An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability and the Government Oversight Committee Regarding Quasi-independent State Entities
Sec. A-1. 5 MRSA c. 379, sub-c. 3 is enacted to read:
QUASI-INDEPENDENT STATE ENTITIES
§ 12021. Definitions
As used in this subchapter, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 12022. Financial policies and procedures
A governing body of an entity:
§ 12023. Reports to the Legislature
Reports to the Legislature required by this section must be submitted to the Clerk of the House, the Secretary of the Senate and the Executive Director of the Legislative Council.
§ 12024. Proposed quasi-independent state entities
A joint standing committee of the Legislature that considers proposed legislation establishing a quasi-independent state entity after January 1, 2013 shall:
If the committee determines that the proposed quasi-independent state entity should be added to the list of reporting entities under section 12021, subsection 6, the committee shall include that determination in any report on the legislation; and
(1) Appointment, performance review and termination of the managing director;
(2) Establishing and ensuring compliance with organizational policies and procedures, including those required by section 12022; and
(3) Ensuring adherence to all requirements of this chapter;
Sec. B-1. Legislation. A joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over the subject matter of a quasi-independent state entity, as defined in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, section 12021, subsection 5, may submit legislation to the First Regular Session of the 126th Legislature to add that entity to the list of reporting entities under Title 5, section 12021, subsection 6 or to amend the laws governing the quasi-independent state entity to be consistent with Title 5, chapter 379, subchapter 3.
This bill implements recommendations of the Government Oversight Committee stemming from the report on the Maine Turnpike Authority issued by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability. The purpose of this bill is to improve transparency, accountability, governance and financial practices in specified areas for existing and future quasi-independent state entities.
Part A of the bill requires certain existing quasi-independent state entities to adopt and implement policies and procedures related to procurement practices, contributions made to outside organizations and travel, meal and entertainment expenses. It also prohibits those entities from retaining persons other than entity staff as lobbyists. This Part also clarifies that the entity's governing body is responsible for ensuring compliance with the adopted policies and for reporting annually to the Legislature on certain procurements and contributions. Part A also establishes a framework for joint standing committees of the Legislature to use in assessing whether proposed quasi-independent state entities should be required to follow these requirements and to help ensure that strong governance structures are incorporated into legislation for future quasi-independent state entities.
Part B of the bill gives a joint standing committee of the Legislature authority to submit legislation to the 126th Legislature to add an existing quasi-independent state entity to the list of agencies that must adhere to the requirements established in Part A for financial policies and procedures and reporting to the Legislature or to incorporate the provisions required for future quasi-independent state entities into the laws governing existing entities that fall under the committee's jurisdiction.