Legislative Package Aimed at Greater Transparency in DeKalb Goes to the Governor

ATLANTA (March 25, 2015) | Sen. Elena Parent (D – Atlanta) commends the Senate’s passage of House Bills 597, 598, and 599, sponsored by Rep. Scott Holcomb (D – 81), three pieces of legislation that work together to increase transparency in DeKalb governmental operations.

“Public trust is paramount to the proper administration and operation of the DeKalb County government,” said Sen. Parent. “We all worked together to create legislation that works to maintain an open door policy between the county government and the people we represent.”

“Ensuring the citizens of DeKalb County that their Government is operating in an ethical and moral way is the purpose behind this legislative package,” said Sen. Gloria Butler. “Passing these three pieces of legislation will enable local officials who represent our great county to better serve the citizens who live and work here.”

“I join Senator Parent in commending everyone who worked so hard to pass this legislation. These measures will move DeKalb County forward and lead to better governance,” said Rep. Scott Holcomb.

HB 597 strengthens DeKalb County’s code of ethics by, among many things, establishing the full-time salaried position of an Ethics Officer, increasing the Board of Ethics’ ability to investigate complaints and establishing new language that clearly defines what constitutes conflicts-of-interest.

HB 598 establishes procedures and limitations for purchases made by DeKalb County including requiring formal sealed bids from all purchases exceeding $50,000.00, the County Commission must approve all purchases and contracts exceeding $100,000.00, with the exception of employment contracts, and any vendor requiring more than one contract within one Fiscal Year requires approval by the commission.

HB 599 will allow the DeKalb County government to conduct independent internal audits to provide objective information on the operations of government programs, assist manager in carrying out their responsibilities, and help ensure transparency and accountability to the public. The audits will determine whether government funds are being handled properly and in compliance with current laws and regulations.

All three bills have been adopted by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and will now go to Governor Deal to be signed into law.


For Immediate Release:
March 25, 2015

For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Director
Brittany Wagner, Communications Specialist