Access Health CT CEO James Michel and East Hartford Mayor Michael Walsh at the East Hartford Library enrollment center. Credit: Courtesy of Access Health CT

Gov. Ned Lamont announced that Michael P. Walsh, the current mayor of the Town of East Hartford, will be appointed as the chair of the State Contracting Standards Board. This decision comes following the anticipated resignation of Lawrence Fox, who has chaired the board since 2018 and plans to step down in September.

Walsh, who recently declared that he would not run for re-election as mayor this fall, is scheduled to begin serving on the board in November after the end of his term and the inauguration of a new mayor. In the interim weeks between Fox’s resignation and Walsh’s appointment, the board members will vote on an acting chair to serve in a temporary leadership capacity.

Fox expressed gratitude for the opportunity to have led the board for the past five years, praising the efforts of the volunteer board and the support received from the legislature and the governor. He said, “I am confident the board is well positioned to fulfill its mission of ensuring fair and transparent procurement in our state.”

Walsh brings a wealth of experience to the position, having served as mayor since November 8, 2021, and previously as undersecretary of strategic initiatives and accountability for the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management. His 40-year career also includes roles as finance director for the Town of East Hartford and assistant director of financial reporting at Cigna, as well as an accountant for a local public accounting firm.

In his statement, Walsh thanked Lamont and expressed his commitment to transparent government. “In every position I’ve served, my priority is to bring good government […] instilling confidence along the way. Delivering good government in this manner had served me and the agencies I’ve worked for well over the 40 years I’ve been involved, so everyone should expect the same from me in this role on the board.”

Lamont lauded Fox for his commendable service and expressed confidence in Walsh’s ability to lead the board. He emphasized the critical role of the State Contracting Standards Board in government procurement, saying, “I trust that he [Walsh] will do well as the board’s chair.”

The State Contracting Standards Board, consisting of 14 members appointed by the governor and leaders of the General Assembly, is responsible for overseeing all matters associated with state procurement. The positions on the board are volunteer roles, emphasizing the civic commitment of those who serve.