Home Coronavirus Gov. Desantis Hides No-Bid COVID Contracts From Public In Defiance Of State...

Gov. Desantis Hides No-Bid COVID Contracts From Public In Defiance Of State Law

The State of Florida website where COVID-19 contracts are supposed to be available to the public, but aren’t. (Image: FloridaBulldog.org)

The DeSantis administration has been hurriedly handing out hundreds of no-bid COVID-19 related state contracts worth tens of millions of dollars while flouting contract transparency laws and stonewalling public records requests.

Since May 1, Florida Bulldog has asked the state for copies of a selection of some of the most notable no-bid COVID-19 contracts – including one they gave to a confessed thief and others given to companies tied to political contributions supporting Gov. Ron DeSantis’s election – but none has been released.

That’s despite a Florida law that requires state agencies, including the Executive Office of the Governor, to publicly post electronic copies of all contracts “within 30 calendar days after executing a contract.” The Transparency Florida Act, with overwhelming bipartisan support, established the state’s online contract tracking database and also required disclosure of other basic information about government contracts.

Florida Bulldog repeatedly has asked the governor’s top staff and Division of Emergency Management deputy general counsel Erik Sayler to explain why the administration has not posted the COVID-19 contracts in accordance with state law. No one would explain.

Meanwhile, the Division of Emergency Management has yet to provide a single requested contract, despite assurances more than a month ago from division director Jared Moskowitz that at least one of the contracts would be coming soon.

By Daniel Ducassi, FloridaBulldog.org, Special to SouthFloridaReporter.com, June 29, 2020