State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
The non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau today released a report on the state’s Contract Sunshine Act, a law that was intended to shine a light on government contracts and spending. State agencies are required to report basic information on contracts, purchase orders and contract bids totaling $10,000 or more to the Government Accountability Board (GAB) for publication on a Web site.
Though required by law since 2006, the Audit Bureau reports “… the Contract Sunshine Web site is of limited value in providing the public with clear, comprehensive, and useful information.” This is largely because the Contract Sunshine Act only requires agencies to report the “… estimated value of contracts, solicitations and certain other transactions ...” and does not require agencies to report vendor names. In addition, just 12 state agencies reported information to the GAB during the 2009-10 fiscal year. Thirty-eight submitted reports during the first four months of the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
As part of the recently-approved state budget, the Department of Administration (DOA) is required to establish a Web site tracking all state expenditures exceeding $100, all contracts, and all grants by state agencies. The Audit Bureau recommends the DOA report to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee by January, 2012 about the status of the new tracking Web site. The new tracking Web site is likely to be more beneficial to the public than the Contract Sunshine Act site.
Thanks to the Audit Bureau for another excellent report. You may read the full report at this link: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lab/reports/11-11highlights.htm