by Leonard Gilroy
Washington Policy Center
April 10, 2014
Washington taxpayers may have just dodged a bullet in the legislature on state government contracting issues, though policymakers should be wary in case the issue resurfaces. After passing the House, the Senate opted not to advance the so-called “Taxpayer Protection Act” introduced by Rep. Sam Hunt (D-Tumwater), which would have primarily made several subtle, but important, amendments to statutes enacted in 2011 and 2012 that were designed to facilitate more competitive contracting for state services under a new Department of Enterprise Services responsible for adopting uniform policies and procedures for state agency procurement and contract management. It is clear that the intention of HB 2743 was not to protect taxpayers, but to raise barriers to competitive contracting for state services in order to protect existing public sector jobs. Legislators wisely avoided undermining their sensible procurement reforms of 2011 and 2012 just as they are starting to be implemented.

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