OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 991 (File 620, as amended by Senate "A")*

AN ACT MAKING REVISIONS TO STATUTES CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES.

SUMMARY

This bill makes several changes with respect to statutes affecting the Department of Administrative Services (DAS). Among other things, it (1) requires DAS to consider offering surplus state property to abutting landowners before offering it for general sale; (2) expands the types of state-owned vehicles exempt from fuel-efficiency requirements to include all emergency vehicles; (3) for design-bid-build contracts, increases, from $25,000 to $100,000, the threshold at which the contractor must include a separate section for specific sub-classes of work; and (4) expands the circumstances under which DAS may grant an easement on state land.

The bill also requires principals and key personnel of entities submitting bids and proposals for public works contracts worth $500,000 or more in a calendar or fiscal year to attest in a sworn affidavit whether any principal or key personnel of the entity or an affiliate, within the past five years, has been convicted of, entered a guilty or nolo contendere plea, or admitted to a public entity crime related to procurement or performance of any public or private contract. It similarly prohibits state and quasi-public agencies from executing these contracts without obtaining this affidavit.

The bill also requires the State Marshal Commission, which is within DAS, to consult with the Judicial Department when adopting rules for the conduct of the commission's internal affairs. These rules must provide for, among other things, the provision of timely, consistent, and reliable access to a state marshal for people applying for certain restraining orders ( 1).

The bill additionally delays, from August 1 to August 30, the annual deadline by which state agencies and political subdivisions, other than municipalities, must notify DAS and other parties of their small contractor and minority business enterprise contracting set-aside goals for the current fiscal year ( 5). (By law, municipalities are not subject to this reporting requirement.)

Lastly, the bill makes technical changes.

*Senate Amendment “A” (1) adds the provisions on easements and public entity crimes and (2) increases, from $50,000 in the underlying bill to $100,000, the threshold at which the contractor must include a separate section for specific sub-classes at work.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except that the (1) State Marshal Commission provision is effective July 1, 2017, and (2) contracting and public entity crimes provisions are effective October 1, 2017.

2 — SURPLUS STATE PROPERTY

Existing law establishes numerous requirements concerning the disposition of surplus state property. Among other things, it requires DAS to first offer a surplus property to the municipality in which it is located if no state agencies express interest in the property. If the municipality declines to acquire the property, DAS may offer the property to other parties through a sale, lease, exchange, or other agreement. The bill requires DAS to consider offering surplus property to abutting landowners before offering it for general sale.

3 — FUEL EFFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS

The bill expands the types of state-owned vehicles exempt from state fuel-efficiency and emissions requirements to include all emergency vehicles. Current law exempts only those vehicles used by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) that the DESPP commissioner, subject to the DAS commissioner's approval, designates as necessary for the department's mission.

Specifically, the bill exempts vehicles from the following agencies if used for law enforcement or emergency purposes: DESPP, Motor Vehicles, Energy and Environmental Protection, Correction, State Capitol Police, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Developmental Services, Social Services, Children and Families, Transportation, Judicial Department, Board of Pardons and Paroles, Board of Regents for Higher Education, UConn, and the UConn Health Center. Unlike current law, the bill does not require the DAS commissioner to approve these designations or explain why the fuel-efficiency and emissions requirements should not apply.

Additionally, existing law requires the DAS commissioner to submit an annual report about the state vehicle fleet to the Energy and Technology, Environment, and Government Administration and Elections committees. The bill eliminates a requirement that the report include a listing of vehicles exempt for law enforcement purposes and the commissioner's explanation for these exemptions.

4 — DESIGN-BID-BUILD CONTRACTS

Existing law requires that state public works contracts using the design-bid-build delivery method include plans and specifications detailing all labor and materials to be furnished under the contract. Under current law, the specifications must separately list the following classes of work if the awarding authority estimates that they will exceed $25,000: (1) masonry; (2) electrical; (3) mechanical, other than heating, ventilating, and air conditioning; and (4) heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. The bill increases this threshold to $100,000 and renames the third class “plumbing.”

6 — EASEMENTS

Under current law, DAS may grant easements on state land, in connection with a department project, to public service companies, owners of district heating and cooling systems, and municipal water and sewer authorities. The bill (1) eliminates the requirement that the easement be in connection with a DAS project and (2) allows the department to grant easements to telecommunications companies.

Under current law, the easements are subject to approval by the agency with control of the land and State Properties Review Board. The bill additionally requires approval by the Office of Policy and Management.

7 & 8 — PUBLIC ENTITY CRIMES

The bill requires principals and key personnel of entities submitting bids and proposals for public works contracts worth $500,000 or more in a calendar or fiscal year to attest in a sworn affidavit whether any principal or key personnel of the entity or an affiliate, within the past five years, has been convicted of, entered a guilty or nolo contendere plea, or admitted to a public entity crime related to procurement or performance of any public or private contract. They must do so under penalty of false statement.

The bill requires state and quasi-public agencies to include a notice of these affidavit requirements in the bid specifications or request for proposals for a public works contract with a total value of $500,000 or more in a calendar or fiscal year. It prohibits agencies from executing these contracts without obtaining the affidavit. It similarly disqualifies bidders or vendors that do not submit the affidavit and requires the state or quasi-public agency to (1) award the contract to the next highest ranked vendor or next lowest responsible qualified bidder or (2) seek new bids or proposals.

The bill also prohibits the DAS commissioner from issuing or renewing a prequalification certificate to any contractor or substantial subcontractor that has failed to submit the above affidavit. By law, state contracts for public works projects that exceed $500,000 (or $1.5 million for DAS-administered projects), generally, must be awarded to a contractor that is prequalified by DAS (CGS 4b-91).

Under the bill, after the initial submission of an affidavit, the principal or key personnel need not resubmit the affidavit unless the information in it changes. If there is a change, then the principal or key personnel must submit an updated affidavit (1) within 30 days after the effective date of the change or (2) upon submitting a new bid or proposal, whichever is earlier.

Definitions

Under the bill, a “public entity crime” is a violation by a person or entity of any state or federal law (1) involving antitrust, fraud, theft, bribery, collusion, racketeering, conspiracy, or material misrepresentation, and (2) with respect to, and directly related to, the transaction of business with any public entity or with an agency or political subdivision of any other state or with the United States, including any bid, proposal, reply or contract for goods or services, any lease for real property, or any contract for the construction or repair of a public building or public work. A “public entity” is the state, any state agency, or political subdivision. A “public works contract” is a contract for constructing, reconstructing, altering, remodeling, repairing, or demolishing any public building or public work by the state or a quasi-public agency.

The bill defines “entity” as a corporation, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, joint venture, nonprofit organization, or other business organization. An “affiliate” is a (1) predecessor or successor of a person or entity convicted of a public entity crime or (2) an entity under the control of a natural person who is active in the entity's management and has been convicted of a public entity crime.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Government Administration and Elections Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

15

Nay

2

(03/24/2017)