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My Florida C F O
Weekly eNewsletter from Florida's Chief Financial Officer

Dear Fellow Floridian:CFO Atwater discussing FACTS

In my position as CFO, I have a unique opportunity to offer enhanced transparency to Florida’s taxpayers under my responsibility to pay the state’s bills. When I took this office, I was appalled to find that no one could exactly say just how many contracts and grant agreements had been executed by state agencies. How can we assure that those we have elected to be watchful stewards of state dollars fulfill that promise when we can’t even measure where we are? How can we strive to get better? Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System

These are important questions considering that our state’s budget is measured in billions of dollars annually and nearly $50 billion, or approximately 56 percent of the state budget, is spent on contracts and agreements for goods and services. Because of this reality and under the direction and guidance of the Legislature, (amended Section 215.985, F.S. in 2011), my office developed the Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System or ‘FACTS’—which we launched this week—a comprehensive online tool that offers CFO Atwater discussing FACTSFloridians greater visibility into how their government is doing business. For the first time, FACTS makes the state’s contracting processes transparent through a centralized, statewide contract tracking system.

Let me be clear—this is not just a website. It is a living extension of the way all Florida state agencies will manage and report their contracts. FACTS has been incorporated into a new way we will do business. I am proud of this powerful tool my team has developed, but this is only the beginning of the improvements that are planned. Within the year, we will be adding audit findings for the contracts reviewed by the department and contract document images for state agency contracts—I’ve already put my office’s contract images on the site.

Integrating new technologies into the way we do business will only help us in being the most exceptional stewards of taxpayer dollars. I am confident that this system will have a profound impact on levels of efficiency and accountability from our government and elected leaders, and will lay the groundwork for future transparency measures.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

2012 Small Business Leadership Forum

On Monday, CFO Atwater announced he will host the 2012 Small Business Leadership Forum, in partnership with The Jim Moran Institute, in Tampa, Sept. 6-7, 2012, at the Westin Harbour Island Hotel. CFO Atwater and The Jim Moran Institute’s goal for the forum is to bring together business leaders, investors, and academic and industry experts to share best practices, resources and opportunities for strategically moving small businesses toward long-term prosperity and positively impacting their bottom lines. 2012 Small Business Leadership Forum

The Small Business Leadership Forum will feature entrepreneur, digital expert and author Gary Vaynerchuk as the keynote speaker. In addition to Vaynerchuk’s keynote address, the forum will cover key topics and panel discussions including short- and long-term forecasts and trends of Florida’s economy with a special focus on small business; ideas for attracting and creating an environment for investment, including improving access to capital; and ways to leverage resources and programs available through our public universities and Small Business Development Centers. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend practitioner workshops taught by issue experts covering a wide range of topics, including marketing small business, dashboard management and employee training.

To find out more and to register for the forum visit www.flsmallbusinessforum.com .

News of Interest

Tampa Bay Business Journal: Scott, Atwater concerned by court ruling on health care

Tallahassee Democrat: Our Opinion: Transparency is good

Sun Sentinel: Property values in PB County rise for first time in years

Florida Current: Low interest rates produce state savings

Florida Current: Cabinet eyes insurance as Debby soaks state

Tallahassee Democrat: State adopts federal banking law

Local 10 News WPLG: BSO demonstrates dangers of fireworks

Bradenton Herald: Tropical storm a reminder to protect our vital interests

Florida Today: Tourists finding their way back

Winter Haven News Chief: Merkel: no quick solution to euro crisis

Reuters: Spain requests EU aid, market hopes dim

Prepare for Storms with a Free Webinar

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is urging Floridians to heed Tropical Storm Debby’s wake-up call to get ready for a potentially active season.

To help Floridians get prepared for hurricane season, the Department of Financial Services is teaming up with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes to provide a free webinar, “Protect Your Homebase,” to guide residents through the steps to prepare for a storm and what to do should a storm strike. Protect Your Homebase

Webinar participants are eligible to win a gift pack that includes a $25 Home Depot gift card, Midland NOAA weather radio and a FLASH T-shirt during each webinar. A grand prize drawing at the end of the series will offer participants a chance to win four tickets to Walt Disney World, four $25 Disney gift cards and a VIP tour of Storm Struck, an interactive exhibit at Epcot. Prizes are being provided through FLASH.

There will be three webinars offered in July: Tuesday, July 10, at noon, Wednesday, July 18, at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, July 24, at 5:30 p.m. Floridians can find out more and register at www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Consumers.

Florida By the Numbers

Find a collection of key statistics that illustrate important changes in Florida’s economy over the last month. Get the most up-to-date financial and economic statistics for Florida, serving as a roadmap for your financial future. Visit Florida's Bottom Line website and read our current issue: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/floridasbottomline/.