Section 29-2-41

Expenses for members; assistance of Department of Examiners of Public Accounts; responsibilities, powers, etc.; examination of proposed contract or letter of intent; effect of failure to review; witnesses and evidence; organization; meetings.

Each member of the committee shall be entitled to regular legislative compensation, per diem, and travel expenses for each day he or she attends a meeting of the committee, which shall be paid out of the funds appropriated to the use of the Legislature, on warrants drawn on the state Comptroller upon requisition signed by the committee's chair. Members shall not receive additional compensation or per diem when the Legislature is in session. The Department of Examiners of Public Accounts shall furnish assistance and any relevant information to the committee. The committee shall have the responsibility of reviewing contracts for personal or professional services with private entities or individuals to be paid out of appropriated funds, federal or state, on a state warrant issued as recompense for those services. Each state department entering into a contract to be paid out of appropriated funds, federal or state, on a state warrant which is notified by the committee is required to submit to the committee any proposed contract for personal or professional services. Each contract shall be accompanied by an itemization of the total cost estimate of the contract. The department may, in lieu of the proposed contract, submit to the committee a letter of intent to contract. Such letter of intent to contract shall indicate the contracting parties, the services to be performed, an itemization of the total cost estimate of the contract, and such other information as the department may deem pertinent to the committee review of the contract. The committee shall review and comment where necessary on any such contract or letter of intent to contract within a reasonable time not to exceed 45 days after the department has submitted the contract or letter of intent to contract to the committee. Any contract made by the state or any of its agencies or departments in violation of this section and without prior review by the committee of either the contract or the letter of intent to contract shall be void ab initio. If the committee fails to review and comment upon any contract or letter of intent to contract within the aforementioned 45-day time period, such contract shall be deemed to have been reviewed in compliance with this section.

Should the department elect to submit a letter of intent to contract in lieu of a proposed contract, as authorized in the preceding paragraph, the department shall be required to submit to the committee for its information the contract described in the letter of intent upon the execution of the contract.

The committee shall have the power to issue subpoenas for any witnesses and to require the production of any documents or contracts it feels it needs to examine in the conduct of its duties.

The committee shall organize itself at the first meeting and elect from among its membership a chair and a vice-chair. The committee shall hold regular meetings at least once each month, the regular meetings to be held during the first week of each month.

(Acts 1984, No. 84-277, p. 464; Acts 1988, 1st Sp. Sess., No. 88-856, p. 336, §1; Acts 1989, No. 89-654, p. 1296; Acts 1997, No. 97-658, p. 1249, §1.)