A bill soon to be considered in a final hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee would mean that local agencies that have enacted COIN ordinances (to provide more transparency to its bargaining with employee unions) would be required to enact similar sunshine provisions for its negotiations with private goods or services contractors.
COIN-adopting agencies so far include the City of Costa Mesa the cities of Fullerton and Beverly Hills, Orange County and the East Bay Municipal Utility District. Costa Mesa, the first to adopt a COIN ordinance, did so out of concern for unfunded public employee pension obligations.
The “Labor Strikes Back” parity provisions in SB 331 by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Montebello), dubbed The “Civic Reporting Openness in Negotiations Efficiency Act,” or CRONEY, would apply to the negotiation of any contracts with private persons or entities worth at least $50,000 as well as any series of contracts with a cumulative worth of that amount within the fiscal year of a city, county, city and county, or special district.
For those agencies it would apply to contracts for services in the areas of accounting, financing, hardware and software maintenance, healthcare, human resources, human services, information technology, telecommunications, janitorial maintenance, legal services, lobbying, marketing, office equipment maintenance, passenger vehicle maintenance, property leasing, public relations, public safety, social services, transportation, or waste removal.
The applicable contract negotiations would be governed by the following rules, in the language of the bill.
The city, county, city and county, or special district shall designate an unbiased independent auditor to review the cost of any proposed contract. The independent auditor shall prepare a report on the cost of the contract and provide the report to all parties and make it available to the public before the governing body takes any action to approve or disapprove the contract.
The report shall comply with the following:
(1) The report shall include a recommendation regarding the viability of the contract, including any supplemental data upon which the report is based, and shall determine the fiscal impacts attributable to each term and condition of the contract.
(2) The report shall be made available to the public at least 30 days before the issue can be heard before the governing body and at least 60 days before any action to approve or disapprove the contract by the governing body.
(3) Any proposed changes to the contract after it has been approved by the governing body shall adhere to the same approval requirements as the original contract. The changes shall not go into effect until all of the requirements of this subdivision are met.
(c) The city, county, city and county, or special district shall disclose all offers and counteroffers to the public within 24 hours on its Internet Web site.
(d) Before approving any contract, the city, county, city and county, or special district shall release a list of names of all persons in attendance, whether in person or by electronic means, during any negotiation session regarding the contract, the date of the session, the length of the session, the location where the session took place, and any pertinent facts regarding the negotiations that occurred in that session.
(e) Representatives of the governing body shall advise the governing body of all offers, counteroffers, information, or statements of position discussed by the contracting person or entity and city, county, city and county, or special district representatives participating in negotiations regarding any contract.
(f) Each governing body member and staff members of governing body offices shall disclose publicly all verbal, written, electronic, or other communications regarding a subject matter related to the negotiations or pending negotiations they have had with any official or unofficial representative of the private entity within 24 hours after the communication occurs.
(g) A final governing body determination regarding approval of any contract shall be undertaken only after the matter has been heard at a minimum of two meetings of the governing body wherein the public has had the opportunity to review and comment on the matter.
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