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Court rejects AT&T appeal over $360M state contract

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AT&T Corp. on Friday lost its appeal over a contract potentially worth $360 million that went to competitor Harris Corp. to provide phone and internet service to the State of Florida. A unanimous panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the Department of Management Services (DMS) to award the contract to a wholly owned subsidiary of Harris. Friday’s opinion — by Chief Judge Clay Roberts and Judges T. Kent Wetherell II and Ross Bilbrey — declined to reverse the department’s decision and order…

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Capitol parking garage waterproofing is ‘carcinogenic’

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Waterproofing in the Capitol’s underground parking garages now will have to removed because it’s “carcinogenic,” a state official said Wednesday. Tom Berger, director of the Real Estate Development and Management Division, spoke in front of a Cabinet aides meeting in the Capitol. The division is part of the Department of Management Services, the state’s real estate manager. The Capitol grounds now are being excavated to remove trees and topsoil that were bearing down on the complex’s underground garages. The Senate garage,…

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Audit criticizes Rick Scott administration over charity contract

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A new audit is critical of how the administration of Gov. Rick Scott oversaw a state worker charity campaign. Florida auditors reported the Department of Management Services did not initially document costs incurred by the vendor hired to oversee the charitable campaign. The audit also found that between January 2013 and December 2015, state officials did not verify that the vendor distributed the right amounts to charities designated for help by state workers. The Scott administration shifted control of the campaign from…

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. Off and on: Maggie Mickler is no longer press secretary for the Senate Majority Leader’s office. She has become director of communications at the Department of Management Services. On: LaQuisha Persak has become the new press secretary for the Senate Majority Leader’s office. Off: Lindy Smith is no longer legislative assistant for Cape Canaveral Republican state Sen. Thad Altman. Off and on: Drew…

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2016 state radio funds allocated; next procurement to begin this summer

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The Department of Management Services’ Joint Task Force panel detailed on Monday how $7 million allocated for state law enforcement radios last year will be spent, possibly giving a clue into how another $7 million appropriated for SLERS during the 2016 Legislative Session may be allocated as well. The funding item has been the topic of a heated intra-industry fight between two major state government vendors. Brevard County-based Harris Corporation, who holds the lucrative nine-figure contract to produce and service nearly all of…

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Government ops budgets inch closer but law enforcement radios dispute remains

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The Committee on Government Operations Appropriations/General Government Appropriation held its fourth and final meeting of the budget conferencing period Monday morning. Chairwoman Rep. Jeanette Nunez and Vice Chairman Sen. Alan Hays closed out “back of the bill” differences, but couldn’t agree on about a dozen line items. They will be “bumped up” for consideration by chief budget writers Rep. Richard Corcoran and Sen. Tom Lee. Among the outstanding issues were $1 million for “dependent eligibility benefit verification services,” capital depreciation funding for the Department of Management…

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“Disco pole” approved, “spaghetti monster” applies for Capitol holiday displays

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A rainbow-colored pole with a disco ball on top has been cleared for display this holiday season in the state Capitol rotunda, its sponsor told FloridaPolitics.com on Thursday. South Florida blogger Chaz Stevens said the Department of Management Services, which oversees state property, OK’d his Gay Pride Festivus pole to be shown Dec. 21-28. Stevens was previously approved to put up a 6-foot-tall pole made of empty Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans, meant to mark Festivus, the fictional holiday from a 1997 episode of…

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