WY Legislature Forms New State Construction Department

March 30, 2016



Wyoming lawmakers are frustrated with state construction projects that don't seem to live up to expectations. Cost overruns, unsatisfactory work, and lack of contracting management has brought the state's legislature to try a new approach.

Senator Phil Nicholas, one of the sponsors of the bill, said “We need a higher level of expertise and more accountability."

Nicholas cited recent problems at the state's only maximum security prison that could be shut down for a year due to major structural repairs.

The Wyoming legislature passed a bill that merges the state's Construction Management Division and the School Facilities Department to form a new State Construction Department.

According to the finalized law, Senate Enrolled Act 59, the State Construction Department will be headed by a director appointed by the governor with advice from the House of Representatives and the Senate.

That director then can choose what to do with the Department, including whether to keep it with just the School Facilities Division and the State Construction Division or to organize the department another way.

Additionally, that director will decide how to staff the building, from whether to hire administrators for the two divisions down to which staff to place in which departments.

Nicholas said everything under the two divisions will run the same. The School Facilities Division still will answer to the School Facilities Commission and the Construction Management Division still will answer to the State Building Commission.

Source: Wyoming Tribune Eagle