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New state contractor disclosure law to take effect in July


The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A law passed during the 2017 legislative session requiring contractors to disclose the names of those with an interest in any state agency contract worth $100,000 or more is set to go into effect July 7, state ethics officials said.

The law, House Bill 2001, requires contractors to list with the West Virginia Ethics Commission the names of anyone with at least a 25 percent stake in a state contract of $100,000 or more, or a series of contracts that add up to more than $100,000. When the bill was passed during the regular legislative session, Delegate John Shott, R-Mercer, said the legislation was intended to help rebuild trust in government.

House Bill 2001 was one of several ethics-related bills sponsored or co-sponsored by Delegate Kelli Sobonya, R-Cabell.

Sobonya has introduced or co-sponsored a series of bills over the past several years intended to increase transparency in government, including a bill barring public officials from putting their names or faces on trinkets that finally passed in 2015 after 11 years of trying. “It’s an ethics bill,” Sobonya said last year. “It’s being good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.”

House Bill 2001 also requires the disclosure of lawyers, brokers and advisors working on state contracts of $100,000 or more.

The bill also limits the ability of public officials to channel money to non-profit boards they serve on by requiring them to recuse themselves from voting, and for the first time in state code prohibits a public official or employee “from showing favoritism or granting patronage in the employment or working conditions of his or her relative or a person with whom he or she resides.”

Diane Holley-Brown, communications director for the West Virginia Department of Administration, said the new section of state code created by House Bill 2001 can be seen on the Ethics Commission’s website, She said the disclosure form contractors are required to fill out can also be found on the website, or on the website of the state purchasing division,

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