State Affairs and Government

CHAPTER 42-155
Quasi-Public Corporations Accountability and Transparency Act

SECTION 42-155-2

§ 42-155-2. Legislative findings.

It is hereby found that:

(1) Quasi-public corporations are established and empowered by state law, and would not exist but for their relationship with the state.

(2) Quasi-public corporations perform essential government functions and/or provide essential government services.

(3) Many quasi-public corporations are granted the public power to collect fees and/or generate other revenue and incur debt.

(4) Quasi-public corporations manage significant public resources; however, the majority are exempt from many kinds of public oversight, such as executive and legislative budgetary review required of state agencies and departments.

(5) It is essential that quasi-public corporations provide more, not less, transparency by making their decisions and budgets especially transparent and open to public scrutiny, and by demonstrating a commitment to protecting the interests of Rhode Island taxpayers by achieving the highest standards of transparent, effective, and ethical operation.

(6) Quasi-public corporations are governed by independent boards that serve a critical oversight function and there exists a need to strengthen the ability of board members to carry out this oversight role.

(7) Rhode Island citizens rely on their government to provide oversight of quasi-public corporations, with a goal of ensuring that these state entities carry out their government missions effectively, and exemplify a commitment to transparent, accountable, and effective government.

(8) The general assembly has made comprehensive amendments to the Rhode Island commerce corporation's enabling legislation to enhance transparency and accountability; provide board members with additional tools to exercise crucial oversight; establish increased reporting requirements; and establish regularly scheduled audits of the corporation. All Rhode Island quasi-public corporations should be held to these higher standards of transparency and accountability.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2014, ch. 482, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 509, § 1.)