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A Times Editorial

Online state contracts tracking tool is right on the money

A little more sunshine is always a good thing. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is attempting to open up the state's byzantine contracting system to greater public scrutiny. Atwater last week unveiled a new tool on his office's website that allows citizens to search and see how the state's agencies spend $47 billion in contracts for goods and services — representing more than half the state's annual $70 billion budget.

The contracts could use a lot more scrutiny. In the rush to privatize so much in state government, accountability has not always prevailed. A review of 24,000 contracts across 33 state agencies by Atwater found problems with 35 percent of the paperwork. The Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System — called FACTS — comes after Atwater's effort to create a more uniform and transparent system of awarding and monitoring state contracts fell victim to turf wars within the Florida Legislature. Now Floridians can serve as de facto state auditors.

Online state contracts tracking tool is right on the money 07/02/12 [Last modified: Monday, July 2, 2012 6:28pm]
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