04/14 - State Contracts 101
Will proposed legislation help rein in costs or create arbitrary caps that hinder agencies in delivering services?
A big push by Governor Jindal has been the privatization of state government operations which he says will save taxpayer money. To accomplish this, the state has contracted with outside providers for professional, personal and consulting services. Currently, Louisiana has nearly 13,000 active contracts - the majority for $50,000 or more.
A proposed bill this legislative session would reduce state spending on contracts by 10 percent. But the Jindal administration says that contracting in state government is already being reduced. And some of the biggest contracts are essential to provide assistance to the public such as the administration of health insurance programs or to fill drug prescriptions for retirees.
So, is the privatization of state services through contracts cost-effective? And how necessary and appropriate are the majority of state contracts? Will proposed legislation help rein in their costs or create arbitrary caps that hinder agencies in delivering much-needed services? Louisiana Public Square educates viewers about the issue on “State Contracts 101” Wednesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD.
According to the Division of Administration’s Louisiana Transparency & Accountability (LaTRAC) online database, Louisiana is currently involved in 12,948 active contracts with a total value of $19.5 billion. Just more than half of these are for $50,000 or greater.
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– Division of Administration’s State Contract Search web page
Louisiana State Contracts
– Download page for all active state contracts
– Pelican Institute for Public Policy open government website
We want to know your opinion! Leave your comments in the box below.
State contracts are needed. All areas of state government have become dependent upon many of the various contracts, and there will always be a need to execute and monitor these mutually beneficial endeavors. There are, however, obvious pitfalls involved with state contracts. Besides tons of red tape and large transactions of money, contractors are increasingly becoming more powerful (regardless of political affiliation). Some believe that contractors are becoming the ones who now “make the rules”. Independent groups are necessary to facilitate these contracts and enforce the rules. When it gets to the point that the public has no idea who is bidding on the work, it reminds me of unfortunate opportunities hinted in Mathew 6:3
“If you should ever be betrayed into any of these philanthropies, do not let your left hand know what your right hand does, for it is not worth knowing.”
In business, one should keep one’s interests independent of each other. This is why Ethics Laws should not be taken lightly IMO.
Posted by Alex Broussard on 04/23 at 02:04 PM
Just for the record: when I said on the show I’d like to see private schools do well, under no circumstances would I support vouchers or any use of public funds to support them. Also, the issue of frivolous contracts presented a kind of red herring during the show. The privatization of education, healthcare and corrections in Louisiana would represent, in my view, an abdication of government responsibility. Privatization of decision-making affecting an individual’s rights, such as the student’s right to a balanced and standard curriculum in our publicly funded schools, would dilute the premise of government “by the people.”
Posted by William F. Bertolette on 04/23 at 08:15 PM
This is a disgrace to humanity. The gov. is wasting money on uselessness. All people need is great health. Resources funding like food and Cash money. Tired of hearing excuses from DCFS and many other services. Why they can’t do this don’t do that. Not even doing their jobs defeating the purposes of vital resources. How can you give Family Services to Single Parents? Not to Families. Still call it a family service. A family consist of A father and mother with children. What’s really going on here backwards! Made up as you go policies suck. They should all be fired. Hire real people not heartless animals. Looking for a quick way to murder the budget. Keep people sick out here. Stop putting money in useless bills programs for foolishness. Maybe Louisiana will come out of poverty one day victorious. God is Love not hatred. Take care of all families not just selected few. Give back the benefits taken away by filthy policies NOW!
Posted by JG on 04/24 at 03:59 PM
I just watched Louisiana the State we are in. The segment that caught my attention was the effort of John Kennedy to save tax payers money by reducing the amount paid to consultants. I am a former state worker. I was stunned when I saw the overhead for a few of the many contracts that allow overhead to double or triple the money paid for actual services. The state of LA is paying engineers and other professionals to produce. All I saw was people making close to 3 figures babysitting the consultants. Keep digging.
Posted by P. dixon on 04/28 at 11:53 AM
General Contractors are not ruling now,they are also tired of endless bureaucracy and excessive red tapes everywhere…trying to have their voice heard
Posted by Dara on 05/16 at 12:51 AM
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What difference has a decade made?
Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.
The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center
The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.
LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.
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