CFO Announces Improvement in State Contract Accountability
By Space Coast Daily // July 23, 2014
TALLHASSEE, FLORIDA — Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced that the latest audit of state contracts revealed a 14 percent improvement in state contract accountability.
The improvement follows reforms pushed by CFO Atwater to audit state contracts, train state agencies how to write stronger contracts with clear deliverables and make the contracts available online for taxpayers to read and scrutinize.
“I am proud of the tremendous progress in contract writing we have made during the past 12 months and I look forward to continuing this positive trend that is potentially saving taxpayers millions of dollars,” said CFO Atwater. “Strong contracts with clear deliverables provide taxpayers the assurances that their tax dollars are being used efficiently.”
An audit of state contracts by the Florida Department of Financial Services found that 56 percent of state contracts during the 2012-13 Fiscal Year had deficiencies. However, the recent audit of 2013-14 contracts found that the number of deficient contracts declined to 42 percent. The latest audit also found that more than two-thirds of state agencies improved their rate of deficient, or poorly written, contracts.
“When we began this process of training contract managers, auditing contracts and putting them online for all taxpayers to see, we knew that more accountability and scrutiny would lead to a more efficient use of taxpayer dollars,” added CFO Atwater. “There is still much more work to be done, but we are encouraged by the support we have received from other agencies’ contract managers to improve the specificity of contracts to ensure they are fulfilled for taxpayers.”
Since CFO Atwater’s contracting reforms began in 2011, the Department of Financial Services has trained more than 7,500 contract managers while also providing assistance in the drafting of state contracts. The department’s Division of Accounting and Auditing has also implemented several new processes to review and audit contract and grant agreements, as well as review the files of agencies’ contract managers.
Contract reviews are a collaborative effort between the CFO’s auditors and all state agencies. More information about the Department of Financial Services’ contract audits can be found on CFO Atwater’s Transparency Florida website under “State Contract Audits” at http://www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Transparency.