F.A.Q.

What is transparency as it pertains to government procurement?
Governments and government agencies are some of the largest purchasers of goods and services. Given that government purchases are paid for by citizens, through taxes and fees, how government procures goods and services and the amounts it pays for them should be open for public review. Over 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson, noting the importance of transparency, stated:

"We might hope to see the finances as clear and intelligible as a merchant's books, so that every member of Congress, and every man of every mind in the Union should be able to comprehend them, to investigate abuses, and consequently, to control them."

Unlike 200 years ago, governments now have the ability to make these books truly open to the public using the Internet. The Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) demonstrates Florida's commitment to public transparency.

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What makes this transparent government website different from others?
The Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) is a vital component of the “Transparency Florida Act”. Developed by DFS, FACTS provides a means to track state contracts by government agencies and gives the public access to contract information. With the increased access to contract financial information, contract images, and audit findings of grant and contract documents, the public will realize greater accountability and transparency to how their tax dollars are being used.  

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Why is the Department of Financial Services hosting the website?
The Department of Financial Services is required by Florida Statutes, Section 215.985, to provide the capability for state agencies to report their contracts to the public in one central location. The Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) is the tool developed in response to legislative direction.

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How do I view detailed contract, purchase order, grant award information?
On the Main Search page under Search, enter at least one search criteria in the available fields. Search options are Agency Name, Vendor/Grantor Name, Dollar Value (includes Grant Award Amount), Beginning and Ending Dates (includes Start and End Funding Dates), Agency Assigned Contract ID (not the Florida Accounting Information Resource [FLAIR] Contract ID), MyFloridaMarketPlace (MFMP) Purchase Order (PO) Number, Grant Award ID and Commodity Service Types. By clicking the appropriate radio button, the search can be limited to only contracts, only contracts with published audits (must click “Show Contract Only” radio button first to see and use the “Show Contracts with Published Audits” check box),  only purchase orders or grant awards . All of the result columns, except Commodity/Service Type and View Audits, are storable from “A to Z” or “High to Low.”

The Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) also provides an advanced search function. Access the search by clicking on the “Advanced Search” hyperlink on the Main Search page. This search page allows users to search by the fields listed above as well as additional fields including Minority Vendor Designation, FLAIR Contract ID, Contract Type, Method of Procurement, Fiscal Year, Contract Status, Administrative Cost, and Periodic Increase. Purchase orders can be searched by Purchase Order Status and Order Date. Grant awards can be searched by Grant Award type, Grant Award Status and Award Date.  The search can also be limited to only contracts, only contracts with published audits (must click “Show Contract Only” radio button first to see and use the “Show Contracts with Published Audits” check box), only purchase orders or grant award by clicking the appropriate radio button. Use the slide bar at the bottom of the Results page to scroll across all the columns. Agency Name, Vendor/Grantor Name, Type, Agency Assigned Contract ID, Grant Award ID, PO Number,  and Total Amount result columns are sorted from “A to Z” or “High to Low.”

All Commodity/Service codes available in FACTS are downloadable to a Microsoft Excel readable file by clicking the “Download Commodity/Service Types” link and following the on screen instructions.

To view detailed information about a contract, select the "Agency Assigned Contract ID" link in the Results section. The following page displays the text box titled "Summary" and contains a general description of why the state agency has entered into an agreement with the vendor on behalf of the citizens of Florida. Scroll down for more details.

To view contract documents, including procurement documentation, click on the “Documents” tab. In the list of documents, click the icon below “View” to open the document in Portable Document Format (PDF) for viewing and printing.

To view contract audit information, click on the “Audits” tab. In the list of audits, click the icon below “View” to display the Audit Summary and Audit Findings for a selected audit.

To view purchase order detailed information, in the Results section select the "PO Number" link. The following page displays the text box titled "Summary" containing the Purchase Order Title that provides the justification why a state agency issued the purchase order to the vendor on behalf of the citizens of Florida. Scroll down for more details.

To view grant award detail information, in the Result section select the "Grant Award ID" link. The following page displays the text box titled "Summary" containing the description that provides what a state agency doing with the grant on behalf of the citizens of Florida. Scroll down for more details.

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How can I select reported contracts, purchase orders and grant awards for one agency? How can I see contracts, purchase orders and grant awards reported in the system for all agencies?
On the Main Search page under Search, click the drop-down menu for the "Agency Name" field to select the correct agency. To see contracts, purchase orders and grant awards across all agencies, select "All Agencies" from the drop-down menu. Click the "Search" button to view all contracts, purchase orders, and grant awards posted under that agency. Please be advised, it may take a moment to return the results of a search of all agencies' contracts, purchase orders and grant awards. Note: Refine the search and return more targeted results by providing search criteria in other fields. Note: Refine the search and return more targeted results by providing search criteria in other fields.

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How can I search for contracts, purchase orders and grant awards within a specific timeframe?

On the Main Search page under Search under the "Begin" and "End" fields can be used independently or together to refine the contract, purchase order, grant award period to be searched. Type the respective date(s) (MM/DD/YYYY) in the available fields, and then click the "Search" button.

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How do I search for vendors or those who provide services to the state?

On the Main Search page under Search, search by vendor/grantor name. The complete vendor name is not required. Enter at the least the first three letters of the vendor name in the "Vendor Name" field, and then click the "Search" button. If the correct contract or purchase order is not displayed, please contact the appropriate agency using to the "Contact Us-State Agencies" button on the Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) website.

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How do I search for grantors who provide grants to the state?

On the Main Search page under Search, search by vendor/grantor name. The complete grantor name is not required. Enter at the least the first three letters of the grantor name in the "Vendor/Grantor Name" field, and then click the "Search" button. If the grant award is not displayed, please contact the appropriate agency using to the "Contact Us-State Agencies" button on the Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) website.

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How do I search contracts, purchase orders or grant awards between dollar values, for example, all contracts and purchase orders between $1,000 and $10,000 or grant awards between $1,000 and $10,000?
On the Main Search page under Search, search by dollar value. To see contracts, purchase orders, and/or grant awards within a certain value range, enter a numerical value in the "From" field and a greater value in the "To" field. To see contracts, purchase orders and/or grant with a value starting at a certain dollar amount, enter that number in the "From" field and leave the "To" field blank. To see all contracts, purchase orders and/or grant awards up to a certain dollar amount, leave the "From" field blank and enter the search value in the "To" field.

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How do I search for goods (things purchased) or services (things performed) for the state?

On the Main Search page under Search, search by commodity/service type. To find a particular service performed on behalf of the State, or a commodity that was sold to the State, select an option from the "Commodity/Service Type" drop-down menu. This allows speedy navigation through as many as 4,000 potential commodity/service types. After selecting a commodity group, click the "Search" button. To view the available commodities/service types, please click here to open, and/or save, the complete list.

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How do I search for what types of grant awards received by the state?
On the Main Search page click the Advance Search link then expand the Grant Awards Specific Parameters box search by grant award type. To find a particular grant award type, select an option from the "Grant Award" drop-down menu click the "Search" button.

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How do I download my search results?
On the Main Search and Advanced Search pages under the Search section, locate the Results section. This section will return the list of contracts, purchase orders and grant awards that meet the search criteria. On the right side above the list, click the "Download Results" button. A popup will appear asking, "Do you want to open or save this file?" Select the "Open" or "Save" link to access to the data in a spreadsheet (e.g., Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice CALC). If "#####" appears in a column, the data is wider than the default column width. Expand the column width to replace "#####" with the actual contents of the field.

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I notice that some contracts contain a contract total, but no budget records providing additional information.
Some contracts, including Master Agreements, Task Order Contracts, Lease Agreements, and Construction Agreement Contracts, have funds budgeted to them. However, until a need for goods and/or services arises, no money is committed to be spent. As such, these contracts initially show the ceiling dollar values (maximum potential value of the contract) of the total contract. Not until goods and/or services are needed and requested will actual dollars spent be reported in the system.

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Why are there contracts with zero dollar ($0) amounts listed as the contract value?
The "zero" dollar ($0) listed in the amount field on disbursement agreements is an indication that the amount of the agreement has not been capped. This is used for service agreements where the agency does not identify or, perhaps, even know the quantity of services that may be required during the course of the agreement period. The agreement will identify specific services authorized to be performed but will not identify a quantity because it may be based on factors beyond the provider's and/or the agency's control.

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Why did a contract, purchase order or grant award not show up in the search results? Why did my search return the message "No results found for the search criteria. Please refine your search."?
The contract may have been recently created and has not yet been added to the website by an agency's contract manager; the contract or purchase order is exempt or confidential; the contract ended prior to February 29, 2012; the purchase order was issued prior to July 1, 2013 and had no payments on the purchase order after July 1, 2013 or the grant award may been recently received and has not yet been added to the website by the agency's grant manager. An inquiry or public record request may be submitted at any time to the appropriate agency to receive additional information. To do so, please select the "Contact Us-State Agencies" button on the Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) website to search for the agency issuing the purchase order or managing the specific contract.

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What happens if a vendor changes names while under a contract with the state?
Some vendors do change their names while supplying products or services to the State. Reasons for a name change include a vendor merging with or being absorbed by another company. This should be reflected in the amendments section of the contract or under the contract change section of the contract information.

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Why are some vendors listed several times in the system with slightly different names?
Over the years, agencies have entered variations on vendor names in the accounting system. Try searching by typing in the first three letters of the vendor name or the acronym that the business might be doing business as. If you cannot find the vendor, please contact the appropriate agency to request additional information by selecting the "Contact Us-State Agencies" button on the Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) website.

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