Scott Takes Aim at DMS

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Tallahassee, FL - Rick Scott ran for governor pledging to clean house here in Tallahassee, and lawmakers are apparently willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, at least for now.

GOP leaders had been planning to take away the governor's authority over the Department of Management Services (DMS), but Scott convinced the Republican leadership to give him a chance at reforming the department.

The agency handles everything from the state airplane to building maintenance, and most importantly, awarding state contracts.
DMS has notably come under fire for losing control of projects like the so-called 'Taj Mahal' courthouse.

Scott says his goal now is to use his business experience to whip DMS into shape, but former state Senator Ken Plante says doing that will be quite the task.

Plante says, "An agency like that is not going to function, it didn't function well under the Governor and Cabinet. But, you've got to get in there and straighten out the whole bid process, the whole purchasing process. I'm very hopeful that Governor-elect Scott is the right person to do that."

Plante was around when DMS was created back in 1968. For the first twenty years it was overseen by the cabinet, and Plante says it was even more dysfunctional then as a result.

The agency's leading critics in the legislature say they're appalled that DMS has doled out more than 41,000 cell phones to state employees.
That carries a cost of 17-million dollars a year, paid for by you, the taxpayer.

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