Legislators also carved out exceptions for 32 vendors whose services don’t have to go through the state’s Web-based vendor database known as MyFloridaMarketPlace, the report found.
Last spring, Scott assigned Wilkins the task of reviewing the state contracting process. He has found a hodgepodge of procedures in which some agencies adhered to strict performance measures while others relied on little more than an invoice. There were no uniform contract standards, often no penalties, and “vendors could low ball to get in the door and then file cost overruns.”
All of this “screams for reform,” says Abigail MacIver, legislative affairs director for Americans For Prosperity of Florida.
The Koch-brothers backed group believes that Florida’s budget system rewards companies by allowing contracts to roll over year after year, with minimal performance measures and competition.
“We don’t even know what we’re getting for with these contracts,’’ she said. “I would have to question whether or not the Legislature is even asking these questions.”
Senate President Don Gaetz has ordered his budget committee to take a deep dive into the state budget system and “scrub the contracts to make sure taxpayers are well served,’’ said Sen. Joe Negron, R-Palm City, the Senate appropriations chairman.
But Gaetz, who as the owner of healthcare companies has had government contracts, is also pragmatic.
“It’s a worthy goal to take influence peddling out of contract making,’’ Gaetz told the Herald/Times. “But it’s as old as the republic. It’s not as if we can pass a law. It is a matter of working against a natural friend when human beings operate a government.”