2006 Regular Session
To: Fees, Salaries and Administration; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Thames, Gordon, Clarke, Albritton, Brown, Butler, Chaney, Cuevas, Davis, Dawkins, Doxey, Harden, Horhn, Jackson (15th), Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Jordan, King, Lee (35th), Lee (47th), Michel, Morgan, Nunnelee, Pickering, Ross, Walley, Walls, White, Wilemon
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-1-77, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CREATE A BUREAU OF FLEET MANAGEMENT WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION AND TO PRESCRIBE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES; TO AMEND SECTION 25-1-79, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE ADVANCE FUNDS FOR WORK-RELATED TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED WITHIN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; TO AMEND SECTION 27-103-129, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, AS AMENDED BY SENATE BILL NO. 2581, 2006 REGULAR SESSION, TO REQUIRE AGENCIES TO SUBMIT A DETAILED JUSTIFICATION FOR VEHICLE PURCHASES AS PART OF THEIR BUDGET REQUESTS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION AND THE LEGISLATIVE BUDGET OFFICE; TO AMEND SECTION 25-3-41, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, AS AMENDED BY SENATE BILL NO. 2178, 2006 REGULAR SESSION, TO CONFORM; TO AMEND SECTIONS 25-1-81, 31-7-5, 31-7-9 AND 31-7-10, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; TO PROHIBIT ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF ANY STATE AGENCY WHO HAS BEEN ASSIGNED OR ISSUED A WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE PAID FOR BY PUBLIC FUNDS FROM USING SUCH DEVICE FOR PERSONAL PURPOSES; TO PROHIBIT ANY SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE FROM BEING REIMBURSED FOR USE OF HIS OR HER PERSONAL WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE; TO REQUIRE STATE AGENCIES TO SELECT WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE VENDORS FROM A STATE-APPROVED LIST; TO REQUIRE THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES TO ESTABLISH A MODEL POLICY REGULATING PERSONAL USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES OWNED BY STATE AGENCIES AND TO REQUIRE STATE AGENCIES TO ADOPT THE MODEL POLICY, OR A POLICY EQUALLY STRINGENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-1-77, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-1-77. (1) There is hereby created the Bureau of Fleet Management within the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management, Department of Finance and Administration, for the purposes of coordinating and promoting efficiency and economy in the purchase, lease, rental, acquisition, use, maintenance and disposal of vehicles by state agencies. The Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration may employ a Fleet Management Officer to manage the bureau and carry out its purposes. The bureau may employ other suitable and competent personnel as necessary. The bureau shall encourage the use of fuel efficient or hybrid vehicles appropriate for the state agency's intended purpose and, when feasible, the use of alternative fuels, including, but not limited to, ethanol or biodiesel.
(2) The Bureau of Fleet Management shall perform the following duties:
(a) To hold title in the name of the State of Mississippi to all vehicles currently in possession of state agencies as defined in Section 25-9-107(d) and to assign vehicles to such agencies for use; however, the bureau shall exempt any agency or agency vehicles from the provisions of this paragraph (a) if it determines that state or federal law requires that title be vested only in the agency;
(b) To establish rules and regulations for state agency use of vehicles;
(c) To gather information and specify proper fleet management practices for state agencies;
(d) To acquire fleet management software and require agencies to provide necessary information for the bureau to properly monitor the size, use, maintenance and disposal of the state's fleet of vehicles; the bureau shall communicate regularly with the fleet managers of each state agency to determine strengths and weaknesses of the various fleet operations; the bureau shall disseminate information to the agencies so that each can take advantage of any beneficial practices being incorporated at other entities; the bureau shall promulgate rules and regulations concerning the mileage reimbursement practices of each state agency;
(e) To carry out responsibilities relative to budget recommendations as provided in Section 27-103-129;
(f) To reassign vehicles in the possession of any state agency if the bureau believes that another state agency can make more efficient use of a vehicle; provided, however, that the state agency receiving the reassigned vehicle shall pay to the previous agency's special fund, or if no special fund exists to the State General Fund, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) wholesale value for the vehicle or the estimated amount for which the vehicle would have sold at auction, as shall be determined by the bureau, whichever is less;
(g) To investigate at any time the vehicle usage practices of any state agency; and
(h) To require each agency to submit to the bureau a vehicle acquisition/use/disposal plan on an annual basis. From the plans received, the bureau shall evaluate the proposed plans and shall submit a recommendation to the Legislature prior to January 1 of each year.
(3) No state department, institution or agency shall purchase, rent, lease or acquire any motor vehicle, regardless of the source of funds from which the motor vehicle is to be purchased, except under authority granted by the Department of Finance and Administration. The Bureau of Fleet Management, Department of Finance and Administration, shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the purchase, rental, lease or acquisition of any motor vehicle by a state department, institution or agency with regard to the appropriateness of the vehicle to its intended use. The Bureau of Fleet Management, Department of Finance and Administration, shall only grant authority to purchase, rent, lease or acquire a motor vehicle which is * * * the lowest cost vehicle to carry out its intended use * * *. Before the disposal or sale of any vehicle, the Bureau of Fleet Management shall make a determination that the lifetime use and mileage of the vehicle has been maximized and that it would not be feasible for another state agency to use the vehicle.
(4) * * * The department, institution or agency shall maintain proper documentation * * * which provides the intended use of the vehicle and the basis for choosing the vehicle. Such documentation shall show that the department, institution or agency made diligent efforts to purchase, rent, lease or acquire a vehicle that is the lowest cost vehicle for its intended use. Such documentation shall be updated as needed when the intended use of the vehicle or any other facts concerning the vehicle are changed. All such documentation shall be approved by the State Fleet Officer prior to purchase, rental, lease or acquisition or change in use of any vehicle and shall be maintained and made available for review by the State Auditor, any other reviewing agency and the Legislature.
(5) The State Auditor shall make on-site visits and conduct audits necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section and all rules and regulations adopted hereunder. On or before September 1 of each year, the State Auditor shall prepare and deliver to the Senate and House Appropriations Committees and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee a report containing any irregularities that he finds concerning purchases of state-owned vehicles.
(6) The Department of Public Safety and the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks may retain any vehicle seized pursuant to the forfeiture laws of this state, and the total number of vehicles assigned to each such agency shall not be reduced by the number of seized vehicles which the agency retains.
(7) The Bureau of Fleet Management, upon request, shall grant an exemption from the provisions of this section for only any vehicle assigned to a sworn officer of the Department of Public Safety and used in undercover operations when the bureau determines that compliance could jeopardize the life, health or safety of the sworn officer.
(8) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any state institution of higher learning.
SECTION 2. Section 25-1-79, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-1-79. It shall be unlawful for any officer, employee or other person whatsoever to use or permit or authorize the use of any automobile or any other motor vehicle owned by the State of Mississippi or any department, agency or institution thereof for any purpose other than upon the official business of the State of Mississippi or any agency, department or institution thereof. Further, it shall be unlawful for any such officer or employee to be paid or to receive any sums whatsoever for travel expense until the expenses for which payment is made, and each item thereof, have been actually incurred by such officer or employee, and then only upon the presentation of an itemized expense account which shall be approved in writing by the head of the department, agency or institution on whose behalf such travel is performed. However, it is expressly provided that any such officer or employee traveling * * * on business for and in behalf of the State of Mississippi may, strictly in the discretion of an agency, institution or department head, receive in advance from state funds for the purpose of such travel expense a sum to be specified by such aforementioned superior. Further, strict account of any sum so advanced must be kept in accord with Section 25-1-81.
SECTION 3. Section 27-103-129, Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended by Senate Bill No. 2581, 2006 Regular Session, is amended as follows:
27-103-129. (1) To enable the Legislative Budget Office to prepare such budget, it shall have full and plenary power and authority to require all general-fund and special-fund agencies and the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the Division of State Aid Road Construction of the Mississippi Department of Transportation to file a budget request with such information and in such form and in such detail as it may deem necessary and advisable, and it shall have the further power and authority to reduce or eliminate any item or items of requested appropriation by any state agency in the Legislative Budget Office's recommended budget to the Legislature. However, where any item of requested appropriation shall be so reduced or eliminated, the head of the agency involved shall have the right to appear before the appropriate legislative committee to urge a revision of the budget to restore the item reduced or eliminated. Beginning with the 1996 fiscal year, the budget requests shall include a definition of the mission of the agency, a description of the duties and responsibilities of the agency, financial data relative to the various programs operated by the agency and performance measures associated with each program of the agency. The performance measures to be contained within the agency budget request shall be developed by cooperative efforts of the Legislative Budget Office, the Department of Finance and Administration and the agency itself and shall be approved jointly by the Legislative Budget Office and the Department of Finance and Administration prior to inclusion within the agency budget request. Beginning with the 1996 fiscal year, the budget requests shall also include in an addendum format a five-year strategic plan for the agency which shall include, but not be limited to, the following items of information:
(a) A comprehensive mission statement,
(b) Performance effectiveness objectives for each program of the agency for each of the five (5) years covered by the plan,
(c) A description of significant external factors which may affect the projected levels of performance,
(d) A description of the agency's internal management system utilized to evaluate its performance achievements in relationship to the targeted performance levels,
(e) An evaluation by the agency of the agency's performance achievements in relationship to the targeted performance levels for the two (2) preceding fiscal years for which accounting records have been finalized.
(2) All agencies enumerated in subsection (1) of this section shall include in their budget requests the following information regarding contract workers for the most recently completed fiscal year:
(a) The name of each worker;
(b) The specific type of services provided;
(c) Hourly rate of compensation, or the basis for compensation if a rate other than the hourly rate is used;
(d) Total gross salary or wages paid; and
(e) Whether the worker is a retired member of the Public Employees' Retirement System.
(3) (a) In addition to any other information required by law, each state agency, general-fund agency and special-fund agency, as defined in Section 27-103-103, desiring to purchase any vehicle as defined by this section shall submit as part of its budget request to the Legislative Budget Office and the Department of Finance and Administration a detailed justification for the proposed purchase. The Legislative Budget Office and the Department of Finance and Administration shall jointly prescribe the forms and formats to be used by agencies making the requests. Such forms shall require, at minimum, the following information:
(i) The kind of vehicle to be purchased;
(ii) The person to whom the vehicle will be assigned and the employment responsibilities of that person which necessitate a state-owned vehicle;
(iii) Whether the vehicle is a work vehicle or passenger vehicle; and
(iv) If the vehicle is assigned to a pool and not an individual, the purposes for which the pool vehicle is assigned and the names of the anticipated users of the pool vehicle.
(b) The Legislative Budget Office and the Department of Finance and Administration shall offer a recommendation to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee on all agency requests for vehicles. In making the recommendation, the Legislative Budget Office and the Department of Finance and Administration may consider break-even analyses for the kind of vehicle requested, the travel patterns of the person for whom the vehicle shall be acquired, and shall determine if there exists surplus vehicles in the possession of other agencies that could be used as a substitute for a new vehicle and why such vehicle should not be used. Beginning July 1, 2007, the purchase of vehicles by an agency shall be a specific line item in the agency's appropriation bill.
(c) If an agency determines that an urgent need exists for a vehicle when it is not feasible to obtain prior legislative approval, the agency may make an emergency request to the Bureau of Fleet Management. Any emergency determination shall be made only upon the existence of extraordinary circumstances. The Bureau of Fleet Management shall make a recommendation to the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration and shall give notification of such recommendation to the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House and the Chairmen of the Senate and House of Representatives Appropriations Committees. The Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration shall have the final authority to approve or disapprove the emergency request. The executive director must set forth specific reasons for approval which shall be a public record. If approved and if adequate funding is available, the agency may purchase a specific vehicle to meet its specific emergency needs. The Bureau of Fleet Management shall report any emergency purchase to the Legislative Budget Office. Any such vehicle shall be subject to the same rules and regulations as provided for nonemergency vehicles.
(d) For purposes of subsections (3) and (4) of this section, the term "passenger vehicle" shall mean a vehicle used primarily in transporting agency personnel and the agency's equipment from one location to another. This term shall include only those vehicles for which a license plate or tag is required under Chapter 19, Title 27, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(e) For purposes of subsections (3) and (4) of this section, the term "work vehicle" shall mean a vehicle used primarily to perform a work assignment or task while incidentally transporting agency personnel and agency equipment from one location to another. This term shall include only those vehicles for which a license plate or tag is required under Chapter 19, Title 27, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(4) All state agencies, special-fund agencies and general-fund agencies making budget requests under the authority of this section shall include with their budget requests a report of all passenger and work vehicles in their possession. Such report shall detail the persons to whom the vehicles are assigned and the purposes for the vehicles.
(5) Subsections (3) and (4) of this section shall not apply to any vehicle assigned to a sworn officer of the Department of Public Safety and used in undercover operations.
(6) The provisions of subsections (3) and (4) of this section shall not apply to any state institution of higher learning.
(7) Beginning July 1, 2007, the purchase of wireless communication devices as defined in Section 9 of Senate Bill No. 2398, 2006 Regular Session, by any state agency, special-fund agency or general-fund agency making budget requests under the authority of this section shall be a specific line item in the agency's appropriation bill.
SECTION 4. Section 25-3-41, Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended by Senate Bill No. 2178, 2006 Regular Session, is amended as follows:
25-3-41. (1) When any officer or employee of the State of Mississippi, or any department, agency or institution thereof, after first being duly authorized, is required to travel in the performance of his official duties, the officer or employee shall receive as expenses for each mile actually and necessarily traveled, when the travel is done by a privately-owned automobile or other privately-owned motor vehicle, the mileage reimbursement rate allowable to federal employees for the use of a privately-owned vehicle while on official travel.
(2) When any officer or employee of any county or municipality, or of any agency, board or commission thereof, after first being duly authorized, is required to travel in the performance of his official duties, the officer or employee shall receive as expenses Twenty Cents (20˘) for each mile actually and necessarily traveled, when the travel is done by a privately-owned motor vehicle; provided, however, that the governing authorities of a county or municipality may, in their discretion, authorize an increase in the mileage reimbursement of officers and employees of the county or municipality, or of any agency, board or commission thereof, in an amount not to exceed the mileage reimbursement rate authorized for officers and employees of the State of Mississippi in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) Where two (2) or more officers or employees travel in one (1) privately-owned motor vehicle, only one (1) travel expense allowance at the authorized rate per mile shall be allowed for any one (1) trip. When the travel is done by means of a public carrier or other means not involving a privately-owned motor vehicle, then the officer or employee shall receive as travel expense the actual fare or other expenses incurred in such travel.
(4) In addition to the foregoing, a public officer or employee shall be reimbursed for other actual expenses such as meals, lodging and other necessary expenses incurred in the course of the travel, subject to limitations placed on meals for intrastate and interstate official travel by the Department of Finance and Administration, provided, that the Legislative Budget Office shall place any limitations for expenditures made on matters under the jurisdiction of the Legislature. The Department of Finance and Administration shall set a maximum daily expenditure annually for such meals and shall notify officers and employees of changes to these allowances immediately upon approval of the changes. Travel by airline shall be at the tourist rate unless that space was unavailable. The officer or employee shall certify that tourist accommodations were not available if travel is performed in first-class airline accommodations. Itemized expense accounts shall be submitted by those officers or employees in such number as the department, agency or institution may require; but in any case one (1) copy shall be furnished by state departments, agencies or institutions to the Department of Finance and Administration for preaudit or postaudit. The Department of Finance and Administration shall promulgate and adopt reasonable rules and regulations which it deems necessary and requisite to effectuate economies for all expenses authorized and paid pursuant to this section. Requisitions shall be made on the State Fiscal Officer who shall issue his warrant on the State Treasurer. Provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not include agencies financed entirely by federal funds and audited by federal auditors.
(5) Any officer or employee of a county or municipality, or any department, board or commission thereof, who is required to travel in the performance of his official duties, may receive funds before the travel, in the discretion of the administrative head of the county or municipal department, board or commission involved, for the purpose of paying necessary expenses incurred during the travel. Upon return from the travel, the officer or employee shall provide receipts of transportation, lodging, meals, fees and any other expenses incurred during the travel. Any portion of the funds advanced which is not expended during the travel shall be returned by the officer or employee. The Department of Audit shall adopt rules and regulations regarding advance payment of travel expenses and submission of receipts to ensure proper control and strict accountability for those payments and expenses.
(6) No state or federal funds received from any source by any arm or agency of the state shall be expended in traveling outside of the continental limits of the United States until the governing body or head of the agency makes a finding and determination that the travel would be extremely beneficial to the state agency and obtains a written concurrence thereof from the Governor, or his designee, and the Department of Finance and Administration. However, employees of state institutions of higher learning may expend funds for travel outside of the continental limits of the United States upon a written finding by the president or head of the institution that the travel would be extremely beneficial to the institution.
(7) Where any officer or employee of the State of Mississippi, or any department, agency or institution thereof, or of any county or municipality, or of any agency, board or commission thereof, is authorized to receive travel reimbursement under any other provision of law, the reimbursement may be paid under the provisions of this section or the other section, but not under both.
(8) When the Governor, Lieutenant Governor or Speaker of the House of Representatives appoints a person to a board, commission or other position that requires confirmation by the Senate, the person may receive reimbursement for mileage and other actual expenses incurred in the performance of official duties before the appointment is confirmed by the Senate, as reimbursement for those expenses is authorized under this section.
(9) (a) The Department of Finance and Administration may contract with one or more commercial travel agencies, after receiving competitive bids or proposals therefor, for that travel agency or agencies to provide necessary travel services for state officers and employees. Municipal and county officers and municipal and county employees may also participate in the state travel agency contract and utilize these travel services for official municipal or county travel. However, the administrative head of each state institution of higher learning may, in his discretion, contract with a commercial travel agency to provide necessary travel services for all academic officials and staff of the university in lieu of participation in the state travel agency contract. Any such decision by a university to contract with a separate travel agency shall be approved by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning andthe Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration.
(b) Before executing a contract with one or more travel agencies, the Department of Finance and Administration shall advertise for competitive bids or proposals once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a regular newspaper having a general circulation throughout the State of Mississippi. If the department determines that it should not contract with any of the bidders initially submitting proposals, the department may reject all those bids, advertise as provided in this paragraph and receive new proposals before executing the contract or contracts. The contract or contracts may be for a period not greater than three (3) years, with an option for the travel agency or agencies to renew the contract or contracts on a one-year basis on the same terms as the original contract or contracts, for a maximum of two (2) renewals. After the travel agency or agencies have renewed the contract twice or have declined to renew the contract for the maximum number of times, the Department of Finance and Administration shall advertise for bids in the manner required by this paragraph and execute a new contract or contracts.
(c) Whenever any state officer or employee travels in the performance of his official duties by airline or other public carrier, he may have his travel arrangements handled by that travel agency or agencies. The amount paid for airline transportation for any state officer or employee, whether the travel was arranged by that travel agency or agencies or was arranged otherwise, shall not exceed the amount specified in the state contract established by the Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management, unless prior approval is obtained from the office.
SECTION 5. Section 25-1-81, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-1-81. The Department of Finance and Administration shall refuse to issue warrants upon requisitions drawn in violation of the provisions hereof, and where any expense account is allowed and paid in violation of the provisions of Sections 25-1-77 through 25-1-93, it shall be the duty of the Department of Finance and Administration to withhold the payment of any further expense accounts for the department, agency or institution involved until the amount of the account or accounts illegally paid shall be refunded and repaid to the State of Mississippi by the person receiving or approving same. It is further provided that the Department of Finance and Administration shall prescribe and deliver to each agency, department or institution a uniform system of expense accounts herein allowed, including a uniform system of depreciation allowance. All expense accounts for lodging shall be supported by receipted bills showing the payment thereof by such officer or employee. It is incumbent upon each agency, department or institution to abide by and utilize the method of uniform system of expense accounts so prescribed and delivered by the Department of Finance and Administration. Each agency, department or institution, in rendering its annual report to the Bureau of Fleet Management and the Legislature, shall show the number of state-owned automobiles purchased and operated during the year, the number purchased and operated out of funds appropriated by the Legislature, the number purchased and operated out of any other public funds, the miles traveled per automobile, the total miles traveled, the average cost per mile, and depreciation estimate on each automobile. The report shall also show the cost per mile and total number of miles traveled in privately-owned automobiles for which reimbursement is made out of state funds and any other information requested by the Bureau of Fleet Management.
SECTION 6. Section 31-7-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-7-5. The Department of Finance and Administration shall prescribe rules and regulations governing the manner in which the authority and duties granted to it by law may be carried out. It shall employ suitable and competent personnel, necessary to carry out its purposes. The Department of Finance and Administration may establish an Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management and employ a competent person as Director of the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management who shall be a member of the state service in a job classification and salary as determined by the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration with the approval of the State Personnel Board.
SECTION 7. Section 31-7-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-7-9. (1) (a) The Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management shall adopt purchasing regulations governing the purchase by any agency of any commodity or commodities and establishing standards and specifications for a commodity or commodities and the maximum fair prices of a commodity or commodities, subject to the approval of the Public Procurement Review Board. It shall have the power to amend, add to or eliminate purchasing regulations. The adoption of, amendment, addition to or elimination of purchasing regulations shall be based upon a determination by the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management with the approval of the Public Procurement Review Board, that such action is reasonable and practicable and advantageous to promote efficiency and economy in the purchase of commodities by the agencies of the state. Upon the adoption of any purchasing regulation, or an amendment, addition or elimination therein, copies of same shall be furnished to the State Auditor and to all agencies affected thereby. Thereafter, and except as otherwise may be provided in subsection (2) of this section, no agency of the state shall purchase any commodities covered by existing purchasing regulations unless such commodities be in conformity with the standards and specifications set forth in the purchasing regulations and unless the price thereof does not exceed the maximum fair price established by such purchasing regulations. The said Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management shall furnish to any county or municipality or other local public agency of the state requesting same, copies of purchasing regulations adopted by the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management and any amendments, changes or eliminations of same that may be made from time to time.
(b) The Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management may adopt purchasing regulations governing the use of credit cards, procurement cards and purchasing club membership cards to be used by state agencies, governing authorities of counties and municipalities and the Chickasawhay Natural Gas District. Use of the cards shall be in strict compliance with the regulations promulgated by the office. Any amounts due on the cards shall incur interest charges as set forth in Section 31-7-305 and shall not be considered debt.
(2) The Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management shall adopt, subject to the approval of the Public Procurement Review Board, purchasing regulations governing the purchase of unmarked vehicles to be used by the Bureau of Narcotics and Department of Public Safety in official investigations pursuant to Section 25-1-87. Such regulations shall ensure that purchases of such vehicles shall be at a fair price and shall take into consideration the peculiar needs of the Bureau of Narcotics and Department of Public Safety in undercover operations.
(3) The Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management shall adopt, subject to the approval of the Public Procurement Review Board, regulations governing the certification process for certified purchasing offices. Such regulations shall require entities desiring to be classified as certified purchasing offices to submit applications and applicable documents on an annual basis, at which time the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management may provide the governing entity with a certification valid for one (1) year from the date of issuance.
SECTION 8. Section 31-7-10, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-7-10. (1) For the purposes of this section, the term "equipment" shall mean equipment, furniture, and if applicable, associated software and other applicable direct costs associated with the acquisition. In addition to its other powers and duties, the Department of Finance and Administration shall have the authority to develop a master lease-purchase program and, pursuant to that program, shall have the authority to execute on behalf of the state master lease-purchase agreements for equipment to be used by an agency, as provided in this section. Each agency electing to acquire equipment by a lease-purchase agreement shall participate in the Department of Finance and Administration's master lease-purchase program, unless the Department of Finance and Administration makes a determination that such equipment cannot be obtained under the program or unless the equipment can be obtained elsewhere at an overall cost lower than that for which the equipment can be obtained under the program. Such lease-purchase agreements may include the refinancing or consolidation, or both, of any state agency lease-purchase agreements entered into after June 30, 1990.
(2) All funds designated by agencies for procurement of equipment and financing thereof under the master lease-purchase program shall be paid into a special fund created in the State Treasury known as the "Master Lease-Purchase Program Fund," which shall be used by the Department of Finance and Administration for payment to the lessors for equipment acquired under master lease-purchase agreements.
(3) Upon final approval of an appropriation bill, each agency shall submit to the Public Procurement Review Board a schedule of proposed equipment acquisitions for the master lease-purchase program. Upon approval of an equipment schedule by the Public Procurement Review Board with the advice of the Department of Information Technology Services, the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management, and the Division of Energy and Transportation of the Mississippi Development Authority as it pertains to energy efficient climate control systems, the Public Procurement Review Board shall forward a copy of the equipment schedule to the Department of Finance and Administration.
(4) The level of lease-purchase debt recommended by the Department of Finance and Administration shall be subject to approval by the State Bond Commission. After such approval, the Department of Finance and Administration shall be authorized to advertise and solicit written competitive proposals for a lessor, who will purchase the equipment pursuant to bid awards made by the using agency under a given category and then transfer the equipment to the Department of Finance and Administration as lessee, pursuant to a master lease-purchase agreement.
The Department of Finance and Administration shall select the successful proposer for the financing of equipment under the master lease-purchase program with the approval of the State Bond Commission.
(5) Each master lease-purchase agreement, and any subsequent amendments, shall include such terms and conditions as the State Bond Commission shall determine to be appropriate and in the public interest, and may include any covenants deemed necessary or desirable to protect the interests of the lessor, including, but not limited to, provisions setting forth the interest rate (or method for computing interest rates) for financing pursuant to such agreement, covenants concerning application of payments and funds held in the Master Lease-Purchase Program Fund, covenants to maintain casualty insurance with respect to equipment subject to the master lease-purchase agreement (and all state agencies are specifically authorized to purchase any insurance required by a master lease-purchase agreement) and covenants precluding or limiting the right of the lessee or user to acquire equipment within a specified time (not to exceed five (5) years) after cancellation on the basis of a failure to appropriate funds for payment of amounts due under a lease-purchase agreement covering comparable equipment. The State Bond Commission shall transmit copies of each such master lease-purchase agreement and each such amendment to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. To the extent provided in any master lease-purchase agreement, title to equipment leased pursuant thereto shall be deemed to be vested in the state or the user of the equipment (as specified in such master lease-purchase agreement), subject to default under or termination of such master lease-purchase agreement.
A master lease-purchase agreement may provide for payment by the lessor to the lessee of the purchase price of the equipment to be acquired pursuant thereto prior to the date on which payment is due to the vendor for such equipment and that the lease payments by the lessee shall commence as though the equipment had been provided on the date of payment. If the lessee, or lessee's escrow agent, has sufficient funds for payment of equipment purchases prior to payment due date to vendor of equipment, such funds shall be held or utilized on an as-needed basis for payment of equipment purchases either by the State Treasurer (in which event the master lease-purchase agreement may include provisions concerning the holding of such funds, the creation of a security interest for the benefit of the lessor in such funds until disbursed and other appropriate provisions approved by the Bond Commission) or by a corporate trustee selected by the Department of Finance and Administration (in which event the Department of Finance and Administration shall have the authority to enter into an agreement with such a corporate trustee containing terms and conditions approved by the Bond Commission). Earnings on any amount paid by the lessor prior to the acquisition of the equipment may be used to make lease payments under the master lease-purchase agreement or applied to pay costs and expenses incurred in connection with such lease-purchase agreement. In such event, the equipment-use agreements with the user agency may provide for lease payments to commence upon the date of payment by the lessor and may also provide for a credit against such payments to the extent that investment receipts from investment of the purchase price are to be used to make lease-purchase payments.
(6) The annual rate of interest paid under any lease-purchase agreement authorized under this section shall not exceed the maximum interest rate to maturity on general obligation indebtedness permitted under Section 75-17-101.
(7) The Department of Finance and Administration shall furnish the equipment to the various agencies, also known as the user, pursuant to an equipment-use agreement developed by the Department of Finance and Administration. Such agreements shall require that all monthly payments due from such agency be paid, transferred or allocated into the Master Lease-Purchase Program Fund pursuant to a schedule established by the Department of Finance and Administration. In the event such sums are not paid by the defined payment period, the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration shall issue a requisition for a warrant to draw such amount as may be due from any funds appropriated for the use of the agency which has failed to make the payment as agreed.
(8) All master lease-purchase agreements executed under the authority of this section shall contain the following annual allocation dependency clause or an annual allocation dependency clause which is substantially equivalent thereto: "The continuation of each equipment schedule to this agreement is contingent in whole or in part upon the appropriation of funds by the Legislature to make the lease-purchase payments required under such equipment schedule. If the Legislature fails to appropriate sufficient funds to provide for the continuation of the lease-purchase payments under any such equipment schedule, then the obligations of the lessee and of the agency to make such lease-purchase payments and the corresponding provisions of any such equipment schedule to this agreement shall terminate on the last day of the fiscal year for which appropriations were made."
(9) The maximum lease term for any equipment acquired under the master lease-purchase program shall not exceed the useful life of such equipment as determined according to the upper limit of the asset depreciation range (ADR) guidelines for the Class Life Asset Depreciation Range System established by the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code and Regulations thereunder as in effect on December 31, 1980, or comparable depreciation guidelines with respect to any equipment not covered by ADR guidelines. The Department of Finance and Administration shall be deemed to have met the requirements of this subsection if the term of a master lease-purchase agreement does not exceed the weighted average useful life of all equipment covered by such agreement and the schedules thereto as determined by the Department of Finance and Administration. For purposes of this subsection, the "term of a master lease-purchase agreement" shall be the weighted average maturity of all principal payments to be made under such master lease-purchase agreement and all schedules thereto.
(10) Interest paid on any master lease-purchase agreement under this section shall be exempt from State of Mississippi income taxation. All equipment, and the purchase thereof by any lessor, acquired under the master lease-purchase program and all lease-purchase payments with respect thereto shall be exempt from all Mississippi sales, use and ad valorem taxes.
(11) The Governor, in his annual executive budget to the Legislature, shall recommend appropriations sufficient to provide funds to pay all amounts due and payable during the applicable fiscal year under master lease-purchase agreements entered into pursuant to this section.
(12) Any master lease-purchase agreement reciting in substance that such agreement has been entered into pursuant to this section shall be conclusively deemed to have been entered into in accordance with all of the provisions and conditions set forth in this section. Any defect or irregularity arising with respect to procedures applicable to the acquisition of any equipment shall not invalidate or otherwise limit the obligation of the Department of Finance and Administration, or the state or any agency of the state, under any master lease-purchase agreement or any equipment-use agreement.
(13) There shall be maintained by the Department of Finance and Administration, with respect to each master lease-purchase agreement, an itemized statement of the cash price, interest rates, interest costs, commissions, debt service schedules and all other costs and expenses paid by the state incident to the lease-purchase of equipment under such agreement.
(14) Lease-purchase agreements entered into by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning pursuant to the authority of Section 37-101-413 or by any other agency which has specific statutory authority other than pursuant to Section 31-7-13(e) to acquire equipment by lease-purchase shall not be made pursuant to the master lease-purchase program under this section, unless the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning or such other agency elects to participate as to part or all of its lease-purchase acquisitions in the master lease-purchase program pursuant to this section.
(15) The Department of Finance and Administration may develop a master lease-purchase program for school districts and, pursuant to that program, may execute on behalf of the school districts master lease-purchase agreements for equipment to be used by the school districts. The form and structure of this program shall be substantially the same as set forth in this section for the master lease-purchase program for state agencies. If sums due from a school district under the master lease-purchase program are not paid by the expiration of the defined payment period, the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration may withhold such amount that is due from the school district's minimum education or adequate education program fund allotments.
(16) The Department of Finance and Administration may develop a master lease-purchase program for community and junior college districts and, pursuant to that program, may execute on behalf of the community and junior college districts master lease-purchase agreements for equipment to be used by the community and junior college districts. The form and structure of this program must be substantially the same as set forth in this section for the master lease-purchase program for state agencies. If sums due from a community or junior college district under the master lease-purchase program are not paid by the expiration of the defined payment period, the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration may withhold an amount equal to the amount due under the program from any funds allocated for that community or junior college district in the state appropriations for the use and support of the community and junior colleges.
SECTION 9. (1) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section unless the context otherwise clearly requires:
(a) "Department" means the Mississippi Department of Information Technology.
(b) "State agency" means any agency, department, commission, board, bureau, institution or other instrumentality of the state.
(c) "Wireless communication device" means a cellular telephone, pager or a personal digital assistant device having wireless communication capability.
(2) Before a wireless communication device may be assigned, issued or made available to an agency officer or employee, the agency head, or his designee, shall sign a statement certifying the need or reason for issuing the device. No officer or employee of any state agency, except for an officer or employee of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, shall be assigned or issued more than one (1) such wireless communication device.
No officer or employee of any state agency to whom has been assigned, issued or made available the use of a wireless communication device, the cost of which is paid through the use of public funds, shall use such device for personal use.
(3) A state agency shall not reimburse any officer or employee for use of his or her personal wireless communication device.
(4) Every state agency that, at the expense of the state agency, assigns, issues or makes available to any of its officers or employees a wireless communication device shall obtain and maintain detailed billing for every wireless communication device account. A list of approved vendors for the procurement of wireless communication devices and the delivery of wireless communication device services shall be developed for all state agencies by the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services in conjunction with the Wireless Communication Commission created in Section 25-53-171. The department, in conjunction with the Wireless Communication Commission, shall exercise the option of selecting one (1) vendor from which to procure wireless communication devices and to provide wireless communication device services, or if it deems such to be most advantageous to the state agencies, it may select multiple vendors. The department, in conjunction with the Wireless Communication Commission, shall select a vendor or vendors on the basis of lowest and best bid proposals. A state agency may not procure a wireless communication device from any vendor or contract for wireless communication device services with any vendor unless the vendor appears on the list approved by the department, in conjunction with the Wireless Communication Commission. A contract entered into in violation of this section shall be void and unenforceable.
(5) The department shall promulgate a model acceptable use policy defining the appropriate use of all wireless communication devices. The acceptable use policy should specify that these resources, including both devices and services, are provided at the state agency's expense as tools for accomplishing the business missions of the state agency; that all those resources are for business use; and that more than incidental personal use of those resources is prohibited. The acceptable use policy should require that each official and employee issued one (1) of the above devices or authorized to access one (1) of the above services sign the policy and that the signed copy be placed in the personnel file of the official or employee. The acceptable use policy should also require that the use of these resources be tracked, verified and signed by the official or employee and the supervisor of the official or employee at each billing cycle or other appropriate interval. All state agencies shall adopt the model policy or adopt a policy that is, at minimum, as stringent as the model policy and shall provide a copy of the policy to the department.
(6) All state agencies shall purchase or acquire only the lowest cost cellular telephone, pager or personal digital assistance device which will carry out its intended use.
(7) The State Auditor shall conduct necessary audits to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section.
SECTION 10. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.