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

Dear Fellow Floridian:

Since taking office just over two years ago, I have advocated for reforms to Florida’s state contracting system. I have worked hard to increase transparency and accountability through the development of FACTSthe Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS). Additionally, we have achieved greater accountability through the audits of 600 contracts and grant agreements last fiscal year alone, all of which are posted on FACTS.

The best protection for taxpayers' money is to implement a higher standard of auditing state contracts. We have an obligation to reform this system by preventing poorly written contracts from being executed so that taxpayers aren’t on the losing end. If we audit a contract before someone signs on the dotted line and also at the time of final payment, we can ensure that the promised goods or services were delivered at the best possible price.

We cannot wait any longer. If we plan to keep Florida growing and on a path to prosperity, there should be no question that we need to make certain that government is finding every penny of savings and maximizing value for taxpayers. Wasted dollars will not be tolerated and all state contracts should reflect the highest ethical and fiscal standards—clear, consistent and measurable. Florida taxpayers deserve it.

Jeff Atwater
Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

News of Interest

Florida Current: Atwater calls for pre-auditing of state contracts

Forbes: AutoNation Switches To A Single Brand, Something New In Auto Retailing

Ft. Myers News-Press: Study: FL tourism should pursue 100-million visitor milestone

The Ledger: Big reason for company's success is its embrace of new technology

Sun-Sentinel: Employer needs plus training equals jobs

Forbes: America's most promising company is redefining mobile: Meet 3Cinteractive"

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: High season's already red-hot

Reuters: Gauge of U.S. business spending plans edges higher

New York Post: ‘Wall St.’ flees NY for tax-free Fla.

February is Black History Month in Florida2013 Florida Black History Month-- Diversity in the U.S.

This month, take time to appreciate the many contributions that African-American Floridians have made to our collective society, economy and culture. Celebrate the rich heritage of black history by participating in the many events scheduled throughout the month.

Florida's Bottom Line Is the Inside Track

Florida's Bottom Line New Year's 2013 Edition The latest edition of Florida's Bottom Line's has the year 2012 in Review, with economic highlights and a look at the year ahead, Gov. Scott on his College and Career FIRST agenda, a discussion of Florida's talent supply chain and more.

A special issue of Florida's Bottom Line features Navigating the Fiscal Cliff—what you should know about it and how it impacts Florida.

The website for Florida's Bottom Line offers the inside track on Florida's financial health, updated as new figures emerge. Useful statistics on Florida's economy and jobs are accompanied by resource links, news and partner sites.

In recent months, several surveys and studies were released that speak to the quality of Florida's business climate and discuss Florida's ranking alongside other states. Here are these resources in case you missed them:

Florida Chamber's Small Business Index Survey results

The National Chamber Foundation released a study on Enterprising States

The non-partisan Tax Foundation recently released a study ranking states' business tax climate, the 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index. This survey ranked Florida fifth best in the nation.