Wednesday, March 07, 2018
State Auditor: Senate bill would bring transparency to awarding of state contracts
Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today said that a bill pending in the General Assembly would bring greater transparency to the awarding of state contracts. Senate Bill 1060, sponsored by state Sen. Scott Sifton, of Affton, requires individuals and entities entering into state contracts of more than $5,000 to disclose any payments of $500 or more they have made to political organizations. Those payments would be public information.
The "Transparency in Government Contracting Act" defines a political organization as any not-for-profit that qualifies for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the IRS code. Currently, the identities of contributors to such organizations are anonymous, leading to what is referred to as "dark money." The bill would exempt donations to committees or other organizations that are required to file contribution and expenditure reports with the Missouri Ethics Commission, as those are already public information.
"Missourians deserve to know when taxpayer dollars are being used in state contracts that go to dark money contributors," Auditor Galloway said. "I support Senate Bill 1060, which would bring transparency to the contract process and prevent corruption in state government."
“Transparency and accountability in government are essential," Sen. Sifton said. "Missouri needs tougher protections against pay-to-play.”