Friday, November 28th, 2014

Walk-O-Meter

Toughen reporting requirements for lobbyists

Will "require lobbyists to report all attempts to influence state agency decisions regarding the awarding of state contracts and grants and provide real time disclosure of all contracts and grant awards."


Updates

Still time to make some headway on this two-pronged promise

With less than four months to go in his term, Gov. Scott Walker can't report much progress on a multifaceted pledge to:

-- "Require lobbyists to report all attempts to influence state agency decisions regarding the awarding of state contracts and grants."

-- "And provide real time disclosure of all contracts and grant awards."

The administration reports no new progress on the lobbying promise.

Regarding the disclosure of contracts and grants in real time, Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said the next phase of the administration's new OpenBook website would add that feature.

OpenBook compiles all state agency spending of $100 or above for the public to view. Walker unveiled it in spring 2014. A separate website, predating Walker, shows contracts over $10,000.

That addition would put this on the path to a Compromise rating, but we'll keep it one at Stalled for now.

Sources:

Email exchange with Laurel Patrick, governor's office, Sept. 5, 2014

More than half-way through term, requirements remain the same

Gov. Scott Walker said in his 2010 campaign that he would require lobbyists to report their interactions with state agencies during the procurement process.


Specifically he announced that he would "require lobbyists to report all attempts to influence state agency decisions regarding the awarding of state contracts and grants.”


Past the halfway mark in his term, the lobbying disclosure requirements are unchanged.


Lobbyists currently are not required to disclose work advocating for the award of contracts to their clients. They must report lobbying on legislative bills and agency rules.


Neither Walker nor the Republican-controlled Legislature has acted on broadening the disclosure requirements. A Democratic-sponsored bill that died in committee would have regulated former state officials" lobbying on state procurement decisions.


As for the heightened transparency on contracts, Walker communications director Jocelyn Webster said in late March 2013 that Walker is poised to roll out a website soon called "Open Book” that would make it easier for the public to view state agency spending. The current site is Contract Sunshine.


The new site is in production, Walker's staff has told reporters.


We"ll await the public rollout before we decide whether the site provides the promised "real-time disclosure.”


For now, we rate this Stalled.

Sources:

Email interview with Jocelyn Webster, Walker communications director, March 22, 2013

Walker campaign website