SDGOP’s message on how the GOP has led the way to improve transparency and accountability in State Government

South Dakota Republicans are taking the offensive this election session when it comes to transparency and accountability in State Government.

Recently the State GOP came out with an advertising piece noting how Republicans have been leading in transparency & open government for a decade now – pointing out just a few of the legislative measures that were passed by the GOP to strengthen our state laws…

7 Replies to “SDGOP’s message on how the GOP has led the way to improve transparency and accountability in State Government”

  1. Platonic

    Hahaha that is rich. Let’s break down 2017:

    HB1052: very weak whistleblower protections. Places burden on the whistleblower. Only protects state employees. Does not protect against retaliation against spouses or close family under any circumstance.

    HB1073: Ban in name only. Food, alcohol, entertainment – all are allowed at unlimited levels. And it isn’t even a ban! There’s a variable dollar limit, within which lobbyist can give freely.

    SB131: this language came from Initiated Measure 22 almost verbatim. And it wasn’t even strong until Sutton amended Curd’s original proposal.

    SD GOP can make as many fancy graphics as they want, but truth and facts shall win the day!

  2. JimV

    Do we really need more laws to tell Legislators what is right or wrong? Where is the leadership? Head scratcher for me!

    1. Anonymous

      Maybe when you have studies that the people yelling about corruption are using that did not even apply to SD but then they put it on the pro and con sheet as true…ie IM 22 last time

  3. Michael Wyland

    HB 1064, enacted in 2015, is rather weak in several respects. For example, the implied definition of conflict of interest is so narrowly written that it would not have affected any of the transactions related to GEAR UP.

    There are many types of conflicts of interest, but SD persists in limiting the definition to either “directly benefiting” from a contract or using the odd formuation “…the state officer or employee, the officer’s or employee’s spouse, or other persons with whom the state officer or employee lives and commingles assets…” So I can direct contracts to any relative not living with me and sharing assets, as long as they are not my spouse.

    SB 162, passed in 2016, is supposed to address the conflict of interest definition problem by promulgating its own definition. The Board of Control did so, but it used essentially the same definition as in HB 1064. Specifically: “‘Immediate family’ includes a spouse, a common law spouse, or any other adult with whom the professional employee lives and commingles assets, unemancipated natural or adopted children, persons over whose affairs the professional employee or spouse exercises the responsibilities of guardian.” Again, no consideration of related non-spouse adults with independent finances and no consideration of potential conflicts based on other relationships.

    The other problem with SB 162 was included by the Board of Control itself in its message to GOAC in August 2017. Quoting Governor Daaugaard: “Overall, South Dakota in our state processes has very good internal controls aimed at safeguarding state government assets and providing assurances that state and federal tax dollars are spent correctly. However, we’ve learned plainly that our processes don’t go far enough to oversee entities outside of state government. These grantees or sub-recipients are not part of state government but may be used by the state to administer federal grants.

    The state needs better internal controls to manage these entities that are “arms length” to the state. We must install safeguards that will ensure that federal and state objectives are met, expenditures are documented and appropriate, and potential conflicts of interest are recognized and avoided.”

    In short, SD state government is doing just fine – it’s those pesky nonprofits, educational cooperatives, and consultants that are causing the problems. Of course, that approach ignores who authorizes and monitors the contracts, failing to hold state officials and employees accountable for their lapses in program management and contractor oversight. It delegates accountability down and away from state government, despite the relatively strong bargaining power state government has over the entities with which it enters into contracts.

  4. grudznick

    What is with all the whining about the legislatures getting free food? Leave the food alone, people. Everybody has to eat and a few cheetos and warm beers here and there aren’t going to sway any votes.