Updated: Sep 7, 2020
Post # 131, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary
In a previous post, I pointed out the bad blood between Florida's past Governor Rick Scott and current Governor Ron DeSantis. Both are proud Republican friends of President Donald Trump, Palm Beach. It would appear the two personalities clash out of clear disdain for one another and their staff.
Perhaps the discord has become most evident in the large contract disputes with the state over the last 5 years. In 2013, Governor Scott issued an RFP for $60 Million contract to reform Florida's Unemployment Administration. With help from Governor Scott's chief fund raiser, Deloitte Consulting won the contract. Governor Scott had made no secret of his disdain for people receiving unemployment insurance from the state. In less than 3 years Deloitte had lost the contract and the State Agency handling the work was in chaos, with some $8 million in vendor penalties. Two years later, Scott snuck out the door for Washington, and left the disaster for his arch enemy Governor DeSantis to handle.
DeSantis complained about his inheritance, but it did no good as the problem became a national story with unemployment claims skyrocketing early this year from Covid-19. Scott said DeSantis was just a poor manager. DeSantis boiled.
Then the RFP for an even larger $135 million Medicaid Contract Administration came along, and who wins it but Scott's friends at Deloitte. DeSantis starts complaining to anyone who will listen that there is nothing he can do--it is all Scott's fault. Scott is said to enjoy the discussion.
Since DeSantis is new to state government, he probably does not know that there is plenty he can do under the Florida Administrative Procedures Act to force a new bid. My colleague in the House, Rep. Bob Hector (D., Miami) wrote the important law and there are a number of protections for the state to get the best bidder to do the work based on value.
Governor, "Methinks You Protesteth Too Much."