1997 Regular Session

To: Fees, Salaries and Administration

By: Senator(s) Blackmon

Senate Bill 2188



SECTION 1. 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" shall mean the State Personnel Board created under the provisions of this chapter.

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

(c) "Nonstate service" shall mean 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; provided, that any agency which employs state service employees may enter into contracts for personal and professional services only if such contracts are in compliance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Personnel Board and the work to be performed cannot reasonably be accomplished by an employee in an authorized employment position.

Before paying any warrant for such contractual services, 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, shall determine whether it was properly administered in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Personnel Board. Physicians, dentists, architects, engineers, veterinarians, attorneys and utility rate experts who are employed for the purposes of professional services, and other specialized technical services as determined by the State Personnel Board, may be excluded from the provisions of this paragraph;

(xi) Part-time employees; provided, 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 prior to issuance of a payroll warrant by the auditor;

(xiv) Personnel who are employed and paid from funds received from a federal grant program which 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; provided, however, that 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. Provided further, 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) Personnel employed by the State Prison Emergency Construction and Management Board, paid from funds from the "Correctional Facilities Emergency Construction Fund," or employed under contracts let or approved by the board for the construction, acquisition, lease, lease-purchase or operation of prison facilities. This subparagraph shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 1996;

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

(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 2. 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) The State Personnel Board shall 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.

(3) The State Personnel Board shall develop standards with respect to contractual services personnel governing invitations to bid, requests for proposals, record keeping and financial responsibility of contractors, in conformity with the following requirements: All personal and professional services contracts involving the expenditures of funds in excess of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for the term of the contract shall be based upon competitive and open specifications, and contracts therefor shall be entered into only after advertisements for bids are published in one or more daily newspapers having a general circulation in the state not less than fourteen (14) days prior to receiving sealed bids therefor. The State Personnel Board may reserve the right to reject any or all bids, and if all bids are rejected, the State Personnel Board 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 State Personal Board accepts one (1) of such bids, it shall be that which is the lowest and best.

(4) The State Personnel Board may, at its discretion, delegate approval authority for personal and professional services contracts to the State Personnel Director. The State Personnel Director may prescribe certain circumstances whereby agency heads may enter into contracts for personal and professional services without receiving prior approval from the State Personnel Board or the State Personnel Director.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.