The best interest of Mississippians should be closely guarded, and Reeves’ slow response is not encouraging, especially when considering the millions of dollars in contracts that already have gone through that board.
As for the PSCRB in its present form — two citizens and the directors of the State Personnel Board and Department of Finance and Administration — there’s still a learning curve.
The directives issued by the board saying it wanted to see state government use competitive bidding or requests for proposals whenever possible and get the best deal for taxpayers is exactly why the legislation was needed.
But questions sometimes need more answers than immediately are available. In the same way it’s not good to make an agency wait on contract requests until an emergency situation is created, it’s also prudent to, at times, allow agencies to go back and supply more information before millions of taxpayers’ dollars are signed away.
The board is a step in the right direction, but only if political influences allow PSCRB members to do their jobs and not cause them to lose sight of the ultimate victims of shady, improper contracts: Mississippians.
The Legislature and Bryant should revisit continued contract reforms in the next legislative session. The job is not over yet.