1998 Regular Session
To: Public Utilities
By: Senator(s) Scoper
Senate Bill 2198
(As Passed the Senate)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 77-3-90, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION TO MONITOR THE AVAILABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY OF ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES THROUGHOUT THE STATE; TO AMEND SECTION 25-53-113, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE EVERY AGENCY TO PROVIDE NOTICE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES PRIOR TO ANY OFFICE EXPANSION, CONTRACTION AND RELOCATION; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES TO CONDUCT AN ANNUAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT FOR STATE GOVERNMENT; TO CREATE AN ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES TO UTILIZE TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES TO IMPROVE THE PERFORMANCE OF STATE AGENCIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 77-3-90, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
77-3-90. (1) It shall be the duty of the commission to make and publish annual reports to the Governor and the Legislature as provided in Section 27-101-1 et seq., of commission activities, including copies of its general orders and regulations, comparative statistical data on the operation of the various public utilities in the state, comparison of rates in Mississippi with rates elsewhere, a detailed report of its investigative division, a detailed report of the public utilities staff, a review of significant developments in the fields of utility law, economics and planning, a report of pending matters before the commission and a digest of the principal decisions of the commission and the Mississippi courts affecting public utilities.
(2) In addition to the annual reports, the commission shall monitor the availability and accessibility of advanced telecommunication services throughout the state. The commission shall seek input from a variety of business, residential, telecommunication providers, educational and governmental users from around the state, including those areas served by independent telephone companies, in evaluating telecommunications competition. SECTION 2. Section 25-53-113, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-53-113. Each and every agency of the state shall give full cooperation to the bureau in furnishing all information of any kind as it pertains to telecommunications. Each and every agency of the state shall provide notice to the Department of Information Technology Services prior to any office expansion, contraction and relocation in order to inform the department of any associated telecommunications issues and to allow the department to serve the agency in the most efficient manner.
SECTION 3. The Department of Information Technology Services shall conduct an annual telecommunications and information technology assessment for state government. The assessment shall identify existing gaps in technologies and supporting systems as well as opportunities to utilize technologies to improve service delivery and/or reduce the cost of government. The assessment shall also include one- and three-year technology plans that prioritize new capital spending, identify office and management budget requirements and establish target depreciation levels to provide for replacement and renewals as appropriate. The Executive Director of the Department of Information Technology Services, or his designee, shall meet with the advisory committee created in Section 4 of this act before August 1 of each year to discuss such assessment and to identify any telecommunications pilot project which may result in savings to state government. A report on the assessment and any potential telecommunications pilot project shall be provided to the advisory committee created in Section 4 of this act and to the Legislature before August 1 of each year and shall serve as the basis of any budget developed therefor.
SECTION 4. (1) There is hereby created a special advisory committee to identify opportunities to utilize telecommunications and information technologies to improve the performance of state government agencies and expand access to critical educational, health and social services.
(2) The advisory committee shall be composed of two (2) Senators to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor; two (2) members of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and three (3) members to be appointed by the Governor. The members of the advisory committee shall serve for four-year terms.
(3) The Governor shall select from the membership a chairman of the advisory committee. The advisory committee shall meet and organize by selecting from its membership a vice-chairman. The vice-chairman shall also serve as secretary and shall be responsible for keeping all records of the advisory committee. A majority of the members of the advisory committee shall constitute a quorum. In the selection of its officers and the adoption of rules, resolutions and reports, an affirmative vote of a majority of the advisory committee shall be required. All members shall be notified in writing of each meeting, and such notices shall be mailed at least five (5) days prior to the date on which a meeting is to be held. The advisory committee is authorized to conduct its meetings by using the latest means of technology available without the physical presence of all members required at one location.
(4) No advisory committee member may incur per diem, travel or other expenses unless previously authorized by vote, at a meeting of the advisory committee, which action shall be recorded in the official minutes of such meeting. Legislative members of the advisory committee shall be paid from the contingent expense funds of the Senate and the House of Representatives in the same amounts as provided for committee meetings when the Legislature is not in session; however, no per diem or expense for attending meetings of the advisory committee will be paid to legislative members while the Legislature is in session. Non-legislative members of the advisory committee shall be reimbursed for expenses in the manner and amount specified in Section 25-3-41 and shall be entitled to receive per diem compensation as authorized in Section 25-3-69.
(5) The advisory committee is authorized to accept money from any source, public or private, to be expended in implementing its duties under this resolution.
(6) The advisory committee is authorized to utilize clerical staff already employed by the Department of Information Technology Services and any other staff assistance made available to it.
SECTION 5. Section 3 of this act shall be codified as a separate code section within Chapter 53 of Title 25, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.