Florida CFO Jeff Atwater pushing for contracting reform

Since first elected Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater, (R-FL) has advocated for reforms in the state contracting system.

In a system that spends more than $50 billion of taxpayer dollars annually, Atwater announced Thursday that he has increased transparency via the Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System or ‘FACTS’ and accountability through the audit last fiscal year of 600 contracts and grant agreements.

Now Atwater is asking the legislature to move Florida further ahead by dealing with contracting reform in the upcoming legislative session.

“The best protection for taxpayers’ money is to implement a higher standard of auditing state contracts,” stated CFO Atwater in a prepared release. “We have an obligation to reform the system to prevent poorly written contracts from being executed.  If we pre-audit a contract at the beginning, then follow up with an audit at the conclusion of the contract, we can ensure that the promised goods or services were delivered at the best possible price.”

In addition to higher levels of accountability through tougher auditing standards, Atwater also wants vendors to help identify inefficiency in the ways Florida buys products and services.

“In Florida, we have hundreds of smart entrepreneurs who interact with state agencies every single day. We need a process to invite them to identify areas where the state is wasting money or taking longer than necessary to get the job done. If state agencies become smarter, more efficient consumers, we can save money.”

Atwater stressed the time for these reforms is now.

“We cannot wait any longer. If we plan to keep Florida growing and getting back on a path to prosperity, we need to ensure that state government is finding every penny of savings in contracts and maximizing value. Florida taxpayers deserve it.”

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services. Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability.