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Scott expands role of DCF secretary to be head of 'state operations'

As if being head of the Department of Children and Families weren't enough, Gov. Rick Scott today appointed David Wilkins to a new role as Florida’s Chief Operating Officer for Government Operations. 

According to a statement from the governor's office, Wilkins "will serve in this role in addition to his role as Secretary of the Department of Children and Families.''

The goal, Scott said, is to take "an enterprise-wide approach to improving agency productivity and reducing government bureaucracy. David is uniquely qualified for this new role and I have asked him to replicate many of the operations, improvements and cost-cutting initiatives he has implemented as Secretary of DCF."

Other agencies will be asked to "participate in this state productivity and efficiency initiative.”

The governor's office reports that in his first year as secretary of DCF, "Wilkins reduced the agency’s overall administrative costs by nearly $59 million and streamlined the delivery of administrative services by eliminating redundancies and standardizing processes.  He also enhanced organizational performance through the implementation of financial, technology and human resource management improvements.  Wilkins also introduced performance measure scorecards and launched operational redesigns of the child protection investigation and welfare eligibility programs."

Wilkins was hired by Scott after he worked for as more than 30 years as an executive with Accenture, Inc., a technology vendor that contracted with Florida government. He was working as the finance chairman for the Florida Baptist Children's Home when Scott recruited him to head DCF. Within weeks of taking office, Wilkins was forced to manage the agency's response to the death of Nubia Barahona, a foster child in state care.

Wilkins, his wife and their three daughters reside in Tallahassee, Florida, and are active in numerous charitable and community organizations.