Assemblyman Jeff Gorell is JCW’s newest nominee to the hall of fame

Posted on February 11, 2011

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From MetNews.com

A state legislator from Ventura County has brought forward legislation to subject the State Court Facilities Construction Fund to the Public Contract Code.

Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, introduced AB 314 on Wednesday.

“The Administrative Office of the Courts is currently not subject to the same laws, processes and oversight as other state agencies,” the lawmaker said in a statement. “Now is the time to increase accountability by all public agencies. I am determined to protect taxpayers by introducing legislation to make the AOC subject to the California Contracting Code and all of the safeguards and transparency requirements therein.”

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JCW is fully supportive of any effort to apply California’s fraud, waste, abuse and public corruption laws to the AOC’s Office of Court Construction & Management but as Judge Horan points out, the devil is in the details. Should the AOC be permitted to be a self-policing entity as a result of this legislation then there is no reason to introduce this bill.

However, if the AOC is to be subject to the exact same laws as the rest of California with effective checks and balances on their construction activities from executive branch agencies and the state legislature, we fully support this as we’ve observed how well self-policing is working today.