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Governor Crist Signs Legislation to Enhance Transparency in Private Attorney Contracting

From the Governor’s office:

Governor Charlie Crist today, alongside Attorney General Bill McCollum, signed House Bill 437  (Click here for HB 437)to increase transparency and accountability in contracts between private attorneys and the Office of the Attorney General.  This legislation requires pertinent contracting information be posted on the Attorney General’s Web site for public review.

“By giving Floridians increased access to their government, they have the opportunity to hold their government accountable,” said Governor Crist. “I am committed to maintaining the integrity of our competitive procurement process and am grateful to the Attorney General for being an advocate for Florida taxpayers and of government in the sunshine.”

House Bill 437 requires the Attorney General to make a written determination that a private attorney contract entered into by the Office of the Attorney General is in the public’s best interest and cost-effective.  The bill continues to ensure a competitive procurement process and requires contract information, including payment of contingency fees, be posted on the Attorney General’s Web site for public review.  This legislation also sets a maximum contingency fee of $50 million for private attorneys contracting with the Attorney General.  Additionally, an annual report is required to be submitted to the Legislature detailing new contingency fee contracts, as well as ongoing contracts.

“The stories on corruption and scandal that we’ve all read amplified the need to see this policy become law this year,” said Attorney General Bill McCollum. “As Florida’s chief legal officer, I have a responsibility to ensure that this office is insulated from undue influence when entering into contingency fee contracts with private law firms.”

The Governor praised House Bill 437 as another effort to make Florida government more open, transparent and accountable to Floridians.  Bill sponsors Senator John Thrasher and Representative Eric Eisnaugle also joined the Governor for the bill signing ceremony.

Related posts:

  1. Governor Crist Signs Legislation to Reduce Unemployment Compensation Tax
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  3. Lt. Governor Kottkamp Joins Lawmakers to Announce Legislation to Continue Cracking Down on Pill Mills
  4. Governor Crist Highlights Programs Supporting Military Families at Florida Veterans Resource Showcase
  5. Florida attorney general joins 12 other states attorney generals in letter against health care bill

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Apr 14 2010. Filed under Broward County, Business, Ethics in Broward, Fort Lauderdale, Local news, Palm Beach, Tallahassee. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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