid unless approved by the chairman and two (2) other of those members present and voting, entered upon the minutes of the board and signed by the chairman. Necessary clerical and administrative support for the board shall be provided by the State Personnel Board. Minutes shall be kept of the proceedings of each meeting, copies of which shall be filed on a monthly basis with the Legislative Budget Office.
(3) The Personal Service Contract Review Board shall have the following powers and responsibilities:
(a) Promulgate rules and regulations governing the solicitation and selection of contractual services personnel including personal and professional services contracts for any form of consulting, policy analysis, public relations, marketing, public affairs, legislative advocacy services or any other contract that the board deems appropriate for oversight, with the exception of any personal service contracts entered into for computer or information technology-related services governed by the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services, any personal service contracts entered into by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, and any contract for attorney, accountant, auditor, physician, dentist, architect, engineer, veterinarian and utility rate expert services. Any such rules and regulations shall provide for maintaining continuous internal audit covering the activities of such agency affecting its revenue and expenditures as required under Section 7-7-3(6)(d), Mississippi Code of 1972.
(b) Approve all personal and professional services contracts involving the expenditures of funds in excess of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00);
(c) Develop standards with respect to contractual services personnel which require invitations for public bid, requests for proposals, record keeping and financial responsibility of contractors. The Personal Service Contract Review Board may, in its discretion, require the agency involved to advertise such contract for public bid, and may reserve the right to reject any or all bids;
(d) Prescribe certain circumstances whereby agency heads may enter into contracts for personal and professional services without receiving prior approval from the Personal Service Contract Review Board. The Personal Service Contract Review Board may establish a pre-approved list of providers of various personal and professional services for set prices with which state agencies may contract without bidding or prior approval from the board.
(e) To provide standards for the issuance of requests for proposals, the evaluation of proposals received, consideration of costs and quality of services proposed, contract negotiations, the administrative monitoring of contract performance by the agency and successful steps in terminating a contract;
(f) To present recommendations for governmental privatization and to evaluate privatization proposals submitted by any state agency;
(g) To authorize personal and professional service contracts to be effective for more than one (1) year provided a funding condition is included in any such multiple year contract;
(h) To request the State Auditor to conduct a performance audit on any personal or professional service contract;
(i) Prepare an annual report to the Legislature concerning the issuance of personal service contracts during the previous year, collecting any necessary information from state agencies in making such report.
(4) No member of the Personal Service Contract Review Board shall use his official authority or influence to coerce, by threat of discharge from employment, or otherwise, the purchase of commodities or the contracting for personal or professional services under this section.
SECTION 4. Section 25-9-107, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-9-107. The following terms, when used in this chapter, unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context, shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Board" shall mean the State Personnel Board created under the provisions of this chapter.
(b) "State service" shall mean all employees of state departments, agencies and institutions as defined herein, except those officers and employees excluded by this chapter.
(c) "Nonstate service" shall mean the following officers and employees excluded from the state service by this chapter. The following are excluded from the state service:
(i) Members of the state Legislature, their staffs and other employees of the legislative branch;
(ii) The Governor and staff members of the immediate Office of the Governor;
(iii) Justices and judges of the judicial branch or members of appeals boards on a per diem basis;
(iv) The Lieutenant Governor, staff members of the immediate Office of the Lieutenant Governor and officers and employees directly appointed by the Lieutenant Governor;
(v) Officers and officials elected by popular vote and persons appointed to fill vacancies in elective offices;
(vi) Members of boards and commissioners appointed by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor or the state Legislature;
(vii) All academic officials, members of the teaching staffs and employees of the state institutions of higher learning, the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, and community and junior colleges;
(viii) Officers and enlisted members of the National Guard of the state;
(ix) Prisoners, inmates, student or patient help working in or about institutions;
(x) Contract personnel; provided, that any agency which employs state service employees may enter into contracts for personal and professional services only if such contracts are approved in compliance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Personal Service Contract Review Board under Section 25-9-120(3). Before paying any warrant for such contractual services in excess of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00), the Auditor of Public Accounts, or the successor to those duties, shall determine whether the contract involved was for personal or professional services, and, if so, was approved by the State Personal Service Contract Review Board * * *;
(xi) Part-time employees; provided, however, part-time employees shall only be hired into authorized employment positions classified by the board, shall meet minimum qualifications as set by the board, and shall be paid in accordance with the Variable Compensation Plan as certified by the board;
(xii) Persons appointed on an emergency basis for the duration of the emergency; the effective date of the emergency appointments shall not be earlier than the date approved by the State Personnel Director, and shall be limited to thirty (30) working days. Emergency appointments may be extended to sixty (60) working days by the State Personnel Board;
(xiii) Physicians, dentists, veterinarians, nurse practitioners and attorneys, while serving in their professional capacities in authorized employment positions who are required by statute to be licensed, registered or otherwise certified as such, provided that the State Personnel Director shall verify that the statutory qualifications are met prior to issuance of a payroll warrant by the auditor;
(xiv) Personnel who are employed and paid from funds received from a federal grant program which has been approved by the Legislature or the Department of Finance and Administration whose length of employment has been determined to be time-limited in nature. This subparagraph shall apply to personnel employed under the provisions of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973, as amended, and other special federal grant programs which are not a part of regular federally funded programs wherein appropriations and employment positions are appropriated by the Legislature. Such employees shall be paid in accordance with the Variable Compensation Plan and shall meet all qualifications required by federal statutes or by the Mississippi Classification Plan;
(xv) The administrative head who is in charge of any state department, agency, institution, board or commission, wherein the statute specifically authorizes the Governor, board, commission or other authority to appoint said administrative head; provided, however, that the salary of such administrative head shall be determined by the State Personnel Board in accordance with the Variable Compensation Plan unless otherwise fixed by statute;
(xvi) The State Personnel Board shall exclude top level positions if the incumbents determine and publicly advocate substantive program policy and report directly to the agency head, or the incumbents are required to maintain a direct confidential working relationship with a key excluded official. Provided further, a written job classification shall be approved by the board for each such position, and positions so excluded shall be paid in conformity with the Variable Compensation Plan;
(xvii) Employees whose employment is solely in connection with an agency's contract to produce, store or transport goods, and whose compensation is derived therefrom;
(xviii) Personnel employed by the State Prison Emergency Construction and Management Board, paid from funds from the "Correctional Facilities Emergency Construction Fund," or employed under contracts let or approved by the board for the construction, acquisition, lease, lease-purchase or operation of prison facilities. This subparagraph shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 1996;
(xix) The associate director, deputy directors and bureau directors within the Department of Agriculture and Commerce.
(d) "Agency" means any state board, commission, committee, council, department or unit thereof created by the Constitution or statutes if such board, commission, committee, council, department, unit or the head thereof, is authorized to appoint subordinate staff by the Constitution or statute, except a legislative or judicial board, commission, committee, council, department or unit thereof.
SECTION 5. Section 25-53-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-53-21. The executive director shall have the following duties, responsibilities and authority:
(a) He shall conduct continuing studies of all information technology activities carried out by all agencies of the state and shall develop a long-range plan for the efficient and economical performance of such activities in state government. Such plan shall be submitted to the authority for its approval and, having been approved by the authority, shall be implemented by the executive director and all state agencies. Such plan shall be continuously reviewed and modifications thereof shall be proposed to the authority by the executive director as developments in information technology techniques and changes in the structure, activities, and functions of state government may require.
(b) He shall review the purchasing practices of all state agencies in the area of the purchasing of supplies for information technology and make recommendations to the authority and to the Public Procurement Review Board for the institution of purchasing procedures which will insure the most economical procurement of such supplies commensurate with the efficient operation of all departments and agencies of state government.
(c) He shall see that all reports required of all agencies are promptly and accurately made in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by the authority. Either in person or through his authorized agents, he shall make such inspections of information technology operations being conducted by any of the agencies of the state as may be necessary for the performance of his duties.
(d) He shall suggest and cause to be brought about cooperation between the several state agencies in order to provide efficiency in information technology operation. He shall, together with the heads of the agencies involved, reduce to writing and execute cooperative plans for the acquisition and operation of information technology equipment, and any such plan so adopted shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of such plan unless the same shall be amended by the joint action of the executive director and the heads of agencies involved. The executive director shall report to the authority the details of any plan so adopted and all amendments or modifications thereof, and shall otherwise report to the authority and to the Public Procurement Review Board any failure on the part of any agency to carry out the provisions of such plan. In the event the head of any agency involved or the executive director shall propose amendments to a plan so adopted and such amendment is disapproved by the head of another agency involved or the executive director, an appeal may be taken to the authority which may, after full consideration thereof, order the adoption of the proposed amendment or any modification thereof. The executive director shall make decisions on all questions of the division of the cost of information technology operations among the several agencies, but his findings shall be subject to the approval or modification by the authority on appeal to it.
(e) He shall review all contracts for acquisition of computer equipment or services now or hereafter in force and may require the renegotiation, termination, amendment or execution of any such contracts in proper form and in accordance with the policies and rules and regulations and subject to the direction of the authority.
(f) He shall act as the purchasing and contracting agent for the State of Mississippi in the negotiation and execution of all contracts for the acquisition of computer equipment or services. He shall receive, review, and promptly approve or disapprove all requests of agencies of the state for the acquisition of computer equipment or services, which are submitted in accordance with rules and regulations of the authority. In the event that any such request is disapproved, he shall immediately notify the requesting agency and the members of the authority in writing of such disapproval, stating his reasons therefor. The disapproval of any request by the executive director of the authority may be appealed to the authority or to the Public Procurement Review Board, respectively, in such manner as may be authorized by such reasonable rules and regulations hereby authorized to be adopted by the authority and by the Public Procurement Review Board to govern the same. The executive director shall report the approval of all such requests to the authority in such manner as may be directed by the authority, and shall execute any such contracts only after complying with rules and regulations which may be adopted by the authority in relation thereto. Any contracts for personal or professional services entered into by the executive director shall be exempted from the requirements of Section 25-9-120(3) relating to submission of such contract to the State Personal Service Contract Review Board.
(g) He shall suggest and cause to be brought about cooperation between the several state agencies, departments and institutions in order that work may be done by one agency for another agency, and equipment in one agency may be made available to another agency, and suggest and cause to be brought about such improvements as may be necessary in joint or cooperative information technology operations.
(h) He shall be designated as the "Chief Information Confidentiality Officer" after being duly sworn to the oath of this office by the chairman of the authority and shall be responsible for administering the oath to other qualified officers he may designate.
(i) He shall appoint employees of the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services, or at his discretion, employees of other state agencies and institutions that are responsible for handling or processing data for any agency or institution other than that for which they are employed, to a position of information custodial care that shall be known as "Information Confidentiality Officer." The selection and swearing of all officers shall be reported to the authority at the next regular meeting and names, affirmation dates and employment dates shall be recorded in the permanent minutes of the authority.
SECTION 6. Section 7-7-211, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
7-7-211. The department shall have the power and it shall be its duty:
(a) To identify and define for all public offices of the state and its subdivisions generally accepted accounting principles as promulgated by nationally recognized professional organizations and to consult with the State Fiscal Officer in the prescription and implementation of accounting rules and regulations;
(b) To prescribe, for all public offices of regional and local subdivisions of the state, systems of accounting, budgeting and reporting financial facts relating to said offices in conformity with legal requirements and with generally accepted accounting principles as promulgated by nationally recognized professional organizations; to assist such subdivisions in need of assistance in the installation of such systems; to revise such systems when deemed necessary, and to report to the Legislature at periodic times the extent to which each office is maintaining such systems, along with such recommendations to the Legislature for improvement as seem desirable;
(c) To study and analyze existing managerial policies, methods, procedures, duties and services of the various state departments and institutions upon written request of the Governor, the Legislature or any committee or other body empowered by the Legislature to make such request to determine whether and where operations can be eliminated, combined, simplified and improved;
(d) To postaudit each year and, when deemed necessary, preaudit and investigate the financial affairs of the departments, institutions, boards, commissions or other agencies of state government, as part of the publication of a comprehensive annual financial report for the State of Mississippi. In complying with the requirements of this subsection, the department shall have the authority to conduct all necessary audit procedures on an interim and year-end basis;
(e) To postaudit and, when deemed necessary, preaudit and investigate separately the financial affairs of (i) the offices, boards and commissions of county governments and any departments and institutions thereof and therein; (ii) public school districts, departments of education and junior college districts; and (iii) any other local offices or agencies which share revenues derived from taxes or fees imposed by the state Legislature or receive grants from revenues collected by governmental divisions of the state; the cost of such audits, investigations or other services to be paid as follows: Such part shall be paid by the state from appropriations made by the Legislature for the operation of the State Department of Audit as may exceed the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per day for the services of each staff person engaged in performing the audit or other service, which sum shall be paid by the county, district, department, institution or other agency audited out of its general fund or any other available funds from which such payment is not prohibited by law;
(f) To postaudit and, when deemed necessary, preaudit and investigate the financial affairs of the levee boards; agencies created by the Legislature or by executive order of the Governor; profit or nonprofit business entities administering programs financed by funds flowing through the State Treasury or through any of the agencies of the state, or its subdivisions; and all other public bodies supported by funds derived in part or wholly from public funds, except municipalities which annually submit an audit prepared by a qualified certified public accountant using methods and procedures prescribed by the department;
(g) To make written demand, when necessary, for the recovery of any amounts representing public funds improperly withheld, misappropriated and/or otherwise illegally expended by an officer, employee or administrative body of any state, county or other public office, and/or for the recovery of the value of any public property disposed of in an unlawful manner by a public officer, employee or administrative body, such demands to be made (i) upon the person or persons liable for such amounts and upon the surety on official bond thereof, and/or (ii) upon any individual, partnership, corporation or association to whom the illegal expenditure was made or with whom the unlawful disposition of public property was made, if such individual, partnership, corporation or association knew or had reason to know through the exercising of reasonable diligence that the expenditure was illegal or the disposition unlawful. Such demand shall be premised on competent evidence, which shall include at least one (1) of the following: (i) sworn statements, (ii) written documentation, (iii) physical evidence, or (iv) reports and findings of government or other law enforcement agencies. Other provisions notwithstanding, a demand letter issued pursuant to this subsection shall remain confidential by the State Auditor until the individual against whom the demand letter is being filed has been served with a copy of such demand letter. If, however, such individual cannot be notified within fifteen (15) days using reasonable means and due diligence, such notification shall be made to the individual's bonding company, if he or she is bonded. Each such demand shall be paid into the proper treasury of the state, county or other public body through the office of the department in the amount demanded within thirty (30) days from the date thereof, together with interest thereon in the sum of one percent (1%) per month from the date such amount or amounts were improperly withheld, misappropriated and/or otherwise illegally expended. In the event, however, such person or persons shall refuse, neglect or otherwise fail to pay the amount demanded and the interest due thereon within the allotted thirty (30) days, the State Auditor shall have the authority and it shall be his duty to institute suit, and the Attorney General shall prosecute the same in any court of the state to the end that there shall be recovered the total of such amounts from the person or persons and surety on official bond named therein; and the amounts so recovered shall be paid into the proper treasury of the state, county or other public body through the State Auditor;
(h) To investigate any alleged or suspected violation of the laws of the state by any officer or employee of the state, county or other public office in the purchase, sale or the use of any supplies, services, equipment or other property belonging thereto; and in such investigation to do any and all things necessary to procure evidence sufficient either to prove or disprove the existence of such alleged or suspected violations.
The Department of Investigation of the State Department of Audit may investigate, for the purpose of prosecution, any suspected criminal violation of the provisions of this chapter. For the purpose of administration and enforcement of this chapter, the enforcement employees of the Department of Investigation of the State Department of Audit have the powers of a peace officer of this state only over those persons under indictment or at the direction of another duly authorized law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the case. All enforcement employees of the Department of Investigation of the State Department of Audit hired on or after July 1, 1993, shall be required to complete the Law Enforcement Officers Training Program and shall meet the standards of the program.
(i) To issue subpoenas, with the approval of, and returnable to, a judge of a chancery or circuit court, in termtime or in vacation, to examine the records, documents or other evidence of persons, firms, corporations or any other entities insofar as such records, documents or other evidence relate to dealings with any state, county or other public entity. The circuit or chancery judge must serve the county in which the records, documents or other evidence is located; or where all or part of the transaction or transactions occurred which are the subject of the subpoena;
(j) In any instances in which the State Auditor is or shall be authorized or required to examine or audit, whether preaudit or postaudit, any books, ledgers, accounts or other records of the affairs of any public hospital owned or owned and operated by one or more political subdivisions or parts thereof or any combination thereof, or any school district, including activity funds thereof, it shall be sufficient compliance therewith, in the discretion of the State Auditor, that such examination or audit be made from the report of any audit or other examination certified by a certified public accountant and prepared by or under the supervision of such certified public accountant. Such audits shall be made in accordance with generally accepted standards of auditing, with the use of an audit program prepared by the State Auditor, and final reports of such audits shall conform to the format prescribed by the State Auditor. All files, working papers, notes, correspondence and all other data compiled during the course of the audit shall be available, without cost, to the State Auditor for examination and abstracting during the normal business hours of any business day. The expense of such certified reports shall be borne by the respective hospital, or any available school district funds other than minimum program funds, subject to examination or audit. The State Auditor shall not be bound by such certified reports and may, in his or their discretion, conduct such examination or audit from the books, ledgers, accounts or other records involved as may be appropriate and authorized by law.
(k) The State Auditor shall have the authority to contract with qualified public accounting firms to perform selected audits required in subsections (d), (e) and (f) of this section, if funds are made available for such contracts by the Legislature, or if funds are available from the governmental entity covered by subsections (d), (e) and (f). Such audits shall be made in accordance with generally accepted standards of auditing, with the use of an audit program prepared by the State Auditor, and final reports of such audits shall conform to the format prescribed by the State Auditor. All files, working papers, notes, correspondence and all other data compiled during the course of the audit shall be available, without cost, to the State Auditor for examination and abstracting during the normal business hours of any business day.
(l) The State Auditor shall have the authority to establish training courses and programs for the personnel of the various state and local governmental entities under the jurisdiction of the office of the State Auditor. The training courses and programs shall include, but not be limited to, topics on internal control of funds, property and equipment control and inventory, governmental accounting and financial reporting, and internal auditing. The State Auditor is authorized to charge a fee from the participants of these courses and programs, which fee shall be deposited into the Department of Audit Special Fund. State and local governmental entities are authorized to pay such fee and any travel expenses out of their general funds or any other available funds from which such payment is not prohibited by law.
(m) Upon written request by the Governor or any member of the state Legislature, the State Auditor may audit any state funds and/or state and federal funds received by any nonprofit corporation incorporated under the laws of this state.
(n) To conduct performance audits of personal or professional service contracts by state agencies on a random sampling basis, or upon request of the State Personal Service Contract Review Board under Section 25-9-120(3).
SECTION 7. Section 7-7-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
7-7-3. (1) There is hereby established a General Accounting Office for the State of Mississippi, the powers and duties of said office to be performed by the Bureau of Budget and Fiscal Management under the administration of the State Fiscal Officer.
(2) The Chief of the Fiscal Management Division, under the supervision of the State Fiscal Officer, shall prescribe and implement in the office of each state agency an adequate accrual accounting system, in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles, and a system for keeping other essential financial records or, in lieu thereof, may install a state centralized automated accounting system which facilitates reporting the financial position and operations of the state as a whole, in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. All such accounting systems so prescribed or installed shall be as uniform as may be practicable for agencies and offices of the same class and character.
Each state agency shall adopt and use the system prescribed and approved for it by the State Fiscal Officer, and the State Fiscal Officer shall have the authority and power to impound all funds of such agency until it complies with the provisions of this section. Said state centralized automated accounting system shall be made available to the agencies of state government through the services of the State Computer Center. The State Fiscal Officer shall conduct training seminars on a regular basis to ensure that agencies have access to persons proficient in the correct use of the statewide automated accounting system.
(3) The State Fiscal Officer shall establish an oversight advisory committee to ensure that the state centralized automated accounting system meets the needs of the agencies served thereby. Said oversight advisory committee shall be composed of qualified public employees proficient in the areas of fiscal management, accounting, data processing and other fields affected by the automated accounting and financial management system. Said committee shall have the following responsibilities:
(a) Provide continual review of laws, rules, regulations, policies and procedures which affect the continued successful implementation of the state automated accounting and financial management system;
(b) Coordination among the control agencies of state and federal government to identify required modifications and/or enhancements to the state centralized automated accounting system as required for successful implementation;
(c) Ensure that agencies using the system are in compliance with the requirements of the various control agencies; and
(d) Assign persons knowledgeable in their area of expertise and proper use of the state centralized automated accounting system to help agencies use the system correctly.
(4) The State Fiscal Officer shall provide for the continuing support of the state centralized automated accounting system from funds appropriated therefor by the Legislature and/or from user fees charged to the state agencies and institutions utilizing the system.
The State Fiscal Officer may charge fees to agencies and institutions for services rendered to them in conjunction with the statewide automated accounting system. The amounts of such fees shall be set by the State Fiscal Officer, and all such fees collected shall be paid into the Statewide Automated Accounting System Fund.
(5) There is hereby established within the State Treasury a special fund to be designated as the Mississippi Management and Reporting System Revolving Fund. This fund is established for the purpose of developing and maintaining an executive information system within state government. Such a system may include the state centralized automated accounting system, a centralized automated human resource/payroll system for state agencies and the automation of performance programmatic data and other data as needed by the legislative and executive branches to monitor the receipt and expenditure of funds in accordance with desired objectives.
A Steering Committee consisting of the State Fiscal Officer, the Executive Director of the State Personnel Board and the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services shall establish policies and procedures for the administration of the Mississippi Management and Reporting System Revolving Fund.
All disbursements from this fund shall be made pursuant to appropriation by the Legislature. All interest earned from the investment of monies in this fund shall be credited to such fund.
Any expenditure of funds related to the development of a Mississippi Management and Reporting System by the State Personnel Board, the Department of Finance and Administration and the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services made during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1993, shall be reimbursable from the Mississippi Management and Reporting System Revolving Fund upon its establishment.
The Bond Commission is hereby authorized to grant a noninterest-bearing loan to the Mississippi Management and Reporting System Revolving Fund from the State Treasurer's General Fund/Special Fund Pool in an amount not to exceed Fifteen Million Dollars ($15,000,000.00).
The Mississippi Management and Reporting System Steering Committee shall appoint an administrator of the Mississippi Management and Reporting System Revolving Fund. The salary of the administrator and all other project administrative expenses shall be disbursed from the revolving fund. The administrator of the fund is hereby authorized to employ or secure personnel service contracts for all personnel required to carry out this project. On or before January 15 of each year, the State Fiscal Officer shall present a report of all expenditures made during the previous fiscal year from the Mississippi Management and Reporting System Revolving Fund to the State Bond Commission and to the Legislature.
Upon implementation of the Mississippi Management and Reporting System, or any part thereof, at any state agency, a repayment schedule shall be determined by the Mississippi Management and Reporting System Revolving Fund administrator for payment back into the Mississippi Management and Reporting System Revolving Fund. This repayment schedule will include direct and indirect expenses of implementing the Mississippi Management and Reporting System at each agency and applied interest charges. Each state agency shall be required to request the amount of its yearly repayment in its annual budget request.
At the completion of the Mississippi Management and Reporting System, the Steering Committee shall recommend to the Legislature an amount to remain in the Mississippi Management and Reporting System Revolving Fund to fund future upgrades and maintenance for the system. The remaining amount, as repaid by the agencies, shall be returned to the General Fund/Special Fund Pool.
Each state agency executive director shall participate in the Mississippi Management and Reporting System (MMRS) project by appointing an agency implementation team leader to represent them on the MMRS project. All agencies will be required to implement the MMRS unless exempted from such by the MMRS Steering Committee. If such an exemption is granted, the MMRS Steering Committee may require selected data to be electronically interfaced into the MMRS.
(6) In addition to his other duties, the Chief of the Fiscal Management Division shall perform the following services:
(a) Maintain a set of control accounts on a double entry accrual basis for each state fund so as to analyze, classify and record all resources, obligations and financial transactions of all state agencies.
(b) Submit to the Governor and to the Legislative Budget Office a monthly report containing the state's financial operations and conditions.
(c) Approve as to form the manner in which all payrolls shall be prepared; and require each state agency to furnish copies of monthly payrolls as required to the State Fiscal Officer. The Chief of the Fiscal Management Division shall study the feasibility of a central payroll system for all state officers and employees, and report his findings and recommendations to the Legislature.
(d) Require of each state agency, through its governing board or executive head, the maintaining of continuous internal audit covering the activities of such agency affecting its revenue and expenditures, and an adequate internal system of preauditing claims, demands and accounts against such agency as to adequately ensure that only valid claims, demands and accounts will be paid, and to verify compliance with the regulations of the State Personal Service Contract Review Board regarding the execution of any personal service or professional service contracts pursuant to Section 25-9-120(3). The Fiscal Management Division shall report to the State Fiscal Officer any failure or refusal of the governing board or executive head of any state agency to comply with the provisions of this section. The State Fiscal Officer shall notify the said board of trustees or executive head of such violation and, upon continued failure or refusal to comply with the provisions of this section, then the State Fiscal Officer may require said board of trustees or executive head of such state agency to furnish competent and adequate personnel to carry out the provisions of this section, who shall be responsible to the State Fiscal Officer for the performance of such function with respect to such state agency. For failure or refusal to comply with the provisions of this section or the directions of the State Fiscal Officer, any such employee may be deprived of the power to perform such functions on behalf of the Fiscal Management Division.
(7) Every state agency, through the proper officials or employee, shall make such periodic or special reports on forms prescribed by the Chief of the Fiscal Management Division as may be required or necessary to maintain the set of control accounts required. If any officer or employee of any state agency whose duty it is to do so shall refuse or fail to make such periodic or special reports in such form and in such detail and within such time as the Fiscal Management Division may require in the exercise of this authority, the State Fiscal Officer shall prepare or cause to be prepared and submitted such reports and the expense thereof shall be personally borne by said officer or employee and he or she shall be responsible on his or her official bond for the payment of the expense. Provided that a negligently prepared report shall be considered as a refusal or failure under the provisions of this section.
SECTION 8. Section 31-7-57, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-7-57. (1) Any elected or appointed public officer of an agency or a governing authority, or the executive head, any employee or agent of an agency or governing authority, who appropriates or authorizes the expenditure of any money to an object not authorized by law, shall be liable personally for up to the full amount of the appropriation or expenditure as will fully and completely compensate and repay such public funds for any actual loss caused by such appropriation or expenditure, to be recovered by suit in the name of the governmental entity involved, or in the name of any person who is a taxpayer suing for the use of the governmental entity involved, and such taxpayer shall be liable for costs in such case. In the case of a governing board of an agency or governing authority, only the individual members of the governing board who voted for the appropriation or authorization for expenditure shall be liable under this subsection.
(2) No individual member, officer, employee or agent of any agency or board of a governing authority shall let contracts or purchase commodities or equipment except in the manner provided by law, including the provisions of Section 25-9-120(3), Mississippi Code of 1972, relating to personal and professional service contracts by state agencies; nor shall any such agency or board of a governing authority ratify any such contract or purchase made by any individual member, officer, employee or agent thereof, or pay for the same out of public funds unless such contract or purchase was made in the manner provided by law; provided, however, that any vendor who, in good faith, delivers commodities or printing or performs any services under a contract to or for the agency or governing authority, shall be entitled to recover the fair market value of such commodities, printing or services, notwithstanding some error or failure by the agency or governing authority to follow the law, if the contract was for an object authorized by law and the vendor had no control of, participation in, or actual knowledge of the error or failure by the agency or governing authority.
(3) The individual members, officers, employees or agents of any agency or governing authority as defined in Section 31-7-1 causing any public funds to be expended, any contract made or let, any payment made on any contract or any purchase made, or any payment made, in any manner whatsoever, contrary to or without complying with any statute of the State of Mississippi, regulating or prescribing the manner in which such contracts shall be let, payment on any contract made, purchase made, or any other payment or expenditure made, shall be liable, individually, and upon their official bond, for compensatory damages, in such sum up to the full amount of such contract, purchase, expenditure or payment as will fully and completely compensate and repay such public funds for any actual loss caused by such unlawful expenditure.
(4) In addition to the foregoing provision, for any violation of any statute of the State of Mississippi prescribing the manner in which contracts shall be let, purchases made, expenditure or payment made, any individual member, officer, employee or agent of any agency or governing authority who shall substantially depart from the statutory method of letting contracts, making payments thereon, making purchases or expending public funds shall be liable, individually and on his official bond, for penal damages in such amount as may be assessed by any court of competent jurisdiction, up to three (3) times the amount of the contract, purchase, expenditure or payment. The person so charged may offer mitigating circumstances to be considered by the court in the assessment of any penal damages.
(5) Any sum recovered under the provisions hereof shall be credited to the account from which such unlawful expenditure was made.
(6) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (1) of this section, any individual member of an agency or governing authority as defined in Section 31-7-1 shall not be individually liable under this section if he voted against payment for contracts let or purchases made contrary to law and had his vote recorded in the official minutes of the board or governing authority at the time of such vote, or was absent at the time of such vote.
SECTION 9. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after June 29, 1997.