JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Attorney General Jim Hood sent a letter to legislators about the publication of legislative contracts. A.G. Hood said the EdBuild contract should have been made public.
Now, legislators said the contract will be paced on the state’s Transparency website.
The letter Hood sent was addressed to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeve, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, the Mississippi Senate President Pro Tempore Terry Burton, and to House of Rep. Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden regarding EdBuild.
The subject matter came up after WJTV, and other news organizations are trying to gain access to the state’s contract with EdBuild. EdBuild was hired to re-evaluate the state’s school funding formula.
Last Tuesday, a House committee updated a policy on who could see the contracts that the State enters. The policy allows State Representatives to look at the contracts, but they can’t make copies or give information on the contracts to anyone else. Thursday. Burton denied WJTV’s request to view the EdBuild contract.
Hood said the Public Records Act allows the Legislature to regulate public access to Legislative records, but it also said that Legislature should be subject to a provision under the Mississippi Accountability and Transparency Act.
Hood said the Mississippi Accountability and Transparency Act law requires the EdBuild contract to be placed on the Transparency website within 14 days of execution.
He said the EdBuild contract should have already been published on the website.
House Speaker Pro Tempore and Senate President Pro Tempore released a statement saying the contract would be put on the Mississippi Transparency website.
Read the statement below.
“When the agreement was approved in October, the terms of the Legislature’s contract with EdBuild to review school funding was shared with the public,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Greg Snowden and President Pro Tempore Sen. Terry Burton in a joint statement. “Over the last four days as House and Senate leadership continued to study the issue, Legislative legal staff concluded the contract should be posted to the Transparency Mississippi website. The contract has been released to the Department of Finance and Administration to be posted on the Transparency Mississippi website.”