ANNAPOLIS – Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday morning signed an executive order creating a Commission to Modernize State Procurement to reconfigure a system he described as “in dire need of reform.”
“It’s no secret that the way Maryland does procurement is … unpredictable and discourages participation among Maryland citizens,” Hogan said at the Maryland Board of Public Works meeting. “It leads to undesirable outcomes.”
Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford will chair the 19-member committee, including members from the comptroller’s and treasurer’s offices, as well as five members experienced in procurement law and other areas.
“We have, in my opinion, a broken system,” Comptroller Peter Franchot said. “And I may not show up to all of the meetings, but I’ll be there in spirit.”
Franchot also said Wednesday morning that the processing of electronic tax returns was halted earlier this month after a failure, likely due to hardware, was detected. Franchot notified Marylanders on Feb. 4 that a failure caused the electronic system to shut down, and it came back online in about a day, a spokesman said.
Protecting Marylanders from tax fraud continues to be a top priority, the comptroller said.
In a 3-0 vote, the board voted to support funding up to about $8.17 million for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s Combined Heat and Power project. Benefits of the system include the production of electrical energy and reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 130,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.
“This is a big boost, and it’s keeping us on track to meet our environmental goals,” said Hogan, who expressed his “enthusiastic support” for the project.
The board also voted to approve an emergency contract of almost $425,000 to Waste Management of Maryland Inc., as the state transitions to a five-year contract with another company.
All items on the board’s agenda were passed unanimously, and the meeting lasted less than 40 minutes.
“I wish we could do this every time,” Hogan said.