3/2/18  Did not pass final cutoff. Died at Senate 2nd Reading.

2/28/18  2SHB 1851: Bringing accountability and transparency in state outsourcing (the Taxpayer Protection Act). 2SHB 1851 is now on the Senate’s Second Reading Calendar.

  • CALL TO ACTION on outsourcing transparency bill - 2SHB 1851:  Dial 1-800-562-6000. Share your experience with outsourcing gone wrong and ask your Senator to SUPPORT 2SHB 1851, the Taxpayer Protection Act!

2/26/18  HB 1851 is now in Senate Rules. It must pass a vote of the Senate by Mar 3.

2/13/18   Thanks to your phone calls and messages, the House shortly after midnight today (Feb. 13) passed the Taxpayer Protection Act. HB 1851 passed on a vote of 52-45. It now goes to the Senate. HB 1851 would bring transparency and accountability when a state agency is considering outsourcing state jobs.

2/7/18   The House Appropriations Committee passed out the Taxpayer Protection Act (2SHB 1851)  It’s now in the House Rules Committee.

House Appropriations Committee passed out the Taxpayer Protection Act

2/6/18  Over the weekend and Monday, AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE) members pushed back against the corporate interests trying to block passage of our priority outsourcing transparency bill. And it worked. Today (Feb. 6), the House Appropriations Committee passed out the Taxpayer Protection Act (2SHB 1851) on a vote of 22-10. It now goes to the Senate.

Business community gangs up our priority outsourcing transparency bill

2/4/18   Our priority bill to bring transparency and accountability when a state agency wants to contract out state employee work has a bull’s-eye on its back as the business community lined up to try to kill it at a rare House hearing Saturday.

This is our Taxpayer Protection Act (2SHB 1851) that actually passed the House in 2017 on an overwhelming vote of 69-28. But businesses were relatively quiet then because they knew the Republican majority in the Senate would kill it. And they did just that after one Senate hearing.

But now that the Senate majority has changed, the business community is coming out of the woodwork in opposition because they can’t count on the Senate Republicans to kill the bill anymore.

At the House Appropriations Committee hearing on Saturday (Feb. 3), the Big 7 heavy hitters in the business community all lined up to oppose this good bill in the face of the Federation’s strong – and renewed – arguments for the bill.

AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE)-initiated Taxpayer Protection Action (TPA) would bring “good business practices” to the decision-making process when a state agency considers outsourcing work, said Jessie Turner, the Federation’s TPA lobbyist.

“To be clear, the bill does not mandate a decision about whether or not to contract out,” Turner told the committee. “The bill simply asks the agency to document the decision-making process....

“We support the goals of this bill, offering a consistent approach and analysis for each state agency when making critical decisions.”

The business organizations that at opposed the bill at Saturday’s hearing were:

Associated General Contractors of Washington; Washington Construction Industry Council; American Council of Engineering Companies of Washington; American Institute of Architects; Associated Builders and Contractors; Independent Business Association; and Architects and Engineers Legislative Council.

These and other business interests are also working behind the scenes to kill the Taxpayer Protection Act (2SHB 1851).

The bill must pass the House Appropriations Committee by Tuesday, Feb. 6 – unless those corporate special interests get their way.

Why are these powerful corporate interests doing this?

It’s clear they want to profit from increased outsourcing — and use their wealth and power to achieve that goal.

But they won’t get their way if Federation members do what they do best: Work to pass 2SHB 1851, the Taxpayer Protection Act.


  • Call the Legislative Message Center at 1-800-562-6000 and urge your two House members to bring 2SHB 1851 to a vote of the House Appropriations Committee and then to pass the bill on the floor of the House.

It’s not about protecting corporate special interests. It’s about transparency and accountability in state contracting.

Outsourcing accountability bill passes House committee

1/30/18  Our priority bill to increase transparency and accountability for dollars spent on government contracts (SHB 1851) cleared the House State Government Committee Tuesday (Jan. 30) on a vote of 5-4.

The Taxpayer Protection Act would increase the evaluation of costs, require more robust contract monitoring and mandate contract closeout procedures and reports.


1/11/18  AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE) Taxpayer Protection Act may be needed now more than ever just days after a legislative audit report questioned the value of outsourcing state work in the agency charged with managing many business and operational services in state government.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) on Jan. 4 issued a damning report on the six-year track record of contracting out by the Department of Enterprise Services.  READ REPORT HERE 

JLARC said it’s unclear that the outsourcing of web design and maintenance and bulk printing “saved the state money or improved service delivery performance.”

The JLARC study indicates poor oversight and accountability – even as DES currently has two other contracting-out pilot projects underway.

Enter the AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE)-initiated Taxpayer Protection Act (ESHB 1851) that a bipartisan group of legislators revised in the interim for a compromise that’s back again this year. The bipartisan effort makes sense because the state actually contracts for more goods and services than it actually provides directly.

The Taxpayer Protection Act would increase transparency and accountability for dollars spent on government contracts. It would increase the evaluation of costs, require more robust contract monitoring and mandate contract close-out procedures and reports.

It came before the House State Government, Elections and IT Committee Wednesday (Jan. 10), where sponsor Rep. Laurie Dolan of the 22nd Dist. said the new, improved bill provides a “thoughtful process in order to protect taxpayer resources.”

AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE) echoed its members’ concerns by again urging passage of the Taxpayer Protection Act.

“We believe that Washington can improve on its practices,” said Alia Griffing, the Federation’s research and policy director.

She explained that the bill grew out of members’ frustration “where their work goes out the door – and then they have to come back and fix” contractors’ screw-ups.

The greater accountability and transparency didn’t set well with industry lobbyists. A lobbyist for general contractors said the bill “seems to be a barrier to contracting out.” An association of 150 engineering companies opposed the Taxpayer Protection Act outright.

That’s a shame, Griffing said.

“The overall goal is that taxpayers should know how their money is being spent and to ensure that we’re getting the most bang for the buck,” Griffing said.

1/2/18  Most state services are delivered through third-party vendors, and the state hasn’t always done an effective job of making sure third-party vendors spend our tax dollars efficiently and effectively. The TPA requires the state to more carefully analyze the costs of outsourcing, monitor contracts more effectively, and hold contractors accountable when they fail to produce promised results. ESHB 1851 passed the House 69-28 in 2017; this is one bill that had bipartisan progress and great hope for 2018.