CFO Atwater pushing for contracting reform in 2013

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Since he was first elected as CFO, Jeff Atwater has been advocating for reforms to the state contracting system, which spends more than $50 billion of taxpayer dollars annually. 

As CFO, Atwater has already increased transparency via Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System or ‘FACTS’ and accountability through 600 audits of contracts and grant agreements last fiscal year. Now he is asking the legislature to move Florida further ahead by dealing with contracting reform legislation in this upcoming session. 

“The best protection for taxpayers’ money is to implement a higher standard of auditing state contracts,” CFO Atwater said. “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 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.” 

CFO 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.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.