While state legislators prepare to meet in Santa Fe to address the massive state budget shortfall caused by the response to COVID-19 emergency funding is drawing attention for skirting the rules for use. Emergency procurement procedures aren’t unusual, and it’s also used by local governments in times need like the ongoing pandemic. What is unusual for these purchases is the lack of detail for the fund procurement.
Emergency requests, under state law, are required to name the amount of each purchase or contract, the name and address of the vendor, the nature of goods or services purchased and the nature of the emergency. The New Mexico Department Of Health, in its emergency procurement filing with the Department of Finance and Administration, does none of that in it’s emergency procurement.
The emergency spending money came from the more than $1 billion New Mexico received from the federal CARES Act. But the lack of transparency in it’s use and complete involvement of the Legislature in the way the Lujan Grisham administration is spending the money is causing concern from taxpayers, Republicans, and the Democratic-controlled Legislative Finance Committee. Read more HERE.