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Rick Scott's Broken Promises: Scott Gave Fat Contract to Well-Connected Firm that Bungled Unemployment Website

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Rick Scott promised to help Floridians in this tough economy. But over and over, Rick Scott broke his promise — siding with the wealthy special interests and lobbyists.

Overruling the experts, Rick Scott's chief at the Department of Children and Family gave a lucrative website contract to Deloitte, despite the contractor missing deadline after deadline for Scott's CONNECT unemployment system, and asking for $6 million more. The project, to design a new web system to deliver health care to poor Floridians, was "behind schedule and was over budget." 

The experts at DCF voted to hire another firm — unanimously — but Rick Scott sided against the experts and against taxpaying Floridians. Scott sided with "one of the most powerful lobbying corps in Tallahassee," which included one of his top confidants. 

Florida Democratic Party chair Allison Tant said, "Rick Scott ignored expert staff, and awarded a $31 million state contract to a high bidder who employs a top Rick Scott confidant as their lobbyist. Rick Scott sided with the well-connected, and that's exactly why Floridians don't trust him."

"Rick Scott incompetently managed multiple contracts, or maybe he intended to put special interests ahead of Floridians. Either way, Florida families are paying the costs," Chair Tant added.

Background

Consultant blamed for Florida's bungled jobless website won another contract after official intervened. The vendor blamed for the website that locked thousands of Floridians out of their unemployment benefits was awarded a $31.6 million contract by another state agency, despite being significantly underbid. Suzanne Vitale, who was then the Department of Children and Family's deputy secretary, awarded Deloitte Consulting a contract to modernize the state's system for tracking Medicaid eligibility, even though it sought about $6 million more than a bid by a rival firm, Accenture. (Tampa Bay Times, 2/21/14)