Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Comptroller Brooke Lierman pledged transparency and equity in spending taxpayers’ money as they attended their first meeting of a key body that approves state contracts on Wednesday.
The powerful Board of Public Works — composed of Moore, Lierman, and State Treasurer Dereck Davis, all Democrats — has the final say on how billions of dollars are spent each year signing major state contracts. The board also authorizes activities on state lands and waters.
Moore repeated a familiar line and said he plans to “move forward in partnership” with the other members of the Board of Public Works.
“We will ensure that not only does this body continue its historic and legislative role, but we will also focus this work on being aware — very aware of how and what and where our state’s resources and our investments are being spent.” , he said .
Moore said the board’s decisions should make the state more competitive while being fairer.
Going forward, the state’s targets for minority-company contracts “will be treated not just as proposals for contracts, but as promises,” Moore said.
He said government agencies would no longer grant liberal exemptions to contractors from minority stakes in companies.
Lierman said the board has a unique ability to offer accountability and transparency for government spending, “the ability for Marylanders to understand clearly and see if their dollars are going.”
Lierman said she was committed to explaining the Board of Public Works’ actions to the public. She also wants to improve contract tracking, including assessing how many contractors met their minority business goals, met time requirements, and met their cost targets.
Davis said he welcomes the addition of Moore and Lierman to the board. “I know the talent they bring, the work ethic they bring, the rush they bring,” Davis said. “Maryland citizens will benefit.”
During the 45-minute board meeting in the State House, members approved a largely routine series of contracts and actions, including approving the start of federally funded planning for improvements in a portion of Prince George’s County from Capitol Heights to Largo Town Center as ” Blue Line Corridor”.
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In a light moment, Moore noted that while he and Lierman are new to the board, Davis has only been in his position for about 13 months. That makes him a “rookie and a vet,” the governor said, citing Canadian rapper Drake’s song “0 to 100/The Catch Up.”