Contracting and workforce issues surface in Nevada

Three hundred consultants who have held government contracts in Nevada are now state workers, according to Nevada Controller Kim Wallin. Eight, or more, of them with current contracts totaling roughly $600,000, are also getting regular state paychecks.The State Assembly heard testimony from Kim Wallin on a range of civil workforce issues facing the state of Nevada. Beyond the number of contractors who’ve then been hired on as state employees, reports have surfaced that they are being paid two or three times more than salaried employees and that some state employees are being hired back after retirement at a higher cost to taxpayers.

These issues are what led Assemblywoman Debbie Smith to introduce AB463. The bill would require state agencies to report who was hired and how much they were paid.

Another oversight measure is gaining traction via the Las Vegas Review-Journal, who published an editorial yesterday. SB50 would make sure all public information concerning contractors is available to the greater public. Under current Nevada law, the Nevada State Contractors Board must keep unresolved complains and active investigations secret. “The 2007 Legislature decided licensed contractors deserved a right to privacy that superseded the public’s right to know,” the editorial said.

Controller Wallin said the hiring freeze leveled against the state of Nevada forced agencies into this position and now it was coming back to haunt them. “Work still needs to be done,” she said.

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