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Senator Alexander Upset About No-Bid Contracts

A no-bid contract extension has drawn the ire of at least one state Senator who requested on Tuesday that Gov. Charlie Crist take a look at a Department of Citrus advertising contract with a Dallas-based firm.

In a letter to Crist, Sen. JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales and chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, called on the governor to use his bully pulpit to require the Citrus Commission to require a competitive bid for the $20 million contract. The commission postponed action on a staff recommendation, which called on extending an advertising contract with Dallas-based The Richards Group until December 2013.

“In an effort to seek the best vendor with the lowest price and highest quality product, the Florida Citrus Commission should vote to allow this contract to be competitively bid by all interested entities,” Alexander wrote. “In doing so, your agency will be ensuring that Florida’s valuable tax dollars are being spent in the most responsible and deliberate manner.”

Last week, Alexander wrote Crist expressing disappointment over the Department of Management Services' intention to renew a $44 million a-year contract with Convergys for the state's human resources management system for five more years without a competitive bidding process. The state's contracting procedures came under scrutiny this session with the Legislature passing a measure that would regulate the state's contracts, a pet issue for Alexander.

Crist vetoed the bill, SB 2694.

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