Contract Tracking Tops CFO Jeff Atwater’s 2013 Legislative Agenda

By: Jim Turner | Posted: February 21, 2013 1:00 PM
Jeff Atwater

CFO Jeff Atwater | Credit: southflorida912.org

Granting the Division of Public Assistance Fraud with subpoena authority, prohibiting insurance companies from increasing costs on orally administered anti-cancer medication, and expanding the state’s contract tracking system are among the legislative priorities of Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.

Atwater quietly released his agenda on Thursday for the approaching session that he says is directed to increasing government transparency and helps foster economic prosperity.

“I am confident that our legislative leaders are as committed to these principles as I am,” Atwater stated in a release. “I look forward to working with our sponsors to advocate for reforms that will help Florida continue down the path of economic recovery.”

Atwater’s Platform:

Transparency and Accountability:

• Protecting taxpayer dollars through state contracting reforms: Continuing his commitment to government transparency following the launch of the Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS), CFO Atwater will propose several reforms aimed at increasing accountability in state contracting. These will include provisions that strengthen laws regarding grant agreements, which make up 82 percent of contracted items in Florida, increase training for grant managers and negotiators, and create a pre-execution review period for grants and contracts.

Protecting Consumers:

• Fighting for Florida’s Holocaust survivors: This bill will allow CFO Atwater’s office to facilitate the return of lost property to Holocaust victims; in doing so, it will allow the department to seek restitution for Nazi-confiscated bank accounts, art and property. Additionally, it will permit the department to assist survivors in receiving needed health benefits. 

• Protecting Floridians from unnecessary financial burdens: Rapidly advancing medical research and technology have led to a substitute for intravenous chemotherapy treatment -- oral chemotherapy, in the form of pills. Typically, intravenous chemotherapy is billed under a medical benefit plan; conversely, oral chemotherapy is viewed as a pharmacy benefit and thus is not covered by a prescription drug plan. To remedy this, the CFO will support legislation that provides a group insurance policy which covers orally administered cancer chemotherapy treatment and subsequently prevents companies from increasing co-payment, deductible or co-insurance for orally administered anti-cancer medication.

Fighting Fraud

• Arming divisions with the tools to fight fraud: This bill provides the Division of Public Assistance Fraud with subpoena authority, which will help investigators obtain critical information for investigations in a more timely fashion. This reform is expected to increase the efficiency and improve the integrity of public assistance fraud investigations.

Getting Government off the Backs of Hard-Working Floridians

• Streamlining the Divisions of Workers’ Comp and State Fire Marshal: As a result of ongoing regulatory reviews throughout the department, the CFO will be seeking increased efficiency and the elimination of outdated laws in the Divisions of Workers’ Compensation and State Fire Marshal. It is important to regularly review laws, rules and policies that may no longer be fulfilling their intended goals. These reforms, which will achieve needed operational and administrative updates, are expected to simplify compliance for regulated entities and ensure that government reaches no farther than is necessary to protect the public.

Fostering Economic Prosperity

• Streamlining unclaimed property claims process: This bill will allow for the claims process to be done electronically. Electronic claims functionality will eliminate the need to manually process approximately 27 percent of all claims, thereby decreasing the overall processing time and returning dollars to Floridians more quickly.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (1)

4:13PM FEB 21ST 2013
I think it is a wonderful idea. I hope they focus on the private prison contracts that are costing the state more to run than state prisons.

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