Bill Text: MS HB916 | 2022 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Contract lobbyists; prohibit agencies, governing authorities and universities and colleges from hiring with public funds.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Failed) 2022-02-01 - Died In Committee [HB916 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2022-HB916-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2022 Regular Session

To: Universities and Colleges; Appropriations

By: Representative Owen

House Bill 916

AN ACT TO CODIFY NEW SECTION 5-8-27, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROHIBIT STATE AGENCIES AND GOVERNING AUTHORITIES FROM EXPENDING PUBLIC FUNDS TO PAY CONTRACT LOBBYISTS; TO PROVIDE THAT A COMMUNITY OR JUNIOR COLLEGE MAY NOT EXPEND PUBLIC FUNDS TO PAY ANY PERSON TO PERFORM CONTRACT LOBBYING; TO AMEND SECTION 5-8-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DEFINE ADDITIONAL TERMS USED UNDER THE LOBBYING LAW REFORM ACT OF 1994; TO AMEND SECTION 27-104-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DELETE CONTRACTS FOR LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY SERVICES FROM THE VARIOUS TYPES OF CONTRACTS SUBJECT TO OVERSIGHT BY THE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT REVIEW BOARD; TO BRING FORWARD SECTION 5-8-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH EXEMPTS CERTAIN PERSONS FROM THE LOBBYING LAWS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 5-8-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROHIBITS LOBBYISTS AND LOBBYISTS' CLIENTS FROM PARTICIPATING IN CERTAIN ACTS, TO CONFORM TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; TO BRING FORWARD SECTION 37-101-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROHIBITS EMPLOYEES OR AGENTS REPRESENTING THE SEPARATE STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING FROM APPEARING BEFORE THE LEGISLATURE EXCEPT UPON ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING OR UPON THE REQUEST OF THE LEGISLATURE, FOR PURPOSES OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  The following shall be codified as Section 5-8-27, Mississippi Code of 1972:

     5-8-27.  (1)  A state agency or governing authority may not expend any public funds to pay any person to perform contract lobbying on behalf of the state agency or governing authority.  Any contract entered into between a state agency or governing authority and a person for contract lobbying services on behalf of the state agency or governing authority that requires the state agency or governing authority to expend public funds is void and unenforceable.

     (2)  A community or junior college may not expend any public funds to pay any person to perform contract lobbying on behalf of the community or junior college.  Any contract entered into between a community or junior college and a person for contract lobbying services on behalf of the community or junior college that requires the community or junior college to expend public funds is void and unenforceable.

     (3)  A public employee of a state agency, governing authority  or community or junior college who authorizes the expenditure of public funds to pay a person to engage in contract lobbying on behalf of the state agency, governing authority or community or junior college shall be subject to termination.

     (4)  The prohibitions of this section do not apply to any public employee of a state agency, governing authority or community or junior college who, as a part of the employee's employment, is authorized or directed by the employee's supervisor or governing board to engage in lobbying the Legislature, other state agencies or governing authorities.  However, this subsection may not be construed as absolving any public employee of a state agency, governing authority or community or junior college from complying with the reporting and disclosure requirements of this chapter.

     SECTION 2.  Section 5-8-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     5-8-3.  The following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed herein unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

          (a)  (i)  "Anything of value" means:

                   1.  A pecuniary item, including money, or a bank bill or note;

                   2.  A promissory note, bill of exchange, order, draft, warrant, check or bond given for the payment of money;

                   3.  A contract, agreement, promise or other obligation for an advance, conveyance, forgiveness of indebtedness, deposit, distribution, loan, payment, gift, pledge or transfer of money;

                   4.  A stock, bond, note or other investment interest in an entity;

                   5.  A receipt given for the payment of money or other property;

                   6.  A right in action;

                   7.  A gift, tangible good, chattel or an interest in a gift, tangible good or chattel;

                   8.  A loan or forgiveness of indebtedness;

                   9.  A work of art, antique or collectible;

                   10.  An automobile or other means of personal transportation;

                   11.  Real property or an interest in real property, including title to realty, a fee simple or partial interest, present or future, contingent or vested within realty, a leasehold interest, or other beneficial interest in realty;

                   12.  An honorarium or compensation for services;

                   13.  A rebate or discount in the price of anything of value, unless the rebate or discount is made in the ordinary course of business to a member of the public without regard to that person's status as an executive, legislative or public official or public employee, or the sale or trade of something for reasonable compensation that would ordinarily not be available to a member of the public;

                   14.  A promise or offer of employment;

                   15.  Any other thing of value that is pecuniary or compensatory in value to a person, except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph; or

                   16.  A payment that directly benefits an executive, legislative or public official or public employee or a member of that person's immediate family.

              (ii)  "Anything of value" does not mean:

                   1.  Informational material such as books, reports, pamphlets, calendars or periodicals informing an executive, legislative or public official or public employee of her or his official duties;

                   2.  A certificate, plaque or other commemorative item which has little pecuniary value;

                   3.  Food and beverages for immediate consumption provided by a lobbyist up to a value of Ten Dollars ($10.00) in the aggregate during any calendar year;

                   4.  Campaign contributions reported in accordance with Section 23-15-801 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972.

          (b)  "Commission" means the Mississippi Ethics Commission, when used in the context of Section 5-8-19.

          (c)  "Compensation" means:

              (i)  An advance, conveyance, forgiveness of indebtedness, deposit, distribution, loan, payment, gift, pledge or transfer of money or anything of value, including reimbursement of travel, food or lodging costs; or

              (ii)  A contract, agreement, promise or other obligation for an advance, conveyance, forgiveness of indebtedness, deposit, distribution, loan, payment, gift, pledge or transfer of money or anything of value, including reimbursement of travel, food or lodging costs, for services rendered or to be rendered.

          (d)  "Executive action" means the proposal, drafting, development, consideration, amendment, adoption, approval, promulgation, issuance, modification, rejection or postponement by a state or local governmental entity of a rule, regulation, order, decision, determination or other quasi-legislative action or proceeding.

          (e)  "Executive agency" means:

              (i)  An agency, board, commission, governing authority or other body in the executive branch of state or local government; or

              (ii)  An independent body of state or local government that is not a part of the legislative or judicial branch, but which shall include county boards of supervisors.

          (f)  "Executive official" means:

              (i)  A member or employee of a state agency, board, commission, governing authority or other body in the executive branch of state or local government; or

              (ii)  A public official or public employee, or any employee of such person, of state or local government who takes an executive action.

          (g)  "Expenditure" means:

              (i)  A purchase, payment, distribution, loan, forgiveness of a loan or payment of a loan by a third party, advance, deposit, transfer of funds, a promise to make a payment, or a gift of money or anything of value for any purpose;

              (ii)  A payment to a lobbyist for salary, fee, commission, compensation for expenses, or other purpose by a person employing, retaining or contracting for the services of the lobbyist separately or jointly with other persons;

              (iii)  A payment in support of or assistance to a lobbyist or the lobbyist's activities, including the direct payment of expenses incurred at the request or suggestion of the lobbyist;

              (iv)  A payment that directly benefits an executive, legislative or public official or a member of the official's immediate family;

              (v)  A payment, including compensation, payment or reimbursement for the services, time or expenses of an employee for or in connection with direct communication with an executive, legislative or public official made at the direction of the employee's employer;

              (vi)  A payment for or in connection with soliciting or urging other persons to enter into direct communication with an executive, legislative or public official; or

              (vii)  A payment or reimbursement for food, beverages, travel, lodging, entertainment or sporting activities.

          (h)  "Gift" means anything of value to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received, including a rebate or discount in the price of anything of value unless the rebate or discount is made in the ordinary course of business to a member of the public without regard to that person's status as an executive, legislative or public official.

          (i)  "Legislative action" means:

              (i)  Preparation, research, drafting, introduction, consideration, modification, amendment, approval, passage, enactment, tabling, postponement, defeat or rejection of a bill, resolution, amendment, motion, report, nomination, appointment or other matter by the Mississippi State Legislature or a member or employee of the Legislature acting or purporting to act in an official capacity;

              (ii)  Action by the Governor in approving or vetoing a bill or other action of the Legislature;

              (iii)  Action by the Legislature in:

                   1.  Overriding or sustaining a veto by the Governor; or

                   2.  Considering, confirming or rejecting an executive appointment of the Governor.

          (j)  "Legislative official" means:

              (i)  A member, member-elect or presiding officer of the Legislature;

              (ii)  A member of a commission or other entity established by and responsible to either or both houses of the Legislature;

              (iii)  A staff member, officer or employee to a member or member-elect of the Legislature, to a member of a commission or other entity established by and responsible to either or both houses of the Legislature, or to the Legislature or any house, committee or office thereof.

          (k)  "Lobbying" means:

              (i)  Influencing or attempting to influence legislative or executive action through oral or written communication; or

              (ii)  Solicitation of others to influence legislative or executive action; or

              (iii)  Paying or promising to pay anything of value directly or indirectly related to legislative or executive action.

          (l)  "Lobbyist" means:

              (i)  An individual who is employed and receives payments, or who contracts for economic consideration, including reimbursement for reasonable travel and living expenses, for the purpose of lobbying;

              (ii)  An individual who represents a legislative or public official or public employee, or who represents a person, organization, association or other group, for the purpose of lobbying;

              (iii)  A sole proprietor, owner, part owner or shareholder in a business who has a pecuniary interest in legislative or executive action, who engages in lobbying activities; or

              (iv)  Any individual described in subparagraphs (i), (ii) or (iii) of this paragraph (l) who is employed by or has contracted with any agency, legislative or public official or public employee, or any other public entity for the purpose of providing any type of consulting or other similar service but also engages in any type of lobbying activities.  Such individual shall not qualify for any exemption under Section 5-8-7.

          (m)  "Lobbyist's client" means the person in whose behalf the lobbyist influences or attempts to influence legislative or executive action.

          (n)  "Local" means all entities of government at the county, county-district, multicounty district, municipal or school district level.

          (o)  "Person" means an individual, proprietorship, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint-stock company, syndicate, business trust, estate, company, corporation, association, club, committee, organization or group of persons acting in concert.

          (p)  "Public employee" means an individual appointed to a position, including a position created by statute, whether compensated or not, in state or local government and includes any employee of the public employee.  The term includes a member of the board of trustees, chancellor, vice chancellor or the equivalent thereof in the state university system or the state community and junior college system, and a president of a state college or university.

          (q)  "Public official" means an individual elected to a state or local office, or an individual who is appointed to fill a vacancy in the office.

          (r)  "Value" means the retail cost or fair market worth of an item or items, whichever is greater.

          (s)  "State agency" means any state board, commission, department, authority, committee, council or agency created by the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 or statute.  The term "state agency" includes the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the individual state institutions of higher learning.

          (t)  "Governing authority" means boards of supervisors, governing boards of all school districts, all boards of directors of public water supply districts, boards of directors of master public water supply districts, municipal public utility commissions, governing authorities of all municipalities, port authorities, Mississippi State Port Authority, commissioners and boards of trustees of any public hospitals, boards of trustees of public library systems, district attorneys, school attendance officers and any political subdivision of the state supported wholly or in part by public funds of the state or political subdivisions thereof, including commissions, boards and agencies created or operated under the authority of any county or municipality of this state.

          (u)  "Community or junior college" means a community or junior college district and its local board of trustees established under Chapter 29, Title 37, Mississippi Code of 1972.

          (v)  "Public funds" means all funds appropriated by the Legislature and all other fees, local levies or other revenues generated by a state agency or community or junior college that are available for expenditure by the state agency or community or junior college.

          (w)  "Contract lobbying" means any lobbying performed by an independent contractor or a contract worker of a state agency or community or junior college.

     SECTION 3.  Section 27-104-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     27-104-7.  (1)  (a)  There is created the Public Procurement Review Board, which shall be reconstituted on January 1, 2018, and shall be composed of the following members:

               (i)  Three (3) individuals appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate;

              (ii)  Two (2) individuals appointed by the Lieutenant Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate; and

              (iii)  The Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration, serving as an ex officio and nonvoting member.

          (b)  The initial terms of each appointee shall be as follows:

              (i)  One (1) member appointed by the Governor to serve for a term ending on June 30, 2019;

              (ii)  One (1) member appointed by the Governor to serve for a term ending on June 30, 2020;

              (iii)  One (1) member appointed by the Governor to serve for a term ending on June 30, 2021;

              (iv)  One (1) member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor to serve for a term ending on June 30, 2019; and

              (v)  One (1) member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor to serve for a term ending on June 30, 2020.

     After the expiration of the initial terms, all appointed members' terms shall be for a period of four (4) years from the expiration date of the previous term, and until such time as the member's successor is duly appointed and qualified.

          (c)  When appointing members to the Public Procurement Review Board, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall take into consideration persons who possess at least five (5) years of management experience in general business, health care or finance for an organization, corporation or other public or private entity.  Any person, or any employee or owner of a company, who receives any grants, procurements or contracts that are subject to approval under this section shall not be appointed to the Public Procurement Review Board.  Any person, or any employee or owner of a company, who is a principal of the source providing a personal or professional service shall not be appointed to the Public Procurement Review Board if the principal owns or controls a greater than five percent (5%) interest or has an ownership value of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) in the source's business, whichever is smaller.  No member shall be an officer or employee of the State of Mississippi while serving as a voting member on the Public Procurement Review Board. 

          (d)  Members of the Public Procurement Review Board shall be entitled to per diem as authorized by Section 25-3-69 and travel reimbursement as authorized by Section 25-3-41.

          (e)  The members of the Public Procurement Review Board shall elect a chair from among the membership, and he or she shall preside over the meetings of the board.  The board shall annually elect a vice chair, who shall serve in the absence of the chair.  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 a majority of the members present and voting, entered upon the minutes of the board and signed by the chair.  Necessary clerical and administrative support for the board shall be provided by the Department of Finance and Administration.  Minutes shall be kept of the proceedings of each meeting, copies of which shall be filed on a monthly basis with the chairs of the Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives and the chairs of the Appropriations Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives.

     (2)  The Public Procurement Review Board shall have the following powers and responsibilities:

          (a)  Approve all purchasing regulations governing the purchase or lease by any agency, as defined in Section 31-7-1, of commodities and equipment, except computer equipment acquired pursuant to Sections 25-53-1 through 25-53-29;

          (b)  Adopt regulations governing the approval of contracts let for the construction and maintenance of state buildings and other state facilities as well as related contracts for architectural and engineering services.

     The provisions of this paragraph (b) shall not apply to such contracts involving buildings and other facilities of state institutions of higher learning which are self-administered as provided under this paragraph (b) or Section 37-101-15(m);

          (c)  Adopt regulations governing any lease or rental agreement by any state agency or department, including any state agency financed entirely by federal funds, for space outside the buildings under the jurisdiction of the Department of Finance and Administration.  These regulations shall require each agency requesting to lease such space to provide the following information that shall be published by the Department of Finance and Administration on its website:  the agency to lease the space; the terms of the lease; the approximate square feet to be leased; the use for the space; a description of a suitable space; the general location desired for the leased space; the contact information for a person from the agency; the deadline date for the agency to have received a lease proposal; any other specific terms or conditions of the agency; and any other information deemed appropriate by the Division of Real Property Management of the Department of Finance and Administration or the Public Procurement Review Board.  The information shall be provided sufficiently in advance of the time the space is needed to allow the Division of Real Property Management of the Department of Finance and Administration to review and preapprove the lease before the time for advertisement begins;

          (d)  Adopt, in its discretion, regulations to set aside at least five percent (5%) of anticipated annual expenditures for the purchase of commodities from minority businesses; however, all such set-aside purchases shall comply with all purchasing regulations promulgated by the department and shall be subject to all bid requirements.  Set-aside purchases for which competitive bids are required shall be made from the lowest and best minority business bidder; however, if no minority bid is available or if the minority bid is more than two percent (2%) higher than the lowest bid, then bids shall be accepted and awarded to the lowest and best bidder.  However, the provisions in this paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit the rejection of a bid when only one (1) bid is received.  Such rejection shall be placed in the minutes.  For the purposes of this paragraph, the term "minority business" means a business which is owned by a person who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and who is:

              (i)  Black:  having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa;

              (ii)  Hispanic:  of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish or Portuguese culture or origin regardless of race;

              (iii)  Asian-American:  having origins in any of the original people of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands;

              (iv)  American Indian or Alaskan Native:  having origins in any of the original people of North America; or

              (v)  Female;

          (e)  In consultation with and approval by the Chairs of the Senate and House Public Property Committees, approve leases, for a term not to exceed eighteen (18) months, entered into by state agencies for the purpose of providing parking arrangements for state employees who work in the Woolfolk Building, the Carroll Gartin Justice Building or the Walter Sillers Office Building;

          (f)  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 by any agency that employs only nonstate service employees as defined in Section 25-9-107(c), 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 individual state institutions of higher learning, any personal service contracts entered into by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, any personal service contracts entered into by the Department of Human Services through June 30, 2019, which the Executive Director of the Department of Human Services determines would be useful in establishing and operating the Department of Child Protection Services, any personal service contracts entered into by the Department of Child Protection Services through June 30, 2019, any contracts for entertainers and/or performers at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds entered into by the Mississippi Fair Commission, any contracts entered into by the Department of Finance and Administration when procuring aircraft maintenance, parts, equipment and/or services, any contract entered into by the Department of Public Safety for service on specialized equipment and/or software required for the operation at such specialized equipment for use by the Office of Forensics Laboratories, and any contract for attorney, accountant, actuary auditor, architect, engineer, anatomical pathologist, utility rate expert services, and any personal service contracts approved by the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration and entered into by the Coordinator of Mental Health Accessibility through June 30, 2022.  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).  Any rules and regulation changes related to personal and professional services contracts that the Public Procurement Review Board may propose shall be submitted to the Chairs of the Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives and the Chairs of the Appropriation Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives at least fifteen (15) days before the board votes on the proposed changes, and those rules and regulation changes, if adopted, shall be promulgated in accordance with the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Act;

          (g)  Approve all personal and professional services contracts involving the expenditures of funds in excess of Seventy-five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00), except as provided in paragraph (f) of this subsection (2) and in subsection (8);

          (h)  Develop mandatory standards with respect to contractual services personnel that require invitations for public bid, requests for proposals, record keeping and financial responsibility of contractors.  The Public Procurement Review Board shall, unless exempted under this paragraph (h) or under paragraph (i) or (o) of this subsection (2), require the agency involved to submit the procurement to a competitive procurement process, and may reserve the right to reject any or all resulting procurements;

          (i)  Prescribe certain circumstances by which agency heads may enter into contracts for personal and professional services without receiving prior approval from the Public Procurement Review Board.  The Public Procurement Review Board may establish a preapproved 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;

              (i)  Agency requirements may be fulfilled by procuring services performed incident to the state's own programs.  The agency head shall determine in writing whether the price represents a fair market value for the services.  When the procurements are made from other governmental entities, the private sector need not be solicited; however, these contracts shall still be submitted for approval to the Public Procurement Review Board.

              (ii)  Contracts between two (2) state agencies, both under Public Procurement Review Board purview, shall not require Public Procurement Review Board approval.  However, the contracts shall still be entered into the enterprise resource planning system;

          (j)  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;

          (k)  Present recommendations for governmental privatization and to evaluate privatization proposals submitted by any state agency;

          (l)  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 Public Procurement Review Board procurement regulations;

          (m)  Request the State Auditor to conduct a performance audit on any personal or professional service contract;

          (n)  Prepare an annual report to the Legislature concerning the issuance of personal and professional services contracts during the previous year, collecting any necessary information from state agencies in making such report;

          (o)  Develop and implement the following standards and procedures for the approval of any sole source contract for personal and professional services regardless of the value of the procurement:

              (i)  For the purposes of this paragraph (o), the term "sole source" means only one (1) source is available that can provide the required personal or professional service.

               (ii)  An agency that has been issued a binding, valid court order mandating that a particular source or provider must be used for the required service must include a copy of the applicable court order in all future sole source contract reviews for the particular personal or professional service referenced in the court order.

              (iii)  Any agency alleging to have a sole source for any personal or professional service, other than those exempted under paragraph (f) of this subsection (2) and subsection (8), shall publish on the procurement portal website established by Sections 25-53-151 and 27-104-165, for at least fourteen (14) days, the terms of the proposed contract for those services.  In addition, the publication shall include, but is not limited to, the following information:

                   1.  The personal or professional service offered in the contract;

                   2.  An explanation of why the personal or professional service is the only one that can meet the needs of the agency;

                   3.  An explanation of why the source is the only person or entity that can provide the required personal or professional service;

                   4.  An explanation of why the amount to be expended for the personal or professional service is reasonable; and

                   5.  The efforts that the agency went through to obtain the best possible price for the personal or professional service.

              (iv)  If any person or entity objects and proposes that the personal or professional service published under subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph (o) is not a sole source service and can be provided by another person or entity, then the objecting person or entity shall notify the Public Procurement Review Board and the agency that published the proposed sole source contract with a detailed explanation of why the personal or professional service is not a sole source service.

              (v)  1.  If the agency determines after review that the personal or professional service in the proposed sole source contract can be provided by another person or entity, then the agency must withdraw the sole source contract publication from the procurement portal website and submit the procurement of the personal or professional service to an advertised competitive bid or selection process.

                   2.  If the agency determines after review that there is only one (1) source for the required personal or professional service, then the agency may appeal to the Public Procurement Review Board.  The agency has the burden of proving that the personal or professional service is only provided by one (1) source.

                   3.  If the Public Procurement Review Board has any reasonable doubt as to whether the personal or professional service can only be provided by one (1) source, then the agency must submit the procurement of the personal or professional service to an advertised competitive bid or selection process.  No action taken by the Public Procurement Review Board in this appeal process shall be valid unless approved by a majority of the members of the Public Procurement Review Board present and voting.

              (vi)  The Public Procurement Review Board shall prepare and submit a quarterly report to the House of Representatives and Senate Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Committees that details the sole source contracts presented to the Public Procurement Review Board and the reasons that the Public Procurement Review Board approved or rejected each contract.  These quarterly reports shall also include the documentation and memoranda required in subsection (4) of this section.  An agency that submitted a sole source contract shall be prepared to explain the sole source contract to each committee by December 15 of each year upon request by the committee;

          (p)  Assess any fines and administrative penalties provided for in Sections 31-7-401 through 31-7-423.

     (3)  All submissions shall be made sufficiently in advance of each monthly meeting of the Public Procurement Review Board as prescribed by the Public Procurement Review Board.  If the Public Procurement Review Board rejects any contract submitted for review or approval, the Public Procurement Review Board shall clearly set out the reasons for its action, including, but not limited to, the policy that the agency has violated in its submitted contract and any corrective actions that the agency may take to amend the contract to comply with the rules and regulations of the Public Procurement Review Board.

     (4)  All sole source contracts for personal and professional services awarded by state agencies, other than those exempted under Section 27-104-7(2)(f) and (8), whether approved by an agency head or the Public Procurement Review Board, shall contain in the procurement file a written determination for the approval, using a request form furnished by the Public Procurement Review Board.  The written determination shall document the basis for the determination, including any market analysis conducted in order to ensure that the service required was practicably available from only one (1) source.  A memorandum shall accompany the request form and address the following four (4) points:

          (a)  Explanation of why this service is the only service that can meet the needs of the purchasing agency;

          (b)  Explanation of why this vendor is the only practicably available source from which to obtain this service;

          (c)  Explanation of why the price is considered reasonable; and

          (d)  Description of the efforts that were made to conduct a noncompetitive negotiation to get the best possible price for the taxpayers.

     (5)  In conjunction with the State Personnel Board, the Public Procurement Review Board shall develop and promulgate rules and regulations to define the allowable legal relationship between contract employees and the contracting departments, agencies and institutions of state government under the jurisdiction of the State Personnel Board, in compliance with the applicable rules and regulations of the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for federal employment tax purposes.  Under these regulations, the usual common law rules are applicable to determine and require that such worker is an independent contractor and not an employee, requiring evidence of lawful behavioral control, lawful financial control and lawful relationship of the parties.  Any state department, agency or institution shall only be authorized to contract for personnel services in compliance with those regulations.

     (6)  No member of the Public Procurement Review Board shall use his or her official authority or influence to coerce, by threat of discharge from employment, or otherwise, the purchase of commodities, the contracting for personal or professional services, or the contracting for public construction under this chapter.

     (7)  Notwithstanding any other laws or rules to the contrary, the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall not be applicable to the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport.

     (8)  Nothing in this section shall impair or limit the authority of the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees' Retirement System to enter into any personal or professional services contracts directly related to their constitutional obligation to manage the trust funds, including, but not limited to, actuarial, custodial banks, cash management, investment consultant and investment management contracts.

     (9)  Notwithstanding the exemption of personal and professional services contracts entered into by the Department of Human Services and personal and professional services contracts entered into by the Department of Child Protection Services from the provisions of this section under subsection (2)(f), before the Department of Human Services or the Department of Child Protection Services may enter into a personal or professional service contract, the department(s) shall give notice of the proposed personal or professional service contract to the Public Procurement Review Board for any recommendations by the board.  Upon receipt of the notice, the board shall post the notice on its website and on the procurement portal website established by Sections 25-53-151 and 27-104-165.  If the board does not respond to the department(s) within seven (7) calendar days after receiving the notice, the department(s) may enter the proposed personal or professional service contract.  If the board responds to the department(s) within seven (7) calendar days, then the board has seven (7) calendar days from the date of its initial response to provide any additional recommendations.  After the end of the second seven-day period, the department(s) may enter the proposed personal or professional service contract.  The board is not authorized to disapprove any proposed personal or professional services contracts.  This subsection shall stand repealed on July 1, 2022.

     SECTION 4.  Section 5-8-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     5-8-7.  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, except as otherwise provided in Section 5-8-3(l)(iv), the following person shall not be included within the definition of "lobbyist" or "lobbyist's client" under this chapter, and accordingly the registration and reporting provisions, including the payment of related fees, of this chapter do not apply to:

          (a)  A legislative or public official acting in an official capacity.

          (b)  An individual who:

              (i)  Represents or purports to represent only the individual;

              (ii)  Receives no compensation or anything of value for lobbying; and

              (iii)  Has no pecuniary interest in the legislative or executive action.

          (c)  An individual lobbying in his or her own interest, his or her own business interest, who pays, or promises to pay, offers to pay or causes to be paid to public officials, legislative officials or public employees any thing or things of value aggregating in value to less than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) in any calendar year.

          (d)  An individual lobbying on behalf of his or her employer's business interest where such lobbying is not a primary or regular function of his employment position if such individual pays, promises to pay, offers to pay, or causes to be paid individually or on the employer's behalf to public officials, legislative officials, or public employees any thing or things of value aggregating in value to less than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) in any calendar year.

          (e)  An individual lobbying on behalf of an association of which he or she is a member, where such lobbying is not a primary or regular function of his or her position in the association, if such individual pays, promises to pay, offers to pay, or causes to be paid individually or on the association's behalf to public officials, legislative officials or public employees any thing or things of value aggregating in value to less than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) in any calendar year.

          (f)  An individual who is a shareholder, owner or part owner of a business who lobbies on behalf of such business, where such individual is not an employee of the business, if such individual pays, promises to pay, offers to pay, or causes to be paid individually or on behalf of the business to public officials, legislative officials or public employees any thing or things of value aggregating in value to less than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) in any calendar year.

          (g)  An individual who:

              (i)  Limits lobbying solely to formal testimony before a public meeting of a legislative body or an executive agency, or a committee, division or department thereof; and

              (ii)  Registers the appearance in the records of the public body, if such records are kept.

          (h)  An individual who is a licensed attorney representing a client by:

              (i)  Drafting bills, preparing arguments thereon, and advising the client or rendering opinions as to the construction and effect of proposed or pending legislation, where such services are usual and customary professional legal services which are not otherwise connected with legislative action; or

              (ii)  Providing information, on behalf of the client, to an executive or public official, a public employee, or an agency, board, commission, governing authority or other body of state or local government where such services are usual and customary professional legal services including or related to a particular nonlegislative matter, case or controversy.

          (i)  News media and employees of the news media whose activity is limited solely to the publication or broadcast of news, editorial comments, or paid advertisements that attempt to influence legislative or executive action.  For the purposes of this section, "news media" shall be construed to be bona fide radio and television stations, newspapers, journals or magazines, or bona fide news bureaus or associations which in turn furnish information solely to bona fide radio or television stations, newspapers, journals or magazines.

          (j)  An individual who engages in lobbying activities exclusively on behalf of a religious organization which qualifies as a tax-exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code.

          (k)  An individual who is a nonattorney professional and who receives professional fees and expenses to represent clients on executive agency matters, except that if anything of value shall be paid or promised to be paid directly or indirectly on behalf of a client for the personal use or benefit of an executive or public official or public employee, then expenditures and actions of the individual are reportable under this chapter, and the individual must register as a lobbyist.

     SECTION 5.  Section 5-8-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     5-8-13.  (1)  A lobbyist shall not contract to receive or accept compensation dependent upon the success or failure of a legislative or executive action.

     (2)  A lobbyist or lobbyist's client shall not knowingly or willfully make or cause to be made a false statement or misrepresentation of facts to an executive, legislative or public official or public employee, or to the public in general with the intent to affect the outcome of a legislative or executive action.

     (3)  A lobbyist or lobbyist's client shall not cause a legislative or executive action for the purpose of obtaining employment to lobby in support of or in opposition to the legislative or executive action.

     (4)  An executive, legislative or public official or public employee shall not be a lobbyist * * *, except that he may act as a lobbyist when acting in his official capacity.

     (5)  A lobbyist must disclose anything of value given in whole or in part to any executive, legislative or public official or public employee.

     SECTION 6.  Section 37-101-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     37-101-15.  (a)  The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning shall succeed to and continue to exercise control of all records, books, papers, equipment, and supplies, and all lands, buildings, and other real and personal property belonging to or assigned to the use and benefit of the board of trustees formerly supervising and controlling the institutions of higher learning named in Section 37-101-1.  The board shall have and exercise control of the use, distribution and disbursement of all funds, appropriations and taxes, now and hereafter in possession, levied and collected, received, or appropriated for the use, benefit, support, and maintenance or capital outlay expenditures of the institutions of higher learning, including the authorization of employees to sign vouchers for the disbursement of funds for the various institutions, except where otherwise specifically provided by law.

     (b)  The board shall have general supervision of the affairs of all the institutions of higher learning, including the departments and the schools thereof.  The board shall have the power in its discretion to determine who shall be privileged to enter, to remain in, or to graduate therefrom.  The board shall have general supervision of the conduct of libraries and laboratories, the care of dormitories, buildings, and grounds; the business methods and arrangement of accounts and records; the organization of the administrative plan of each institution; and all other matters incident to the proper functioning of the institutions.  The board shall have the authority to establish minimum standards of achievement as a prerequisite for entrance into any of the institutions under its jurisdiction, which standards need not be uniform between the various institutions and which may be based upon such criteria as the board may establish.

     (c)  The board shall exercise all the powers and prerogatives conferred upon it under the laws establishing and providing for the operation of the several institutions herein specified.  The board shall adopt such bylaws and regulations from time to time as it deems expedient for the proper supervision and control of the several institutions of higher learning, insofar as such bylaws and regulations are not repugnant to the Constitution and laws, and not inconsistent with the object for which these institutions were established.  The board shall have power and authority to prescribe rules and regulations for policing the campuses and all buildings of the respective institutions, to authorize the arrest of all persons violating on any campus any criminal law of the state, and to have such law violators turned over to the civil authorities.

     (d)  For all institutions specified herein, the board shall provide a uniform system of recording and of accounting approved by the State Department of Audit.  The board shall annually prepare, or cause to be prepared, a budget for each institution of higher learning for the succeeding year which must be prepared and in readiness for at least thirty (30) days before the convening of the regular session of the Legislature.  All relationships and negotiations between the State Legislature and its various committees and the institutions named herein shall be carried on through the board of trustees.  No official, employee or agent representing any of the separate institutions shall appear before the Legislature or any committee thereof except upon the written order of the board or upon the request of the Legislature or a committee thereof.

     (e)  For all institutions specified herein, the board shall prepare an annual report to the Legislature setting forth the disbursements of all monies appropriated to the respective institutions.  Each report to the Legislature shall show how the money appropriated to the several institutions has been expended, beginning and ending with the fiscal years of the institutions, showing the name of each teacher, officer, and employee, and the salary paid each, and an itemized statement of each and every item of receipts and expenditures.  Each report must be balanced, and must begin with the former balance.  If any property belonging to the state or the institution is used for profit, the reports shall show the expense incurred in managing the property and the amount received therefrom.  The reports shall also show a summary of the gross receipts and gross disbursements for each year and shall show the money on hand at the beginning of the fiscal period of the institution next preceding each session of the Legislature and the necessary amount of expense to be incurred from said date to January 1 following.  The board shall keep the annual expenditures of each institution herein mentioned within the income derived from legislative appropriations and other sources, but in case of emergency arising from acts of providence, epidemics, fire or storm with the written approval of the Governor and by written consent of a majority of the senators and of the representatives it may exceed the income.  The board shall require a surety bond in a surety company authorized to do business in this state of every employee who is the custodian of funds belonging to one or more of the institutions mentioned herein, which bond shall be in a sum to be fixed by the board in an amount that will properly safeguard the said funds, the premium for which shall be paid out of the funds appropriated for said institutions.

     (f)  The board shall have the power and authority to elect the heads of the various institutions of higher learning and to contract with all deans, professors, and other members of the teaching staff, and all administrative employees of said institutions for a term not exceeding four (4) years.  The board shall have the power and authority to terminate any such contract at any time for malfeasance, inefficiency, or contumacious conduct, but never for political reasons.  It shall be the policy of the board to permit the executive head of each institution to nominate for election by the board all subordinate employees of the institution over which he presides.  It shall be the policy of the board to elect all officials for a definite tenure of service and to reelect during the period of satisfactory service.  The board shall have the power to make any adjustments it thinks necessary between the various departments and schools of any institution or between the different institutions.

     (g)  The board shall keep complete minutes and records of all proceedings which shall be open for inspection by any citizen of the state.

     (h)  The board shall have the power to enter into an energy performance contract, energy services contract, on a shared-savings, lease or lease-purchase basis, for energy efficiency services and/or equipment as prescribed in Section 31-7-14.

     (i)  The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, for and on behalf of Jackson State University, is hereby authorized to convey by donation or otherwise easements across portions of certain real estate located in the City of Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, for right-of-way required for the Metro Parkway Project.

     (j)  In connection with any international contract between the board or one (1) of the state's institutions of higher learning and any party outside of the United States, the board or institution that is the party to the international contract is hereby authorized and empowered to include in the contract a provision for the resolution by arbitration of any controversy between the parties to the contract relating to such contract or the failure or refusal to perform any part of the contract.  Such provision shall be valid, enforceable and irrevocable without regard to the justiciable character of the controversy.  Provided, however, that in the event either party to such contract initiates litigation against the other with respect to the contract, the arbitration provision shall be deemed waived unless asserted as a defense on or before the responding party is required to answer such litigation.

     (k)  The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning ("board"), on behalf of any institution under its jurisdiction, shall purchase and maintain business property insurance and business personal property insurance on all university-owned buildings and/or contents as required by federal law and regulations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as is necessary for receiving public assistance or reimbursement for repair, reconstruction, replacement or other damage to those buildings and/or contents caused by the Hurricane Katrina Disaster of 2005 or subsequent disasters.  The board is authorized to expend funds from any available source for the purpose of obtaining and maintaining that property insurance.  The board is authorized to enter into agreements with the Department of Finance and Administration, local school districts, community/junior college districts, community hospitals and/or other state agencies to pool their liabilities to participate in a group business property and/or business personal property insurance program, subject to uniform rules and regulations as may be adopted by the Department of Finance and Administration.

     (l)  The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, or its designee, may approve the payment or reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses incurred by candidates for open positions at the board's executive office or at any of the state institutions of higher learning, when the job candidate has incurred expenses in traveling to a job interview at the request of the board, the Commissioner of Higher Education or a state institution of higher learning administrator.

     (m)  (i)  The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning is authorized to administer and approve contracts for the construction and maintenance of buildings and other facilities of the state institutions of higher learning, including related contracts for architectural and engineering services, which are paid for with self-generated funds.

          (ii)  Additionally, the board is authorized to oversee, administer and approve contracts for the construction and maintenance of buildings and other facilities of the state institutions of higher learning, including related contracts for architectural and engineering services, which are funded in whole or in part by general obligation bonds of the State of Mississippi at institutions designated annually by the board as being capable to procure and administer all such contracts.  Prior to the disbursement of funds, an agreement for each project between the institution and the Department of Finance and Administration shall be executed.  The approval and execution of the agreement shall not be withheld by either party unless the withholding party provides a written, detailed explanation of the basis for withholding to the other party.  The agreement shall stipulate the responsibilities of each party, applicable procurement regulations, documentation and reporting requirements, conditions prior to, and schedule of, disbursement of general obligation bond funds to the institution and provisions concerning handling any remaining general obligation bonds at the completion of the project.  Such agreement shall not include provisions that constitute additional qualifications or criteria that act to invalidate the designation of an institution as capable of procuring and administering such project.  Inclusion of any such provisions may be appealed to the Public Procurement Review Board.  This subparagraph (ii) shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2022.

     SECTION 7.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2022.


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