Contracting functions

Published: Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 10:32 p.m.

Your Jan 9 editorial "Another DCF Chief" repeated an error, made in another newspaper, quoting me, inaccurately, as saying that I intended to restore civil service protections for employees. Rather than check the facts yourself, you elected to repeat the mistake.

Our intent in reforming DCF's contracting practices is to ensure that services are competitively and fairly procured and that the process is transparent and cost-effective. We have an overriding goal: competitive, fair and legal procurements that achieve the best value for the state and the vulnerable children and adults we serve.

Toward that end, we are organizing the department's contracting functions - contract development, procurement, and monitoring - into three distinct and, more importantly, independent functions.

Multiple, independent checks and balances strengthen the entire process. We are also improving the contract monitoring process to ensure that vendors doing business with the state are providing the best possible product and value throughout the term of the contract, without sacrificing quality.

There can and should be healthy debate on the best method to achieve these goals. We welcome any constructive suggestions toward that end.

One person in the office that is the primary target for reform has chosen to resign. We understand his decision, as the issues leading to this reform initiative took place on his watch. We respectfully listened to his concerns and suggestions and took them into consideration.

However, at some point a decision needs to be made. That's my responsibility, and I'm confident the changes we are making will be beneficial to the children and families of Florida.

Lucy Hadi, secretary, Florida Department of Children & Families,


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