The Department of Administrative Services' new head followed through on a promise from Gov. Ned Lamont to streamline certain government functions when he spoke in favor of a bill reducing paperwork for large state contacts.

DAS Commissioner Josh Geballe testified in favor of HB 7385 March 25 before the Government Administration and Elections Committee.

The bill modifies requirements for the affirmations, certifications, and affidavits contractors are required to submit for large state contracts.

Geballe said companies frequently complain that doing business with the state of Connecticut involves too much bureaucracy.

"I've met a number of business people who will not even bid on state contracts because they believe there is too much red tape and it's not worth the effort," Geballe told lawmakers.

"This results in less competition and higher prices."

Reduce Bureaucracy

HB 7385 contains minor changes that will reduce some of the unnecessary bureaucracy without compromising ethical standards, he said.

The bill eliminates the need for some stand-alone affidavits and certifications that vendors have to print out, find a notary to sign, upload as PDFs, and submit if they want a state contract.

It replaces them with applicable representations in the actual contracts.

"We are not eliminating any of the underlying legal protections or requirements," Geballe said.

CBIA's Eric Gjede also testified in support of HB 7385.

I've met a number of business people who will not even bid on state contracts because they believe there is too much red tape.

DAS Commissioner Josh Geballe

"Any effort that helps to streamline the way the state contracts with and regulates businesses is worthy of consideration," Gjede said.

Gjede said it's important the proposal ensures that contractors abide by all ethical and legal requirements.

"It is also important to recognize that the significant number of legal documents required for the execution of one of these contracts is often a barrier for smaller contractors, particularly minority- and women-owned firms that wish to do business with the state," he said.

The state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities also testified favor of HB 7385, saying officials met with DAS representatives to work on language that allows reforms the contracting process while ensuring that anti-discrimination laws are followed.

Committee members approved the bill by a 12-4 vote. It now awaits action in the state House.

For more information, contact CBIA's Eric Gjede (860.480.1784) | @egjede