House Bill 6444, An Act Concerning the Modernization of State Services

State government has struggled to keep up with technological and other advances that the private sector has embraced and that the public has come to expectGovernor Lamont proposes accelerating procurement by reducing paperwork and easing access to innovative vendors. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of adapting to unanticipated circumstances, and this legislation will codify lessons learned.

Information about House Bill 6444.

The Problem

In a time of challenge for the state’s economy, efficiencies are needed to stretch taxpayer dollars in the delivery of services by state government. Streamlining business processes and greater use of technology to assist or facilitate operations continues to provide a path forward despite the resource challenges that the government faces in the coming biennium.  Savings in time and resources – in the delivery of services, procurement, and agency operation -- are expected to result of the reforms provided in this legislation.

Governor Lamont’s Solution

Governor Lamont proposes allowing the state to embrace modern technology and business practices that will result in the more efficient and flexible operation of government, benefiting both the state and the taxpayers. This legislation will codify some of the lessons learned from the pandemic experience, by, for example, reducing paperwork associated with contracting and procurement requirements, allowing the state to utilize different types of procurement methodologies, including easier access to innovative solutions created by local entrepreneurs, and permitting  agencies the discretion to utilize electronic communications, electronic payments, and digital identity proofing as alternatives to often burdensome notarization and affidavit requirements.

Specifically, his proposal:

  • Eliminates the need for various stand-alone affidavits and certifications with a requirement that the mandated language be included in the contract language (sections 1-7)

  • Changes the definition of a “small contractor” for purposes of the supplier diversity program to create a more rational, data-driven process that will simplify and expedite the certification process, thereby enabling the state to use its limited resources more efficientlywhile at the same time benefiting contractors (section 9-10)

  • Gives the state greater flexibility to procure items at a lower cost (sections 11-12)

  • Allows DAS to use reverse auctions to competitively procure services, not just goods and supplies, except for construction services (section 13)

  • Allows the state to more easily enter into contracts for innovative technology, processes or products that can promote efficiency or reduce burdens (section 14)

  • Allows agencies to “piggyback” on cooperative purchasing plans to provide additional opportunities for procurement savings (section 15)

  • Reduces the number of members of the State Insurance and Risk Management Board to provide for more efficient operation of the board (section 16)

  • Provides agencies, as part of the Governor’s digital government initiative, the discretion to use electronic communications, electronic payments, and digital identity proofing as an alternative to notarization or affidavits (sections 17-18)

  • Eliminates reports which are either not utilized, are duplicative, or are reported and readily available through other electronic platforms.  These sections, respectively, remove reporting requirements related to: (1) the composition of the state’s fleet of vehicles, (2) the Commissioner’s delegation of purchasing authority, (3) the leasing of personal property and real property acquisitions, (4) state agency regulations that conflict with building and fire codes, (5) cigarette burn testing, and (6) agency ethics reports (sections 19-25)