Transparency 2.0 seemed like an upstanding idea.
The Florida Senate wanted to put its budget data online so the public could better understand how decisions get made.
But except for that, everything about the state budget website is an example of what’s wrong with Tallahassee.
It was rigged for insiders to get the job from the start. There was no bid process. And it never worked.
Now, the AP’s Gary Fineout is reporting that Florida taxpayers will have to shell out more money for a website that never launched.
According to Fineout, the state is setting aside another $200,000 to fight a claim by the vendor, Spider Data Services, to get a final payment of $500,000 that it asked for intially back in 2013.
That’s on top of the $5 million the state has already spent.
Despite the website not working, the lawyer for Spider Data Services, Kenneth Oertel, said the company hoped Senate President Joe Negron would agree to pay the final tab when he took his post last November. But absent the payment, Oertel said the company ”had no recourse but to file” suit for the $500,000 plus interest.
Senate documents show the $200,000 has been set aside for private attorneys to fight the lawsuit.
Negron’s spokeswoman, Katie Betta, declined comment, referring instead to court filings.