2007 Regular Session

To: Appropriations

By: Representative Stringer

House Bill 1037

(As Passed the House)



     SECTION 1.  Section 25-9-120, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     25-9-120.  (1)  Contract personnel, whether classified as contract workers or independent contractors shall not be deemed state service or nonstate service employees of the State of Mississippi, and shall not be eligible to participate in the Public Employees' Retirement System, or the state employee health plan, nor be allowed credit for personal and sick leave and other leave benefits as employees of the State of Mississippi, notwithstanding Sections 25-3-91 through 25-3-101; 25-9-101 through 25-9-151; 25-11-1 through 25-11-126; 25-11-128 through 25-11-131; 25-15-1 through 25-15-23 and for the purpose set forth herein.  Contract workers, i.e., contract personnel who do not meet the criteria of independent contractors, shall be subject to the provisions of Section 25-11-127.

     (2)  There is * * * created the Personal Service Contract Review Board, which shall be composed of the State Personnel Director, the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration, or his designee, the Commissioner of Corrections, or his designee, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, or his designee, and the Executive Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, or his designee.  The State Personnel Director shall be chairman and shall preside over the meetings of the board.  The board shall annually elect a vice chairman, who shall serve in the absence of the chairman.  No business shall be transacted, including adoption of rules of procedure, without the presence of a quorum of the board.  Three (3) members shall be a quorum.  No action shall be valid unless approved by the chairman and two (2) other of those members present and voting, entered upon the minutes of the board and signed by the chairman.  Necessary clerical and administrative support for the board shall be provided by the State Personnel Board.  Minutes shall be kept of the proceedings of each meeting, copies of which shall be filed on a monthly basis with the Legislative Budget Office.

     (3)  The Personal Service Contract Review Board shall have the following powers and responsibilities:

          (a)  Promulgate rules and regulations governing the solicitation and selection of contractual services personnel including personal and professional services contracts for any form of consulting, policy analysis, public relations, marketing, public affairs, legislative advocacy services or any other contract that the board deems appropriate for oversight, with the exception of any personal service contracts entered into for computer or information technology-related services governed by the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services, any personal service contracts entered into by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, and any contract for attorney, accountant, auditor, physician, dentist, other health care professional, architect, engineer, veterinarian and utility rate expert services.  Any such rules and regulations shall provide for maintaining continuous internal audit covering the activities of such agency affecting its revenue and expenditures as required under Section 7-7-3(6)(d), Mississippi Code of 1972;

          (b)  Approve all personal and professional services contracts, except for contracts for the services of health care professionals, involving the expenditures of funds in excess of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00).  The board shall disapprove any personal or professional services contract where the services to be provided could reasonably be performed by an employee in an authorized employment position.

          (c)  Develop standards with respect to contractual services personnel which require invitations for public bid, requests for proposals, record keeping and financial responsibility of contractors.  The Personal Service Contract Review Board may, in its discretion, require the agency involved to advertise such contract for public bid, and may reserve the right to reject any or all bids;

          (d)  Prescribe certain circumstances whereby agency heads may enter into contracts for personal and professional services without receiving prior approval from the Personal Service Contract Review Board.  The Personal Service Contract Review Board may establish a pre-approved list of providers of various personal and professional services for set prices with which state agencies may contract without bidding or prior approval from the board;

          (e)  To provide standards for the issuance of requests for proposals, the evaluation of proposals received, consideration of costs and quality of services proposed, contract negotiations, the administrative monitoring of contract performance by the agency and successful steps in terminating a contract;

          (f)  To present recommendations for governmental privatization and to evaluate privatization proposals submitted by any state agency;

          (g)  To authorize personal and professional service contracts to be effective for more than one (1) year provided a funding condition is included in any such multiple year contract, except the State Board of Education, which shall have the authority to enter into contractual agreements for student assessment for a period up to ten (10) years.  The State Board of Education shall procure these services in accordance with the Personal Service Contract Review Board procurement regulations;

          (h)  To request the State Auditor to conduct a performance audit on any personal or professional service contract;

          (i)  Prepare an annual report to the Legislature concerning the issuance of personal service contracts during the previous year, collecting any necessary information from state agencies in making such report.

     (4)  No member of the Personal Service Contract Review Board shall use his official authority or influence to coerce, by threat of discharge from employment, or otherwise, the purchase of commodities or the contracting for personal or professional services under this section.

     SECTION 2.  Section 25-9-107, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     25-9-107.  The following terms, when used in this chapter, unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context, shall have the following meanings:

          (a)  "Board" means the State Personnel Board created under the provisions of this chapter.

          (b)  "State service" means all employees of state departments, agencies and institutions as defined herein, except those officers and employees excluded by this chapter.

          (c)  "Nonstate service" means the following officers and employees excluded from the state service by this chapter.  The following are excluded from the state service:

              (i)  Members of the State Legislature, their staffs and other employees of the legislative branch;

              (ii)  The Governor and staff members of the immediate Office of the Governor;

              (iii)  Justices and judges of the judicial branch or members of appeals boards on a per diem basis;

              (iv)  The Lieutenant Governor, staff members of the immediate Office of the Lieutenant Governor and officers and employees directly appointed by the Lieutenant Governor;

              (v)  Officers and officials elected by popular vote and persons appointed to fill vacancies in elective offices;

              (vi)  Members of boards and commissioners appointed by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor or the State Legislature;

              (vii)  All academic officials, members of the teaching staffs and employees of the state institutions of higher learning, the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, and community and junior colleges;

              (viii)  Officers and enlisted members of the National Guard of the state;

              (ix)  Prisoners, inmates, student or patient help working in or about institutions;

              (x)  Contract personnel; however, any agency that employs state service employees may enter into contracts for personal and professional services only if the contracts are approved in compliance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Personal Service Contract Review Board under Section 25-9-120(3).  Before paying any warrant for those contractual services in excess of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00), the Auditor of Public Accounts, or the successor to those duties, shall determine whether the contract involved was for personal or professional services, and, if so, was approved by the * * * Personal Service Contract Review Board;

              (xi)  Part-time employees; * * * however, part-time employees shall only be hired into authorized employment positions classified by the board, shall meet minimum qualifications as set by the board, and shall be paid in accordance with the Variable Compensation Plan as certified by the board;

              (xii)  Persons appointed on an emergency basis for the duration of the emergency; the effective date of the emergency appointments shall not be earlier than the date approved by the State Personnel Director, and shall be limited to thirty (30) working days.  Emergency appointments may be extended to sixty (60) working days by the State Personnel Board;

              (xiii)  Physicians, dentists, veterinarians, nurse practitioners and attorneys, while serving in their professional capacities in authorized employment positions who are required by statute to be licensed, registered or otherwise certified as such, provided that the State Personnel Director shall verify that the statutory qualifications are met before issuance of a payroll warrant by the auditor;

              (xiv)  Personnel who are employed and paid from funds received from a federal grant program that has been approved by the Legislature or the Department of Finance and Administration whose length of employment has been determined to be time-limited in nature.  This subparagraph shall apply to personnel employed under the provisions of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973, as amended, and other special federal grant programs which are not a part of regular federally funded programs wherein appropriations and employment positions are appropriated by the Legislature.  Such employees shall be paid in accordance with the Variable Compensation Plan and shall meet all qualifications required by federal statutes or by the Mississippi Classification Plan;

              (xv)  The administrative head who is in charge of any state department, agency, institution, board or commission, wherein the statute specifically authorizes the Governor, board, commission or other authority to appoint said administrative head; * * * however, * * * the salary of such administrative head shall be determined by the State Personnel Board in accordance with the Variable Compensation Plan unless otherwise fixed by statute;

              (xvi)  The State Personnel Board shall exclude top level positions if the incumbents determine and publicly advocate substantive program policy and report directly to the agency head, or the incumbents are required to maintain a direct confidential working relationship with a key excluded official.  * * * A written job classification shall be approved by the board for each such position, and positions so excluded shall be paid in conformity with the Variable Compensation Plan;

              (xvii)  Employees whose employment is solely in connection with an agency's contract to produce, store or transport goods, and whose compensation is derived therefrom;

              (xviii)  Repealed;

              (xix)  The associate director, deputy directors and bureau directors within the Department of Agriculture and Commerce;

              (xx)  Personnel employed by the Mississippi Industries for the Blind.  Any agency may enter into contracts for the personal services of MIB employees without the prior approval of the State Personnel Board or the * * * Personal Service Contract Review Board; however, any agency contracting for the personal services of an MIB employee shall provide the MIB employee with not less than the entry level compensation and benefits that the agency would provide to a full-time employee of the agency who performs the same services;

              (xxi)  Personnel employed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks as law enforcement trainees (cadets); such personnel shall be paid in accordance with the Colonel Guy Groff State Variable Compensation Plan.

          (d)  "Agency" means any state board, commission, committee, council, department or unit thereof created by the Constitution or statutes if such board, commission, committee, council, department, unit or the head thereof, is authorized to appoint subordinate staff by the Constitution or statute, except a legislative or judicial board, commission, committee, council, department or unit thereof.

     SECTION 3.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.