BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1773
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 9, 2014

           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON ACCOUNTABILITY AND ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                 Jim Frazier, Chair
                    AB 1773 (Allen) - As Amended:  March 13, 2014
           
          SUBJECT  :   Public contracts: courts

           SUMMARY  :   Revises reporting requirements related to contracting  
          activities by judicial branch entities (JBEs).  Specifically,  
           this bill  :  

          1)Clarifies that two annual reports that the Judicial Council is  
            required to compile with information related to judicial  
            branch contracting must be done semiannually.

          2)Requires these semiannual reports to include the following  
            additional information:

             a)   A list of all new contracts and the complete history of  
               contracts amended during the reporting period, including  
               the date and duration of the amendments; and, 

             b)   Information on whether each contract was competitively  
               bid, the justification for contracts that were not  
               competitively bid, and whether the contract was with a  
               disabled veteran business enterprise, or, in the case of an  
               information technology contract, with a small business.

          3)Specifies that each of the semiannual reports must be  
            available electronically in a format that enables the data to  
            be readily searched, sorted, extracted, organized, or  
            filtered.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Defines JBEs to mean any superior court, court of appeal, the  
            California Supreme Court, the Habeas Corpus Resource Center,  
            the Judicial Council, and the Administrative Office of the  
            Courts.  

          2)Requires JBEs to comply with provisions of the Public Contract  
            Code that apply to state agencies and departments related to  
            the procurement of goods and services.  









                                                                  AB 1773
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          3)Directs the Judicial Council to report twice a year, beginning  
            in 2012, to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the  
            California State Auditor (CSA) on contracting activities by  
            JBEs.  These reports must contain specific information,  
            including details about contracts and amendments to contracts  
            entered into by JBEs with vendors or contractors, payments  
            received, and the nature of the goods or services provided. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :  Current law requires the Judicial Council to submit  
          reports twice a year to the Legislature and the CSA containing  
          specified information on contracts for the judicial branch.   
          These reports provide a list of vendors and contractors and  
          further identify the amount of payment(s) to the contractors and  
          vendors, the types of goods and services provided, and the JBEs  
          with which the contractors and vendors contracted to provide  
          those goods and services.  The reports also include a list of  
          all contract amendments and identify the vendors and  
          contractors, the types of goods and services provided under the  
          contract, and the nature, duration, and cost of the amendments.   


          According to the author, this bill is intended to create  
          transparency in judicial branch contracting activities and  
          ensure that contracting information is fully available and  
          easily accessible to the public.  The author states that a March  
          2013 report from the California State Auditor (CSA) on judicial  
          branch procurement found that the statutorily mandated  
          semiannual reports to the Legislature were of limited usefulness  
          and identified various improvements that could be made to JBEs'  
          procurement practices.  Specifically, the CSA recommended that  
          the Legislature require the Judicial Council to revise the  
          semiannual reports to include information on new contracts and  
          the complete history of amended contracts; information on  
          whether or not a contract was competitively bid; information on  
          the state's small business preference for information technology  
          procurements; and, require the reports to be available in a  
          user-friendly electronic format.  This bill implements all of  
          these recommendations.

          its most recent report to the Legislature dated February 1,  
          2014, the Judicial Council notes, "Because substantial  
          additional judicial branch staff time will be utilized to upload  
          data that is now contained in physical files and is not  








                                                                  AB 1773
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          currently in electronic format, and additional software licenses  
          will be necessary to implement the recommended changes, the  
          associated implementation costs will be considerable and will  
          necessitate additional funding.  If the Legislature concludes  
          that the benefits of such additional reporting requirements  
          outweigh the costs, and if sufficient funds are appropriated to  
          offset the additional costs incurred so that the public's access  
          to justice is not further impaired, the CSA's recommendations  
          can be implemented."

          While this bill aims to increase judicial branch contract  
          reporting requirements, the workload associated with  
          implementing it could be significant.  

           PRIOR LEGISLATION  : SB 78, Chapter 10, Statutes of 2011, requires  
          JBEs to comply with the Public Contract Code governing the  
          procurement of goods and services by state agencies and  
          departments.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,  
          AFL-CIO
          California Court Reporters Association
          Service Employees International Union, California

           Opposition 
           
          None on file.
           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Cassie Royce / A. & A.R. / (916)  
          319-3600