2003 Regular Session
To: Conservation and Water Resources
By: Representative Brown, Morris
AN ACT TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI COORDINATING COUNCIL FOR REMOTE SENSING AND GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS; TO AMEND SECTION 25-53-5, TO ASSIGN ADDITIONAL DUTIES TO THE DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES; TO AMEND SECTION 49-2-9, TO ASSIGN ADDITIONAL DUTIES TO THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, OFFICE OF GEOLOGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is established the Mississippi Coordinating Council for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems, hereinafter referred to as the "council." The council shall set and assure enforcement of policies and standards to make it easier for remote sensing and geographic information system users around the state to share information and to facilitate cost-sharing arrangements to reduce the costs of acquiring remote sensing and geographic information system data. The council shall not oversee or regulate the activities of higher education entities where it relates to the fields of teaching or research; however, the council shall be informed of these activities for the purpose of coordinating these higher education activities with other public remote sensing and GIS initiatives to achieve the maximum benefit for the State of Mississippi and its taxpayers. The council's responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
(a) Coordination of remote sensing and geographic information system activities within Mississippi;
(b) Establishing policies and standards to guide Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services (MDITS) in the review and approval of state and local government procurement of both hardware and software development relate to remote sensing and geographic information system;
(c) Oversight of MDITS' implementation of these responsibilities;
(d) Preparing a plan, with proposed state funding priorities, for Mississippi's remote sensing and geographic information system activities, including development, operation and maintenance of the Mississippi Digital Earth Model;
(e) Oversight of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality's development and maintenance of the Mississippi Digital Earth Model, including establishing policies and standards for the procurement of remote sensing and geographic information system data by state and local governmental entities and establishing the order in which the seven (7) core data layers shall be developed;
(f) Designating Mississippi's official representative to the National States Geographic Information Council and to any other national or regional remote sensing or geographical information system organizations on which Mississippi has an official seat;
(g) Establishing and designating the members of an advisory committee made up of policy level officials from major state, local, regional and federal agencies, including, but not limited to, the National Association of Space Administration, the Mississippi Institute for Forestry Inventory, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff, the Department of Marine Resources, the county E911 coordinator, the State Health Officer, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, the State Tax Commission, the Council of Consulting Engineers and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, as well as members of the private sector;
(h) Creating a staff level technical users committee, in which any public or private sector entity in Mississippi interested in remote sensing and geographic information may be allowed to participate;
(i) Coordinate with the State Tax Commission to assure that state and local governmental entities do not have to comply with two (2) sets of requirements imposed by different organizations;
(2) The Mississippi Coordinating Council for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems will be composed of the following members:
(a) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality;
(b) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services;
(c) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation;
(d) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency;
(e) The Executive Director of Mississippi Development Authority;
(f) The Secretary of State;
(g) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Forestry Commission;
(h) The Director of the Mississippi State Board of Registered Professional Geologists;
(i) A representative from the Institutions of Higher Learning, appointed by the Commissioner of the Institutions of Higher Learning;
(j) One (1) mayor, serving a municipality, appointed by the Executive Director of the Mississippi Municipal League;
(k) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Municipal League or his designee who will serve as the member;
(l) One (1) county supervisor appointed by the Executive Director of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors;
(m) The Executive Director of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors or his designee who will serve as the member;
(n) A member of the Tax Assessors/Collectors Association, to be appointed by the president of that association;
(o) A representative of the Planning and Development Districts, appointed by the Governor;
(p) A Senator, as a nonvoting member, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor; and
(q) A Representative, as a nonvoting member, appointed by the Speaker of the House.
The members of the council shall serve for a term concurrent with their service as an elected or appointed official or concurrent with the term of the appointing official.
The Executive Director of the Department of Environmental Quality shall serve as council chair and the Executive Director of Information Technology Services as vicechair for the first two (2) years. After the first two (2) years, the council shall elect from its members a chair and vicechair, for terms to be specified by the council.
With regard to the designee chosen by the Executive Director of the Mississippi Municipal League or the Executive Director of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, the designee shall become a permanent member of the council for a term concurrent with the term of the appointing executive director.
(3) At the direction of the chairman of the council and contingent upon the availability of sufficient funds, each member may receive reimbursement for reasonable expenses, including travel expenses in accordance with rates established pursuant to Section 25-3-41, incurred in attending meetings of the council. Any member of the council who is also a state employee may not receive per diem compensation for attending meetings of the study committee, but may be reimbursed in accordance with Section 25-3-41 for mileage and actual expenses incurred in the performance of the duties, if authorized by vote, at a meeting of the council, which action must be recorded in the official minutes of the meeting. Legislative members of the council will be paid from the contingent expense funds of their respective houses in the same amounts as provided for committee meetings when the Legislature is not in session.
(4) The council may accept money from any source, public or private, to be expended in implementing the duties under this act.
(5) The council may utilize staff employed by the agencies affected by this act and any other assistance made available to it.
SECTION 2. 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. 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 adopt rules and regulations governing the protest procedures to be followed by any actual or prospective bidder, offerer or contractor who is aggrieved in connection with the solicitation or award of a contract for the acquisition of computer equipment or services. Such rules and regulations shall prescribe the manner, time and procedure for making protests and may provide that a protest not timely filed shall be summarily denied. The authority may require the protesting party, at the time of filing the protest, to post a bond, payable to the state, in an amount that the authority determines sufficient to cover any expense or loss incurred by the state, the authority or any state agency as a result of the protest if the protest subsequently is determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to have been filed without any substantial basis or reasonable expectation to believe that the protest was meritorious; however, in no event may the amount of the bond required exceed a reasonable estimate of the total project cost. The authority, in its discretion, also may prohibit any prospective bidder, offerer or contractor who is a party to any litigation involving any such contract with the state, the authority or any agency of the state to participate in any other such bid, offer or contract, or to be awarded any such contract, during the pendency of the litigation.
(o) 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 the dollar amount established in Section 31-7-13(c), or rentals or leases in excess of the dollar amount established in Section 31-7-13(c) 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.
(p) 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.
(q) 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.
(r) 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.
(s) The authority shall work closely with the council to bring about effective coordination of policies, standards and procedures relating to procurement of remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) resources. In addition, the authority is responsible for development, operation and maintenance of a delivery system infrastructure for geographic information systems data. The authority shall provide a warehouse for Mississippi's geographic information systems data.
SECTION 3. Section 49-2-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-2-9. (1) Effective July 1, 1979, the commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) To formulate the policy of the department regarding natural resources within the jurisdiction of the department;
(b) To adopt, modify, repeal, and promulgate, after due notice and hearing, and where not otherwise prohibited by federal or state law, to make exceptions to and grant exemptions and variances from, and to enforce rules and regulations implementing or effectuating the powers and duties of the commission under any and all statutes within the commission's jurisdiction, and as the commission may deem necessary to prevent, control and abate existing or potential pollution;
(c) To apply for, receive and expend any federal or state funds or contributions, gifts, devises, bequests or funds from any other source;
(d) To commission or conduct studies designed to determine alternative methods of managing or using the natural resources of this state, in a manner to insure efficiency and maximum productivity;
(e) To enter into, and to authorize the executive director to execute with the approval of the commission, contracts, grants and cooperative agreements with any federal or state agency or subdivision thereof, or any public or private institution located inside or outside the State of Mississippi, or any person, corporation or association in connection with carrying out the provisions of this chapter; but this authority under this chapter and under any and all statutes within the commission's jurisdiction, except those statutes relating to the Bureau of Recreation and Parks, shall not include contracts, grants or cooperative agreements which do not develop data or information usable by the commission, or which provide goods, services or facilities to the commission or any of its bureaus, and shall exclude any monies for special interest groups for purposes of lobbying or otherwise promoting their special interests; and
(f) To discharge such other duties, responsibilities and powers as are necessary to implement the provisions of this chapter.
(2) The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Geology and Energy Resources shall be responsible for program management, procurement, development and maintenance of the Mississippi Digital Earth Model, which should include the following seven (7) core data layers of a digital land base computer model of the State of Mississippi:
(a) Geodetic control;
(b) Elevation and bathymetry;
(f) Government boundaries; and
(g) Cadastral. With respect to the cadastral layer, the authority and responsibility of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Geology and Energy Resources shall be limited to compiling information submitted by counties.
For all seven (7) framework layers, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Geology and Energy Resources shall be the integrator of data from all sources and the guarantor of data completeness and consistency and shall administer the council's policies and standards for the procurement of remote sensing and geographic information system data by state and local governmental entities.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.