Today, The Association of Commerce and Industry (ACI), New Mexico’s statewide chamber of commerce, submitted requests under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) for records pertaining to contract purchases by the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the New Mexico Department of Information Technology, and the New Mexico General Services Department. The records requested will show what percentage of state taxpayer money in these departments is being spent outside of New Mexico, instead of in contracts with in-state businesses to promote local growth.
ACI President and CEO Dr. Beverlee McClure said the purpose of the request is to hold the state government accountable for any decisions that may adversely affect New Mexico jobs. “ACI is working to keep businesses, jobs, and opportunities here in New Mexico. Our members have raised concerns that New Mexico companies may not be getting a fair chance to compete for New Mexico tax dollars through the procurement process. If we want to grow as a state and improve the opportunities available to New Mexicans, our state government needs to be looking for opportunities to keep our money here in New Mexico, instead of handing over even more jobs, opportunities, and money to other states. We hope ACI’s IPRA request will shed light on these concerns, and we will continue to work closely with the state government to improve process and opportunities for New Mexicans.”
In the requests, available here, ACI asks state officials to provide “The dollar amount of contractual purchases…from companies with billing addresses located in New Mexico versus companies with billing addresses located outside of New Mexico,” for both Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014. The three departments in question were selected as they represent the greatest percentages of state expenditures.
The IPRA requests are only a piece of ACI’s efforts to address procurement processes on behalf of New Mexico businesses. ACI has been in close contact with New Mexico businesses on this issue. ACI and a panel of small businesses will present to the State Legislature’s Interim Economic and Rural Development Committee on July 8 in Albuquerque regarding procurement procedures. Any business who has experienced or knows of issues with the procurement process is encouraged to contact ACI at 505-842-0644, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NMSA 1978, Article 14, Chapter 2 is commonly known as the Inspection of Public Records Act. Under the act, New Mexicans can request public records from state government officials for greater transparency and accountability.