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CFO Jimmy Patronis Highlights Push for Vendor Transparency Legislation

3/9/2021

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842
CFO Jimmy Patronis Highlights Push for Vendor Transparency Legislation
~ CFO Patronis is fighting to empower Floridians with more insight on vendor contracts and protect the state from foreign influence ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, during a meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis highlighted his push for legislation this year to install vendor transparency measures in the state’s procurement system and fight the influence of foreign governments, including the Communist Party of China. The proposed legislation is outlined in Senate Bill 1428 and House Bill 1149 and sponsored by Senator Tom Wright and Representative Scott Plakon. Senate Bill 1428 will be heard tomorrow in the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “As it stands today, our state agencies and local governments who buy off our contracts don’t have a tool to identify whether companies are owned or controlled by a foreign government. If the Legislature wants any information on which country tax dollars go to, we’re too limited. My message is simple - if you receive taxpayer money, you should tell us which country you’re organized in. My accountants are asked to pay bills to vendors receiving state funds without this basic information and that’s alarming.

“This legislation will also assist the state in holding China accountable. If taxpayer dollars are used to purchase goods and services from the Communist Party of China, we have no way of knowing it. We’ve already seen reports of China’s influence in our University system and alleged theft of our intellectual property. This bill simply works to establish a clear and effective step of disclosure and provides vital transparency about who Florida conducts business with.

“Thank you to Senator Wright and Representative Plakon for sponsoring this good bill and I look forward to working together to see these measures passed this year to create more transparency in our state vendor system.”
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).