1998 Regular Session
By: Representatives Ishee, Cameron, Dedeaux, Ellzey, Hamilton, Jennings, Markham, Simpson
House Bill 1111
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 25-53-5, 25-53-29 AND 25-53-125, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE ALL WORK UNDER CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO BY THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES WITH TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT AND SERVICE PROVIDERS TO BE PERFORMED BY, OR UNDER THE DIRECTION OF, REGISTERED COMMUNICATIONS DISTRIBUTION DESIGNERS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-53-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-53-5. The authority shall have the following powers, duties, and responsibilities:
(a) The authority shall provide for the development of plans for the efficient acquisition and utilization of computer equipment and services by all agencies of state government, and provide for their implementation. In so doing, the authority may use the MDITS staff, at the discretion of the executive director of the authority, or the authority may contract for the services of qualified consulting firms in the field of information technology and utilize the service of such consultants as may be necessary for such purposes.
(b) The authority shall immediately institute procedures for carrying out the purposes of this chapter and supervise the efficient execution of the powers and duties of the office of executive director of the authority. In the execution of its functions under this chapter, the authority shall maintain as a paramount consideration the successful internal organization and operation of the several agencies so that efficiency existing therein shall not be adversely affected or impaired. In executing its functions in relation to the institutions of higher learning and junior colleges in the state, the authority shall take into consideration the special needs of such institutions in relation to the fields of teaching and scientific research.
(c) Title of whatever nature of all computer equipment now vested in any agency of the State of Mississippi is hereby vested in the authority, and no such equipment shall be disposed of in any manner except in accordance with the direction of the authority or under the provisions of such rules and regulations as may hereafter be adopted by the authority in relation thereto.
(d) The authority shall adopt rules, regulations, and procedures governing the acquisition of computer and telecommunications equipment and services which shall, to the fullest extent practicable, insure the maximum of competition between all manufacturers of supplies or equipment or services. In the writing of specifications, in the making of contracts relating to the acquisition of such equipment and services, and in the performance of its other duties the authority shall provide for the maximum compatibility of all information systems hereafter installed or utilized by all state agencies and may require the use of common computer languages where necessary to accomplish the purposes of this chapter. All bid specifications for the acquisition of telecommunications equipment and services shall require all work under the contract to be performed by persons who bear the professional designation of Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) awarded by the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) or by persons working under the direction and supervision of a Registered Communications Distribution Designer. The authority may establish by regulation and charge reasonable fees on a nondiscriminatory basis for the furnishing to bidders of copies of bid specifications and other documents issued by the authority.
(e) The authority shall adopt rules and regulations governing the sharing with, or the sale or lease of information technology services to any nonstate agency or person. Such regulations shall provide that any such sharing, sale, or lease shall be restricted in that same shall be accomplished only where such services are not readily available otherwise within the state, and then only at a charge to the user not less than the prevailing rate of charge for similar services by private enterprise within this state.
(f) The authority may, in its discretion, establish a special technical advisory committee or committees to study and make recommendations on technology matters within the competence of the authority as the authority may see fit. Persons serving on the Information Resource Council, its task forces, or any such technical advisory committees shall be entitled to receive their actual and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of such duties, together with mileage as provided by law for state employees, provided the same has been authorized by a resolution duly adopted by the authority and entered on its minutes prior to the performance of such duties.
(g) The authority may provide for the development and require the adoption of standardized computer programs and may provide for the dissemination of information to and the establishment of training programs for the personnel of the various information technology centers of state agencies and personnel of the agencies utilizing the services thereof.
(h) The authority shall adopt reasonable rules and regulations requiring the reporting to the authority through the office of executive director of such information as may be required for carrying out the purposes of this chapter and may also establish such reasonable procedures to be followed in the presentation of bills for payment under the terms of all contracts for the acquisition of computer equipment and services now or hereafter in force as may be required by the authority or by the executive director in the execution of their powers and duties.
(i) The authority shall require such adequate documentation of information technology procedures utilized by the various state agencies and may require the establishment of such organizational structures within state agencies relating to information technology operations as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
(j) The authority may adopt such further reasonable rules and regulations as may be necessary to fully implement the purposes of this chapter. All rules and regulations adopted by the authority shall be published and disseminated in readily accessible form to all affected state agencies, and to all current suppliers of computer equipment and services to the state, and to all prospective suppliers requesting the same. Such rules and regulations shall be kept current, be periodically revised, and copies thereof shall be available at all times for inspection by the public at reasonable hours in the offices of the authority. Whenever possible no rule, regulation or any proposed amendment to such rules and regulations shall be finally adopted or enforced until copies of said proposed rules and regulations have been furnished to all interested parties for their comment and suggestions.
(k) The authority shall establish rules and regulations which shall provide for the submission of all contracts proposed to be executed by the executive director for computer equipment or services to the authority for approval before final execution, and the authority may provide that such contracts involving the expenditure of less than such specified amount as may be established by the authority may be finally executed by the executive director without first obtaining such approval by the authority.
(l) The authority is authorized to purchase, lease, or rent computer equipment or services and to operate said equipment and utilize said services in providing services to one or more state agencies when in its opinion such operation will provide maximum efficiency and economy in the functions of any such agency or agencies.
(m) The authority shall assist political subdivisions and instrumentalities in their development of plans for the efficient acquisition and utilization of computer equipment and services. An appropriate fee shall be charged the political subdivision by the authority for such assistance.
(n) The authority shall make a report in writing to the Legislature each year in the month of January. Such report shall contain a full and detailed account of the work of the authority for the preceding year as specified in Section 25-53-29(3).
All acquisitions of computer equipment and services involving the expenditure of funds in excess of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or rentals or leases, in excess of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for the term of the contract shall be based upon competitive and open specifications, and contracts therefor shall be entered into only after advertisements for bids are published in one or more daily newspapers having a general circulation in the state not less than fourteen (14) days prior to receiving sealed bids therefor. The authority may reserve the right to reject any or all bids, and if all bids are rejected, the authority may negotiate a contract within the limitations of the specifications so long as the terms of any such negotiated contract are equal to or better than the comparable terms submitted by the lowest and best bidder, and so long as the total cost to the State of Mississippi does not exceed the lowest bid. If the authority accepts one (1) of such bids, it shall be that which is the lowest and best.
(o) When applicable, the authority may procure equipment, systems and related services in accordance with the law or regulations, or both, which govern the Bureau of Purchasing of the Office of General Services or which govern the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services procurement of telecommunications equipment, software and services.
(p) The authority is authorized to purchase, lease, or rent information technology and services for the purpose of establishing pilot projects to investigate emerging technologies. These acquisitions shall be limited to new technologies and shall be limited to an amount set by annual appropriation of the Legislature. These acquisitions shall be exempt from the advertising and bidding requirement.
(q) All fees collected by the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services shall be deposited into the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services Revolving Fund unless otherwise specified by the Legislature.
SECTION 2. Section 25-53-29, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-53-29. (1) For the purposes of this section the term "bureau" shall mean the "Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services". The authority shall have the following powers and responsibilities to carry out the establishment of policy and provide for long range planning and consulting:
(a) Provide a high level of technical expertise for agencies, institutions, political subdivisions and other governmental entities as follows: planning; consulting; project management; systems and performance review; system definition; design; application programming; training; development and documentation; implementation; maintenance; and other tasks as may be required, within the resources available to the bureau.
(b) Publish written planning guides, policies and procedures for use by agencies and institutions in planning future electronic information service systems. The bureau may require agencies and institutions to submit data, including periodic electronic equipment inventory listings, information on agency staffing, systems under study, planned applications for the future, and other information needed for the purposes of preparing the state master plan. The bureau may require agencies and institutions to submit any additional data required for purposes of preparing the state master plan.
(c) Inspect agency facilities and equipment, interview agency employees and review records at any time deemed necessary by the bureau for the purpose of identifying cost-effective applications of electronic information technology. Upon conclusion of any inspection, the bureau shall issue a management letter containing cost estimates and recommendations to the agency head and governing board concerning applications identified that would result in staff reductions, other monetary savings and improved delivery of public services.
(d) Conduct classroom and on-site training for end users for applications and systems developed by the bureau.
(e) Provide consulting services to agencies and institutions or Mississippi governmental subdivisions requesting technical assistance in electronic information services technology applications and systems. The bureau may submit proposals and enter into contracts to provide services to agencies and institutions or governmental subdivisions for such purposes.
(2) The bureau shall annually issue a three-year master plan in writing to the Governor, available on request to any member of the Legislature, including recommended statewide strategies and goals for the effective and efficient use of information technology and services in state government. The report shall also include recommended information policy actions and other recommendations for consideration by the Governor and members of the Legislature.
(3) The bureau shall make an annual report in writing to the Governor, available on request to any member of the Legislature, to include a full and detailed account of the work of the authority for the preceding year. The report shall contain recommendations to agencies and institutions resulting from inspections or consulting contracts. The report shall also contain a summary of the master plan, progress made, and legislative and policy recommendations for consideration by the Governor and members of the Legislature.
(4) The bureau may charge fees to agencies and institutions for services rendered to them. The amounts of such fees shall be set by the authority upon recommendation of the Executive Director of the MDITS, and all such fees collected shall be paid into the fund established for carrying out the purposes of this section.
(5) It is the intention of the Legislature that the employees of the bureau performing services defined by Section 25-53-29 be staffed by highly qualified persons possessing technical, consulting and programming expertise. Such employees shall be considered nonstate service employees as defined in Section 25-9-107 (c)(x) and may be compensated at a rate comparable to the prevailing rate of individuals in qualified professional consulting firms in the private sector. Such compensation rates shall be determined by the State Personnel Director. The number of such positions shall be set by annual appropriation of the Legislature. Qualifications and compensation of the bureau employees shall be set by the State Personnel Board upon recommendation of the Executive Director of the MDITS. The total number of positions and classification of positions may be increased or decreased during a fiscal year depending upon work load and availability of funds.
(6) The bureau may, from time to time, at the discretion of the Executive Director of the MDITS, contract with firms whose staff members bear the professional designation of Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) awarded by the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) or qualified individuals bearing the professional designation of RCDD or supervised by a RCDD, to be used to augment the bureau's professional staff in order to assure timely completion and implementation of assigned tasks, provided that funds are available in the fund established for carrying out the purposes of this section. Such individuals may be employees of any agency, bureau or institution provided that these individuals or firms meet the requirements of other individuals or firms doing business with the state through the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services. Individuals who are employees of an agency or institution may contract with the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services only with the concurrence of the agency or institution for whom they are employed.
SECTION 3. Section 25-53-125, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-53-125. The following general provisions shall apply to all procurements under Sections 25-53-101 through 25-53-125:
(a) No contracts entered into hereunder shall have an initial effective date earlier than the date on which such contract receives approval as required herein.
(b) All changes, modifications and amendments to any contract hereunder shall be approved in advance by the bureau, in addition to any other approvals required by law.
(c) The bureau shall promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, Section 25-43-1, et seq., for the establishment of contract format.
(d) Where written proposals or bids are submitted by vendors, the proposal or bid of the successful vendor shall be incorporated into the final contract consummated with that vendor.
(e) The provisions of Sections 25-53-101 through 25-53-125 shall, with respect to the procurement of telecommunications equipment, systems or related services, supersede specifications of any contradictory or conflicting provisions of Chapter 7, Title 31, Mississippi Code of 1972, and other laws with respect to awarding public contracts.
(f) All contracts entered into hereunder for the procurement of telecommunications equipment, systems or related services shall provide that all work under the contract will be performed by persons who bear the professional designation of Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) awarded by the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) or by persons working under the direction and supervision of a Registered Communications Distribution Designer.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.