Turf battle emerges as contract transparency hits a nerve
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater may be hitting a nerve with lawmakers and top state leaders.
In his quest to post every contract in state government on a public web site, Atwater is getting push back from House leadership, which wants to exempt all contracts handled by every Cabinet agency, including Atwater’s.
In the midst of budget negotiations last week, House leaders proposed a budget conforming bill that would halt Atwater’s efforts to require that every agency post its contracts on a secure public web site, hosted by his office.
Instead, the House wants to require that only the governor’s agencies be required to disclose the information and exempt all contracts handled by the Department of Financial Services, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Attorney General and the judicial branch, including state attorneys.
House Speaker Will Weatherford believes it’s a separation of powers issue. He said he does not believe the CFO should control a web site that posts data on other Cabinet agencies.
“It’s not about whether or not the documents should be public. Everybody agrees on that,’’ House Speaker Will Weatherford told reporters on Monday. “It’s who should control the information and when it’s released.” Story here.