UPDATE 10:40 a.m.: Citizens VP Paul Palumbo announced the state-run insurer would competitively bid the contract for home inspections after the controversy. It's unclear what role Alex Sink's letter played, as pressure came from a number of places.
As the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation meets this morning, CFO Alex Sink is adding more pressure to the state-run insurer about a $60 million no-bid contract for home inspections.
Sink, a Democrat running for governor, wrote a letter to Citizen's Chairman Jim Malone asking to change the contract to a competitive bid process. A Georgia company is already suing to stop the deal, which was first reported by the Times' Kris Hundley. For the full press release, read below.
Florida CFO Alex Sink called for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to competitively bid their contract to inspect Citizens’ properties at a meeting and in a letter to Citizen’s Chairman Jim Malone last week. CFO Sink called for the Citizens Board to implement this change from a no-bid to a competitively bid contract at today’s board meeting.
“I have always been a strong advocate for competitive bidding, because I feel that the taxpayers deserve that we get the best deal for the state. It is important that other companies be allowed to compete for this work through an open and competitive process,” CFO Sink wrote.
January 23, 2010
Jim Malone, Chairman
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
2210 Vanderbilt Road
Naples, Florida 34109
Thank you for meeting with me earlier this week and updating me on the issues facing Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. I appreciate the leadership you are providing Citizens as Chairman of its Board of Trustees.
I am writing to follow up on our discussion regarding the emergency contract for the management of the inspection of Citizens’ properties that Citizens recently entered into with Inspection Depot. I understand and agree with the need for Citizens to confirm, through an independent inspection process, that its insured properties are being properly inspected. By beginning the inspection process with Inspection Depot on an emergency basis, the Board has immediately addressed this issue. However, Citizens is a government entity with a public purpose - to provide property insurance to Floridians throughout the state. That is why it is important that this emergency contract transition to a competitively bid contract for the multi-year term of this project.
I encourage the Citizens Board at your meeting on Monday to begin to implement a new competitive solicitation process that will allow other vendors the opportunity to compete for this work. I have always been a strong advocate for competitive bidding, because I feel that the taxpayers deserve that we get the best deal for the state. It is important that other companies be allowed to compete for this work through an open and competitive process.
Thank you again for all of your work Jim on behalf of the people of Florida.