May 25, 2011

ESSB 5931 passes house 54-42 with collective bargaining intact, competitive contracting sacrificed

With pressure from the Senate and the Operating Budget (HB 1087) held hostage, the House rejected the friendly amendment made by the House Ways & Means and adopted an amendment from the floor offered by Rep. Zach Hudgins (D11).

The bill as passed expressly prohibits state employees from competing for work historically performed by them in the newly formed Department of Enterprise Services (DES). Consolidate Technology Services will fall under DES.

The bill does restore collective bargaining rights for transferred DIS employees. with a number of exemptions from civil service extended to employees that perform systems integration; data center engineering and management; network systems engineering and management; IT contracting; IT customer relations management; and network and systems security. We estimate it to include about 115 employees.

The bill is expected to pass the Senate without further changes.
  • OFM and DES will examine up to six activities for possible contracting out. The requirement to conduct these examinations expire June 30, 2018. Activities contracted out prior to June 30, 2018, can continue to be contracted out after the expiration date.
  • CTS can contract for services and activities related to the data center and other activities approved by the Technology Services Board (TSB), which is created in the bill.
  • Changes to collective bargaining have been removed. OFM is authorized to create
    exempt positions in specific job classifications.
  • Any material printed by state agencies that contains personally identifiable information must be printed by DES or, if contracted out, must have a confidentiality agreement.
  • The auditor must conduct a performance audit of printing. That audit must be completed by November 2016.
  • The TSB is created, which will authorize funding for major IT projects. The TSB will
    develop a policy to determine which projects will require an independent technical and financial review. The Chief Information Officer can spend up to $1 million each
    biennium on these independent reviews without an appropriation.
  • Full exemptions for CTS from the procurement and personal services contract
    requirements are removed. CTS does have some modified exemptions from the
    procurement rules, similar to current statutes related to DIS.
  • The Education Research and Data Center is transferred from OFM to the LEAP.
  • OFM must develop and submit a state technology budget. The budget must identify
    current baseline funding for IT, proposed and ongoing major IT projects, and their
    associated costs.
  • The state auditor will conduct a two part review of the data center by December 1, 2011.
  • The review may cover how decisions related to funding the data center were made and an analysis of the current implementation plan.

Hundreds of calls and emails from members kept this bill in play until 6:30 this evening, just prior to the vote - and restored collective bargaining rights to transferred DIS employees. 

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